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Advantage Arun

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

Arun's never-say-die attitude is beginning to pay off.



A WINNING GAME: Arun plays a classy cricketer in the Cheran production, `Azhagaai Irukkiraai Bayamaai Irukkiradhu.'

Whether his films were `bumpers' at the box office or came a cropper is immaterial. The fact is that in none of these can Arun's performance be faulted. Sincere, honest and hardworking, Arun should have gone places already.

Probably success is just round the corner for this young man, because diligence and perseverance cannot remain unrewarded for long.

"Frankly I was fascinated by the attention my dad got as an actor and that was what drew me into cinema," begins this son of veteran Vijayakumar. So far Arun and his father have come together on screen just once — for `Pandavar Bhoomi.' "I yearn to do a meaty role with him," says Arun.

Cheran, who had come to watch the press show of Arun's earlier film, `Anbudan,' stayed back to compliment him. "I don't understand why a solid take-off is eluding you. You've done a really good job and I wish to cast you in my next film," he said. The overwhelmed actor grabbed the offer. The film was `Pandavar Bhoomi' — a milestone in Arun's career. He looked every inch the civil engineer he portrayed, completely at home at the construction site. "The credit goes to director Cheran," smiles Arun. `Pandavar ... ' proved a very different experience. For the first time a copy of the entire script was handed over to Arun and that helped him prepare for the role. "Cheran is more like a brother to me," says an overwhelmed Arun. The actor would go to Cheran's office often, and visit various building sites because the director wanted him to. Eventually the hard work paid off. The film did well and Arun was showered with accolades.

Future projects

Again the Cheran connection has earned Arun a meaningful role in the director's next production, which is in the making — `Azhagaai Irukkiraai Bayamaai Irukkiradhu,' with Bharat and Mallika Kapoor.

"Actually Cheran had another project in mind for me. So when he told me about this role in `Azhagaai ... ' being directed by Vijay Milton, I hesitated a little," Arun pauses. "First have a chat with Milton about the role. If it interests you, we can take it up ," Cheran tempted him. Today Arun is glad he accepted the offer. "It's a classy role ... I play a cricketer in the film," says an enthusiastic Arun.

Another part he's happy to have done is that of the ship captain, in the national award winning film, `Iyarkai.' "I'm proud to have been associated with `Iyarkai.' Sadly the timing of its release and the lack of publicity worked against it," Arun muses.

Arun will be doing actor Arjun's next home production. "The script is also Arjun's. He's a close friend of the family and feels I deserve more than what I've been getting," Arun tells you. Apart from these Arun is doing `Thunichal' for director Majith (director of Vijay's `Thamizhan').

With stoic patience and relentless effort Arun pursues gruelling sessions of skating, swimming, workouts, horse riding, karate, dance and so on, to keep himself fit and fighting. "I've understood that your first film is extremely important. [`Murai Mappillai' was his debut film.] And I've also realised that working in one project at a time is not a very sensible decision. `Jananam' that took two and half years to be completed taught me the lesson. That's why I've begun accepting worthy offers," he smiles.

It is friends, fans and a very supportive family that keep me going during my hours of frustration," says Arun.

It's a morale booster to the young man when they tell him, "Don't worry. You will make it." And going by the indications Arun has begun to.

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