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Exclusive! I had to shuttle between mid-air and underwater for the action scenes in Captain: Arya

Arya will be playing an Army officer in the upcoming sci-fi entertainer, directed by Shakthi Soundar Rajan

Exclusive! I had to shuttle between mid-air and underwater for the action scenes in Captain: Arya
Arya in Captain
  • P Sangeetha

Last Updated: 02.19 PM, Sep 06, 2022

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The last few days have been packed to the rafters for Arya. The actor has been living out of his suitcase and has been constantly on the move, promoting his upcoming film, Captain. Arya plays an Army officer in the film, which is directed by Shakthi Soundar Rajan. And just like their previous venture, Teddy, this film, too, will have a visually appealing element, which Arya dubs as 'creatures'. OTTplay caught up with the actor for a quick chat about his upcoming sci-fi entertainer.

What kind of film is Captain?

I would call Captain, the first full-fledged 'creature film' in India. The film is set in the Army backdrop. But what's interesting is that you are not taking on terrorists or another Army here, but a creature. I wouldn't call it an alien, because then that would mean an extra-terrestrial force. We are battling against an unknown element and are trying to find out what they are and how we are supposed to neutralise them.

The film's director Shakthi had already worked on Tik Tik Tik and Teddy that required a lot of CG work. Only when he is sure about a film, he goes ahead. So I was confident of Shakthi. The USP of our previous collaboration was Teddy. But at the same time, we needed a solid script that would work without Teddy as well. There had to be an antagonist, a driving force and a problem to solve. In Captain, too, our focus is not entirely on the creature but is backed by a story. The kind of budget and CG that's there in Captain, wouldn't have been possible earlier.

A poster from Arya's Captain
A poster from Arya's Captain

What's your character Captain Vetriselvan like?

Captain Vetriselvan is a focused guy, who cares a lot about his teammates. His is a unit comprising five members. They are the only ones whom he calls his own and considers them family. They share a warm relationship and he is a brotherly figure to the unit.

What was shooting for the film like?

The plot is set in the north-eastern border. We had to battle harsh weather conditions and shoot most portions during heavy rains and in the numbing winter of December. Amid this inclement weather, I shot an underwater fight scene, that too 20 feet below in the water. I had to stay underwater for 2-3 hours for every session and I couldn't come up in between even to catch a breath. It was quite challenging.

We also canned a rope stunt 120 feet above the ground level. The team had to take me up in two cranes. The whole action happens mid-air. The action scenes kept shuttling between mid-air and underwater.

How was teaming up with Shakthi once again?

Shakthi is one of the most well-prepared guys I have seen. The way he plans a shot is unbelievable. When a film is heavily based on CG, it's difficult to plan. But we managed to wrap the portions in a span of 50 days. There are no deleted scenes in Captain. That's the kind of work he did for the film. Every scene and shot is an expensive fare because of the creature. Our core CG team was from Chennai, but we also got a lot of work done abroad. The film will be visually appealing to the audience and children will like it, too.

You are working with Simran for the first time...

Shakthi and I are huge fans of Simran. When I started my career in films, I thought that maybe one day I would get to act with Simran. That never happened until now. This character was written with her in mind. I don't know if we could have approached someone else, if she had said no to it. Thankfully, she agreed to come on board.

There was a buzz about Santhanam and you reuniting for Boss Engira Baskaran 2...

We would definitely like to team up again. Santhanam and I are looking into scripts and Boss Engira Baskaran 2 is also part of the list. But at the same time, we can't make a part 2, just for the heck of it. It has to be organic.

What are your upcoming projects?

I am working on The Village, a graphic novel adaptation. It is a bold attempt in cinema laced with a lot of gore, horror and action. I am part of a rural entertainer directed by Muthayya as well.

With pan-India films becoming the talk of the town, is there a pressure on actors to do films that appeal to a larger audience?

If you ask me, I would say that any film cannot be pan-Indian. My core audience is Tamil and Telugu, which is why we are releasing Captain in these two languages. You can make a film that will work for your core target audience and later, dub or even remake them. Trying to do a pan-India film, just for that sake of it, would be a huge mistake. You will end up nowhere.

Arya after the cycling competition in London
Arya after the cycling competition in London

You are going places in cycling, literally...

Yes, I just finished the London-Edinburgh-London ride, which spans 1,540 km. It was quite a challenging task as we had to complete the distance in a span of 125 hours. In those five days, I would have hardly slept for four hours altogether. It requires a certain level of madness to do this. You need to slowly start with 200, 300, 600 km randonneur rides and build on them. This was one of the longest rides I had done. I am now preparing for the Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) ride that's coming up in August next year.

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