Arya is winning accolades for his outstanding performance as a boxer in Pa Ranjith’s Sarpatta Parambarai.
The film based on the boxing matches in North Madras during the1970’s and revolves around a fight between two boxing clans and how it shaped politics during the emergency period. The film is getting rave reviews and is turning out to be the most viewed Tamil film of 2021 on the streamer Amazon Prime Video.
Sarpatta Parambarai has given Arya an all new image, as a star willing to do something different with Pa.Ranjith known for his meaningful films, where the protagonist is always the downtrodden coming from the marginalised society. He chased Ranjith and convinced him to select him for the role, as it would not be the usual boxing film. In a way Sarpatta is Arya’s most important film till date, bigger than Bala’s national award winning 2009 film Naan Kadavul.
Arya says “Kabilan of Sarpatta Parambarai is definitely a turning point in my life which helped me to grow as an actor. I was sad that though it was shot keeping theatrical audiences in mind, but since theatres have not reopened after second lockdown, we were forced to premiere it on OTT platform”. Arya’s Teddy was earlier premiered on OTT.
The star is a totally laid back sort of guy, whose Twitter handle is famous for his cycling exploits and tips to stay fit. Arya was known more for his romantic roles with a dash of comedy, horror and action along with a few multi-starrers. Actually, he was not the first choice as hero in Sarpatta Parambarai, as director Pa Ranjith had Karthi in his mind, but the actor had no call sheets. Since the plot of Sarpatta had boxing as the theme, Ranjith next preference was Arya due to his outdoor sports activities image.
Arya was already doing training under Santosh Master, who trains for boxing and kick-boxing aspirants. The actor was also trained by G Thyagarajan the national level boxer and a coach who researched on the various styles of boxing to suit the character. Arya’s character is designed on the Mohammad Ali -style makeover for his moves inside the ring while the antagonist actor John Kokken was modelled on Mike Tyson.
Speaking to sify.com Arya said : “ I wanted to do a sports based film for a long time and when a director of Pa.Ranjith calibre and reputation gave me a narration, I grabbed it. It was like a dream come true for me, as I wanted to do something meaningful.” How did he go through the physical transformation required for the role? Arya explains: “It was a very difficult role to fit in, as you had to be muscular at the same time had to be fit and raring to go as a boxer. So, I continued with cardio-related activity like running and cycling in the morning and boxing training for a few hours in the evening. I attended a lot of workshops organised by traditional boxers of North Madras arranged by Pa.Ranjith, which got me into the skin of the character. We shot half the film before the first lockdown and 9 months later after first lockdown we shot the rest. Most of post-production happened during second lockdown when restrictions were eased.”
Meanwhile Arya has two big multi-starrer’s coming up for release, the franchise horror -comedy Aranmanai 3 directed by Sundar C and Enemy with Vishal directed by Anand Shankar ready for release. The star turned actor is currently red hot with huge success of Sarapatta Parambarai and now all top directors want to work with him. However, Arya is clear that he would prefer to do more “content driven” films than “star spangled commercial entertainers”. And on the personal front he is in a happy space as his wife actress Sayyeshaa gave birth to a baby girl. Arya concludes by saying: “I’m on top of the world Sarapattai Parambarai becoming most talked about Indian film in the OTT space and becoming a father around the same time! Inshallah.”