Arav: The stress level in Bigg Boss season 3 was nothing when compared to season 1

The Bigg Boss season 1 winner is set to make his acting debut in Market Raja MBBS, which will be released this Friday 
Arav: The stress level in Bigg Boss season 3 was nothing when compared to season 1

Arav became a household name after winning Bigg Boss Tamil Season 1. Two years on, the actor is set to make his debut as a lead in this Friday's release, Market Raja MBBS. Arav feels his journey has been surreal. "I was not sure I could become a hero because I didn't have a film background. So many try to make it into this industry and fail," says Arav, who, not too long ago, used to look at hoardings of other actors and wish he could be on one also. "Kanavu nejam aagumbodhu santhoshama irrukuthu. People have given me this position, so I know the responsibility that comes with it. My priority is to become a good actor who can do a variety of roles."

Excerpts from a conversation with the actor:

Despite becoming instantly popular after your stint in Bigg Boss, you've taken your time to make your debut as a hero. Do you think you capitalised on the fame you received from the show? 

Some may think I didn't capitalise on it, but I was not lazing around. I spent the time working out, dieting, taking dance classes, fight practice, and so on. The time was spent productively. People may question the delay but you can't build an apartment in just a few days irrespective of how many crores you pour in. A film takes time to develop. 

What happens after a film is released is in the hands of god and luck, but I believe that I have to give my best. Things changed dramatically for me after Bigg Boss. I became famous, but I also realised I have a responsibility to choose the correct film. It's about how I want my career to be shaped. I am at a stage where my films should entertain the masses and not give messages. 

Debuting in a commercial film like Market Raja MBBS was a conscious choice then?

People liked me in Bigg Boss because they saw in me someone from their own house. I wanted that relatability in my first film too. Saran sir's films appeal to everyone and Market Raja is sure to cater to audiences of all age groups.

What was it like working with a filmmaker who has directed the likes of Ajith and Vikram?

I grew up watching Saran sir's films. In fact, I've seen his entire filmography. So it was amazing to get to work with him so early in my career. It was a great opportunity to learn from someone who knows his craft well. He's actually an extraordinary actor and takes into account the fact that his lead is a debutant when directing. His humour is amazing and I have tried to replicate the same in this film. 

The trailer shows you in two different shades — a ruthless goon and a fearful medical student who seems to get possessed. 

That's right. The rowdy character is a bad, eccentric guy, and in contrast, the second role is a petrified guy. There was a lot to play with here. And having two different shades in my first film has given me the perfect platform to showcase my skills.  

The template though sounds similar to Muni, which was produced by Saran himself.

Muni was the story of a fearful guy getting possessed by a brave person's ghost. So, the first half is fun, while the second is full of action and mass scenes. Here, it's actually inverted. The rowdy's world is explored a lot — there are those who believe in him, there are cops, politicians, those who want to get rid of him, and much more. So, here, the second part is going to be more fun.

Unlike other Saran films, Market Raja MBBS has a huge cast list.

Exactly, and that too some well-established names such as Radikaa ma'am, Rohini ma'am, Nasser sir, Sayaji Shinde, and about 15 more characters. Everyone has an important role to play. Radikaa ma'am plays the role of my mother. And she is a lady don. So instead of the usual mother role, the chemistry we share is unique and fun.

Did you follow the third season of Bigg Boss?

I followed it a little. To be frank, the stress levels the contestants had was very less compared to what we had back in season one. When I discussed with the makers, they said they were worried about being too hard on them. Engala vechu senjange. We struggled a lot. Crossing 100 days was not easy for us, neither was getting back to normal life. We actually lost 10-15 kilos when we came out. I feel that the show has changed, but it's still a good show.

Your next film, Raja Bheema has been in the making for a while.

It got completed long back actually. It has come out really well and we are planning to release the film in a month or two. It's about elephants and kids are sure to love it. 

Here's the video interview: 

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