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Team player

Arya has always embraced multi-hero subjects, right from the beginning of his career.  

Arya first faced the camera a decade ago. Over the years, he’s had a mix of hits and misses. But, 2013 has been especially good for him, with three hits — Settai, Arrambam and Raja Rani, in a row. This year too, he has two big-ticket films. He pairs up with Vijay Sethupathi and Shaam in S.P. Jananathan’s Poramboku, and goes solo in Magizh Thirumeni’s action-thriller Meagamann.

In between, he’s also found the time for an extended cameo in director-actor R. Parthiepan’s Kadhai Thiraikadai Vasanam Iyakkam. “It is a movie about movies. I am part of a love story. It’s great working with Parthiepan. The dialogues are whacky, it’s a different kind of set,” he says.

Arya has always embraced multi-hero subjects, right from the beginning of his career — his debut film Arindhum Ariyaamalum (2005), Ullam Ketkume, Pattiyal, Urumi, Avan Ivan, Settai, Vettai, Arrambam… Has he never felt insecure about sharing space with others? “Never. I’m very sure about myself and know my strengths. Anyway, one is never alone on film, right? There are always others around you,” he smiles.

His jodi with box office darling Vijay Sethupathi, known for his ability to cherry-pick great films, surprised many, and their promotional stills together were a riot. “Healthy competition brings out the best in each one of us; it encourages us to work better,” he says. He has a lot of hopes on this large scale film. As for Meagamann, Arya says it falls in a genre he has never done before.

Arya’s career can be split into three distinct phases — where he banked on good looks, acting ability and, finally, comic timing. But, the actor says these classifications don’t mean much. “I’ve just chosen films based on the script. I’ve done my job and moved on. People seem to have liked me in films where I have changed my appearance and gone in for heavy-duty acting. But, personally, I like subtlety. I love films where I am natural, where my reactions are life-like,” he says. For him, Raja Rani and Boss Engira Bhaskaran top that list.

However, films that call for heavy-duty emotion and action have moulded him as an actor, he concedes. “I keep adapting myself to the director’s requirement. That is great for me; otherwise, I will keep repeating myself,” he says. He makes mention of Selvaraghavan’s ambitious Irandaam Ulagam, which fared poorly at the turnstiles. “But, it was a great experience working under Selva, and giving life to his visualisation,” he says.

In his heart of hearts, the honey-eyed actor still looks longingly at achievers in every field. “I visualise myself in their place.” Most of all, his heart beats for football. “I would have been a footballer if acting had not happened,” he says.

How would he rate his journey in tinseltown? “I’ve never really had the time to pause and look back. I’ve been working constantly. I’ve missed out on family time, cousins’ weddings… all for the love for cinema.”


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 2:30:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/team-player/article5839165.ece

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