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Arun Vijay: We need more flawed heroes- Cinema express

Arun Vijay: We need more flawed heroes

Actor Arun Vijay opens up about his recent series, Tamil Rockerz, and discusses recent hits and misses

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Published: 21st August 2022

The pirated versions of Arun Vijay’s Thadam (2019) were out just a day after its official release in theatres. He knows how piracy can kill cinema, and it’s perhaps only fitting that he makes his long format debut with Tamil Rockerz, the SonyLIV series that presents the world of piracy and its operatives as villains. The actor begins by talking about how an OTT release benefits this series. “It makes the reach wider,” he says, and goes on to speak about the story. “A quarter of the story is fictionalised, but the remaining is true. There is a need to show the piracy network and how it impacts the world of cinema, elaborately. Such a story cannot be told in two hours.”

OTT content, he says, also allowed them greater freedom. “We can say it loudly and with more boldness. Honestly, I didn’t find much difference between doing a film and series, in terms of production values or the prominence of the cast. As an actor, I got extra space and time to travel with this character,” he says.

The actor reveals that there is a definitely possibility of a second season. “While a film may often end up offering black-and-white dimensions, maybe in the second season, the grey shades of the character can be further explored. The first season concludes on an open end for that reason,” he reveals.

This is Arun’s first tryst with long-form storytelling. “I play a police officer, Rudra, who hates cinema. But then, he develops an emotional connection with the case and collaborates with the digital forensic team to crack the network.” Tamil Rockerz is not the first time Arun is playing a cop. While he fights piracy in this series, in his previous outing with the same director, Arivazhagan, Kuttram 23, the actor tackled a medical crime. Crediting the director for bringing up such issues, Arun feels that talking about such issues will create more impact among the audience.

Arun also seems to enjoy playing flawed characters. In his last theatre release, Yaanai, Arun played a rather violent character, fighting against injustice. “Flaws make characters natural, normal, and relatable. We need flawed heroes, not perfect characters,” he adds.

Having been in the industry for close to three decades, Arun worked across languages, well before ‘pan-India’ became a phenomenon. Having worked in Kannada (Chakravyuha), and Telugu (Bruce Lee: The Fighter), the actor agrees that crossover films are being well-received, and language is not a barrier anymore. “Cultures may vary, but emotions don’t.”

Arun believes he is a director’s actor whose job is to align with the vision of a film. “I believe in the strength of a script, and then, it is about getting to know the director. Once you gel with them, they come up with good content and the mutual trust grows. I have confidence in Magizh sir (Thadam) and Arivazhagan sir who know how to present me differently each time. Be it Gautham Menon (Yennai Arindhaal) sir or Mani Ratnam sir (Chekka Chivantha Vaanam), the roles they have provided me with are one-off characters. When I work with many types of filmmakers, it helps me explore my range as an actor.”

He hopes to work on a period film and talks about being unable to do Ponniyin Selvan. “I had to grow a beard and at the time, I was working on my production. I missed doing this film, but Mani sir has promised that we can do something again. All I am trying to do is take opportunities as they come and give my best.”

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