Aravinnd Iyer: Bheemasena Nalamaharaja is about how food brings people together
Actor Aravinnd Iyer talks about his upcoming film, Bheemasena Nalamaharaja, directed by Karthik Saragur, which will get an OTT release on October 29
The subject of food excites actor Aravinnd Iyer, who is living the character of a chef to the full extent in Karthik Saragur’s heartwarming drama, Bheemasena Nalamaharaja. This film centers around the six phases of life based on the six rasas: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. The actor, who made his silver screen debut with Kirik Party, and is awaiting the release of his web series, Hate You Romeo, will be seen as a full-fledged hero for the first time in Bheemasena Nalamaharaja.
Produced by Paramvah Studios, Pushkar Films, and Lost and Found Films, Bheemasena Nalamaharaja will be out on Amazon Prime on October 29. There has already been a lot of talk about its content, posters, music, and the latest trailer. Ahead of the film’s release, the actor says that he understands that the way to win someone’s heart is through food. “But as a chef, one needs to balance the flavour with the right mix of rasas, which is true of life and relationship as well, and that’s what my character does in Bheemasena.”
Interestingly, cooking has been the actor’s foremost passion, and with the film, he got a chance to experience and explore traditional cuisines and learn the history behind them. “I've always enjoyed cooking. In fact, when I was pursuing my Masters in the UK, I used to cook for 4-5 people every day, and my bond with spices has been strong for a long time now. However, for the role, I had to learn some extra culinary skills. For this, I visited three restaurants and took up a short training, where I learned the art of chopping onions with swiftness and making different kinds of rotis. I thoroughly enjoyed it,” he tells Cinema Express.
Sharing some fond memories from the making of the film, he says, “It was a very challenging process. One, the film shows me in at least 10-12 different looks. Secondly, going by the film’s interpretations, I had to get into Bheema’s avatar and bring in Nala’s characteristics and behaviour, which was once again a task to explore on screen.”
Director Karthik Saragur, Aravinnd says, is someone who knows the Indian culture and history. “He is a talented filmmaker and somebody who admires art. His idea is to present our culture to the world, and I am sure that viewers across age groups and borders will be able to connect with the subject. They say food can unite people, and we are happy to bring this delectable story for everybody,” he adds.
The film is jointly produced by Rakshit Shetty, Pushkar Mallikarjunaiah, and Hemanth M Rao, and the actor feels lucky to be associated with producers who understand cinema. “It was my wish that the films I work in have the right kind of producers, and that has been the case right from my first film. I am glad to team up with producers who know the nuances of acting and direction, and have an understanding of good content,” he says.
Bheemasena Nalamaharaja, which is said to be an intriguing take on family, relationships, and how food is the thing that binds them together, has music composed by Charan Raj and cinematography by Ravindranath. It has Aravinnd sharing screen space with Achyuth Kumar, Priyanka Thimmesh, and Aarohi Narayan, among others in the cast.
Talking about how he chose to take up acting as a career, after doing his Masters in automobile engineering and working in London, Aravinnd says, “My parents didn’t want to settle in London, and so I returned to India. Further, the automobile industry didn’t seem promising, so I chose films as my career. While in London, I also had the opportunity to dabble in theatre, and that’s the skill I bring to my acting.”
The actor is now taking it slow and steady. “I am in a position where I cannot choose all the scripts that I want until people see what I have done. My film and web series have both taken time to release. Hopefully, this will not be the case with my future projects,” he says.
About Bheemasena Nalamaharaja getting an OTT release, Aravinnd says, “Initially, the film was started for the silver screen, but it is now getting a release on the streaming platform. If it were a theatrical release, we would have got the instant audience reaction, which is not possible now. However, the reach through OTT is far and wide, and ultimately our goal is taking Bheemasena Nalamaharaja to as many viewers as possible.”
Aravinnd is currently also in talks for two new projects. “One is based on the underworld, while the other is an outright comedy. Both films are in pre-production and official announcements will be made soon,” he says.