Arya on working in Magamuni, his passion for cycling and working in multi-starrers like Suriya's Kaappaan
Magamuni can be termed as a comeback film for Arya, who impressed everyone with quality script-driven films like Naan Kadavul, Arindhum Ariyamalum, and Madarasapattinam in the early stages of his career. But post the success of comedy entertainer Boss Engira Baskaran, the happy-go-lucky image overshadowed the intense performer. Now, with Magamuni, Arya has got back the mojo.
“Working with Santhakumar is a gift, it should be in the bucket list of all actors. See, as an actor, you need a lot of inputs to enhance your performance. In this film, my director had excellent clarity. He kept telling me the journey of both Maga and Muni from their birth to death, how they would react to a situation and what other characters surround him have done to him. All these extra details would push our performance to new boundaries. For example, if a director asks you to perform a scene where someone stabs you in the back, it would be over dramatic. But in Magamuni, Santhakumar conceived the scene (the popular sneak peek), in such a way that the revelation of the knife at the back comes in a later stage and not in the beginning. He also told me a metaphor that every middle-class man got a lot of problems and pain to their back. The knife is the symbolic representation of their pain and problems. Since they are used to it, showing the pain in the face wasn’t necessary," says Arya in an exclusive chat with Firstpost on why his performance in Magamuni looks unique and intense compared to his recent films.
"Talented award-winning actors like Rohini, Jayaprakash, and Ilavarasu acted in Magamuni because of my director’s eight-year-old debut film Mounaguru. Especially, Rohini only had a few scenes but she agreed to play my mom in the film because of the respect she had on Santha," adds Arya.
The actor reveals that he was not aware of the exact characterisation of Muni while performing Maga's role. "Santha told me that I would get confused as both the characters are completely different. Maga is a hitman who got his own problems in life while Muni is a Brahmachari. Interestingly, before my wedding in real life, I played the family man Maga and after my marriage, they shot the Brahmachari portions," he laughs.
After the release of his debut directorial Mouna Guru in 2011, Santhakumar took an eight year long break to develop Magamuni. Arya said that when the director shared his plans to wrap the shoot in sixty days, he did not believe it. The actor added that though Santhakumar took eight years working on the script, it was his thorough research that accelerating the shooting process.
A detailed narration from Santhakumar helped Arya understand the characters of Maga and Muni.
"He told me that if I understood both the characters, the spirit would transfer into my body. What helped me most is the way Santha and his assistants discuss the film and the travel of the character. The directors' team would tell me the exact mindset of my character in the film, they also give me the gist of things happened between me and the character whom I have to share screen space in the particular scene. Also, Magamuni is a kind of a film where your performance is give and take — it depends on how actors surrounding you perform”, explains on Arya on how he portrayed both the roles.
When asked whether he chose the film to create a new image, Arya says, “It was the other way around, the film chose me. Both Santha and my producer Gnanavel collaborated for a film, they decided that I would be apt to play the protagonist. I asked how Santha cast me in Magamuni, he told me that my passion for cycling gave him the courage. As Santha is also a biker who traveled across the country, he knows the pain bearing mentality of cyclists."
The actor has taken his passion for cycling to the next level, even participating in international competitions.
“My love for cycling started when I was studying in college. I used to travel from my home in Anna Nagar to my college in Vandalur in the cycle. Later when I became an actor, getting back to home after late-night shoot actually tired me and there was no time to work out so I converted cycling as my fitness routine. After the shoot, I get back to home in the cycle and not via car. Interestingly, I would reach my place before others who traveled in the car, thanks to the hectic traffic. Cycling also changed me as a person. After a few hours, a cyclist has to push his limits, he should introspect himself during the travel and set mini-goals. I would call it as a form of meditation."
While Arya continues to play lead roles, he is not averse to being a part of multi-starrers.
“If you are confident as an actor, multi-starrer films would not give you any insecurity. Luckily, right from my debut film Ullam Ketkume, I was offered multi-starrer films so there was no inhibition." The actor earlier shared screen space with Ajith in Arrambam and plays a pivotal role in Suriya’s Kaappaan.
“Regarding Kaappaan, KV Anand sir, Suriya sir, and Lyca Productions were in need of me as there was a change in the last minute. I had to help them and I also saw it as an opportunity to learn things from the legendary Mohanlal sir and Suriya sir. We all keep hearing great things about them from insiders but performing along with them is an opportunity I wouldn’t miss at any cost. Moreover, the character which I play in the film is also quite interesting," says the actor.
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Updated Date: Sep 10, 2019 15:05:10 IST