Arun Vijay is probably in the best phase of his career now, thanks to the films that he has done in the recent past and the ones which are in the pipeline. Few days before his investigative drama Thadam, I got to interact with him on the film, what inspires his choices, the change to an action hero and his upcoming slate. Read on.
Teaming up with Magizh Thirumeni once again after Thadaiyara Thaakka, what actually pushed you to do Thadam?
It’s the writing here which was very strong. I heard it from the POV of the audience, and it really held my excitement till the end. The screenplay is the biggest strength of the film. I just surrendered myself to Magizh sir, and asked him to do whatever he wanted. As an actor, it will be a milestone in my career.
Thadaiyara Thaakka is a film that gained a lot of attention, late after its release. It can even be called a cult classic. Coming back to the same director, did you have any kind of pressure or standards to be met?
Right from when the project was announced, people have been sending out tweets and messages asking for a similar, ferocious action film. We noticed it, but didn’t worry too much about it as our intent here was different. Thadam has a lot of tension, speed and pace, but I want to tell the audience that it is not an action film.
You have already worked with Gautham Menon for Yennai Arindhaal. And now, you have done two films with his associate Magizh. Are there any similarities between the two?
Both of them are excellent writers. Gautham sir has an instinctive sense, which he displays on set. He will suddenly come up with something and surprise you, you have to receive it and give it on frame. But when it comes to Magizh sir, he is very clear with what he wants. In his script itself, you can visualize the entire film. It is just the little nuances that he adds at the spot.
There has been a transition from the kinds of the films you have done at the start, to what you are doing now. Your image too, has drastically changed. Was it a planned move?
The change actually began from Malai Malai, and I adhered to it. Maanja Velu and Thadaiyara Thaakka next, I have come up step by step, trying out new grounds. Though there are a lot of things that I have done, I still haven’t explored a lot of areas. I want to surprise the audience with each movie of mine, and that is what I wish to fulfil in the coming days.
Does this change to an action hero stop you from doing other genres?
Nothing like that. When certain things excite the audience, you come to know that you are good at it so you have to work more on it. I have done enough of experiments, so I don’t want to try something totally different again. I have done films like Priyam and Kaathirundha Kadhal, but the age for that is over. It’s different now.
Speaking about your upcoming biggie Saaho, where you team up with Prabhas.
That’s totally a big film. Right from when I heard the story, I felt that the character was needed in the film and that’s what inspired me to do it. The characterization was neat. Prabhas, well he’s too sincere and dedicated. He could have done anything after Baahubali but he chose this because he always wants to bring forth his best. I’m also very impressed with how a second-film director like Sujeeth is handling such a big cast and crew. Both technically and script-wise too, it is a sound film. You can compare it to any Hollywood action film.
Words on your other Tamil films in Agni Siragugal and Boxer.
Agni Siragugal is an action-packed script that has been written in a very interesting way. We will be shooting for the next schedule in Europe. On the other hand, I have Boxer which is another exciting sports drama. Director Vivek comes from Bala sir’s school of filmmaking, and I loved the story on first hear, more so because of the amazing transformation that the character takes at the halfway mark. It will have a patriotic angle too.