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Keeping the thrill on: Arjun Sarja on his film career

Express News Service

Veteran actor Arjun Sarja seems relaxed having spent the entire morning shooting for his upcoming Tamil film, Kolaikaran in which he plays a very important character with actor Vijay Antony in the lead. “It’s a crime thriller. Vijay Antony is acting in it and it’s his own production. That’s all I can reveal now,” says Arjun with a smile.

It seems to be raining thrillers at the moment for this deep-voiced, handsome actor with a commanding physique. Last year, the Tamil action thriller Nibunan (Vismaya in Kannada) in which he played a super cop brought up Arjun’s 150th film.

For an actor, who has lasted 38 years in showbiz and has spread himself equally in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada cinema, a career under the arc lights was never for Arjun. “My father Shakti Prasad who was an actor wanted to become a police officer. I too shared his ambition and my dad got me trained in martial arts, horse riding, etc.

But nothing happened on that front and I got pulled into films thanks to my physique. So there I was, a teenager making my debut in Kannada film Simhada Mari Sainya, which turned out to be a big hit,” recalls Arjun. Perhaps, that explains the 53-year-old’s fascination with khaki and the numerous tough cop roles he has played, film after film. The four decades spent in the industry have provided invaluable lessons for life. “There’s so much competition around. One has to be versatile, and work hard,” he says.

Riding on the solid cop roles, Arjun was able to fuel his patriotism, which whosoever has followed his career knows that he wears it on his sleeve or his wrist more like it—there’s an Indian flag tattooed on the inside of his right wrist. “I got this done in 1996 in Canada. Patriotism is in my blood,” he says.

It looks like Arjun is now leaning towards villainy. He played a baddie, White Devil, in the recently released Tamil thriller Irumbu Thirai. “I have umpteen offers for hero roles, it’s tough getting a grey character. People loved me in the film,” says Arjun. There’s a big budget sequel to Irumbu Thirai that will have Arjun doing the honours as Dark Angel.  

Personally, Arjun likes movies that carry a lot of positiveness, not just in his role but in totality. “Of the 100  lakh people who watch my movies, if I can inspire even 100, I’d consider my job done,” reveals Arjun, who is also a writer, director and film producer. “I like to direct as it puts you in the driver’s seat,” says Arjun, who will play Karna in the upcoming Kannada film Kurukshetra.

A Hanuman devotee, Arjun is building a temple on the outskirts of Chennai that will house a monolith of his favourite deity. The actor is also involved in much of the sculpting work. “When the temple is done, I will consider it my only achievement, not so the 150 films,” he says. It seems that the action king is hooked on to a new kind of action—trading in his fisticuffs for the chisel.

Source: The New Indian Express