It was nothing close to the ordinary when DC got invited to actor Arun Vijay’s home in the city. As we got in, the actor was right there, dressed in his veshti, not merely to greet us but show us around his house and share his directorial eye on where we could get some good photographs for the shoot — something one doesn’t usually get from an actor who’s been in the industry for over 20 years! This Deepavali, allow us to take you into this highly talented and level-headed Tamil star’s home as he gives us a glimpse into his life and his festive memories. Here’s Arun Vijay for you!
Even as his wife Aarthi Mohan, and children Purvi and Arnav, join him, Arun, the son of veteran actor Vijayakumar, who was celebrated for essaying the role of Victor in Yennai Arindhaal, gets into work mode — he knows how to get the look just right, or where everyone should be placed in the frame to look picture perfect! As the conversation veers towards memories of celebrating the festival, the Thadaiyara Thakka actor is quick to add that there has been none like his thala Deepavali. “We had a gala time during our thala Deepavali. My sisters were here and the best part was, we were the centre of attraction, and just couldn’t move an inch in the crowd (laughs)! Appa has a lot of friends in the industry, and it is during Deepavali that they all catch up. When I was younger, the families of actors Sathyaraj, Prabhu and Rajinikanth would drop in and it was a time for us kids to bond. Till date, I’m in awe of Rajini uncle,” Arun shares excitedly.
Reminiscing his childhood festivities, Arun recalls how, along with his siblings, he would compete with other children in bursting crackers. “Mum and dad are both from Pattukottai, but I was brought up in Chennai. All my cousins would be home during Deepavali, and as the youngest in the family, I was pampered the most. We used to have mum preparing delicious dishes. It was like a competition to burst crackers with other kids around our home back then. My kids are a generation apart, but I make sure they stick to their roots and know the traditions. We still like to keep it eco-friendly, as we have dogs at home, and we care for the animals,” quips Arun.
As an actor, Arun feels he still has a long way to go. “I can’t rate myself yet as I still haven’t reached where I want to, but I definitely feel proud to have withstood so many years in the industry and have made my mark. But I have always chosen quality cinema and that is why I have done only 23 films in my two-decade long career. I don’t regret my decisions, but have had many learnings — I have figured out my balance and my ways to bring in a surprise element with each of my films,” he confesses.
He reveals that he needed time to get out of the much-acclaimed character, Victor, that he enacted in the film Yennai Arindhaal, and hence took a long break before his next film. “It was a planned pause in my career, as I needed to come out of the negative role I played in the film, which I couldn’t break out of for a long time. For Kuttram 23, I play a subtle character of a police officer — a contrasting role. I think this will take me to a different level!” Arun exclaims.
With plans to encourage new talents in the industry, the 38-year-old actor has started his own production house, InCinemas Entertainment. “Considering the current situation in the industry, it was risky to start a production house. Kuttram 23 is a crucial film for all of us. I told director Arivazhagan that this film should be as good as Eeram or even better than that — that’s the benchmark we had,” Arun elaborates, adding that his film with Gautham Menon is also in the pipeline, and he’s waiting for the script to fall into place.
For his fans, he’s the actor who they can speak to whenever they spot him, or catch him on the first day of his movies, in theatres. Arun says he prefers being an approachable actor. “I love interacting with people and I love constructive criticism. I would prefer being an approachable actor than a worshipped one. I feel that an actor should have the guts to go and watch his film on the first day, along with the audience — unless you know for sure that you have done well, you won’t have the confidence to go to the theatre — and I have always watched my films on the silver screen on day one. I gradually want to spread my wings in the industry — either as a producer or a stunt director.” “But my best is yet to come!” the actor humbly admits. As we bid him goodbye, the actor wishes us and his fans a happy Deepavali.