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Happy Birthday, Arya!

By S Saraswathi
December 11, 2016 10:00 IST
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Tamil actor and producer Arya turns 36.

IMAGE: Arya poses for a selfie with his parents and brother

Jamshad Cethirakath, better known by his stage name Arya, was born in Trikaripur, Kerala, to a Malayali family in 1980. His father, Umar Cethirakath, is a restaurateur and football champion.

Arya did his schooling at the SBOA Matriculation in Chennai. After completing his bachelor's degree in engineering, he started working as an assistant software engineer.

It was during this time, in 2003, that he got an opportunity to audition for director Jeeva's Ullam Ketkumae. The film was a multi-starrer, featuring Shaam, Arya, Asin, Laila and Pooja as college students.

Unfortunately, Ullam Ketkumae was delayed. 

Meanwhile, the second film he signed, a crime drama titled Arinthum Ariyamalum, released in May 2005, marking his acting debut. Directed by Vishnuvardhan, the film turned out to be a blockbuster and ran for over 175 days. Arya won the Filmfare award for Best Male Debut.

Within a month of its release, the long-delayed Ullam Ketkumae hit the screens. It opened to rave reviews and went on to become a huge critical and commercial success.

IMAGE: Arya camping at a jungle in Thailand.

His third film, Oru Kalluriyin Kathai, opposite Sonia Agarwal, released the same year amid huge expectations. However, it sank at the box office.

The next few years saw Arya establish himself as one of the leading actors of Tamil cinema, with films like Kalabha Kadhalan, Vishnuvardhan's gangster flick Pattiyal, Vattaram and Oram Po directed by husband-wife duo Pushkar-Gayatri, which won him much acclaim, under his belt.

In 2009, Arya was seen in the much-acclaimed role of an Aghori (Shaiva sadhu) in noted filmmaker Bala's Naan Kadavul. The film was shot over three years and Arya grew a full-length beard for his character. Naan Kadavul went on to win two National Awards.


IMAGE: Arya with her personal trainer at the gym.

Arya made his Telugu debut in 2010, with the action film, Varudu, in which he played antagonist to Allu Arjun's protagonist.

His next was director A L Vijay's period film, Madrasapattinam. It was a love story based in the 1940s and marked the debut of British model Amy Jackson. The film was a major success.

This was followed by the hilarious comedy, Boss Engira Bhaskaran, directed by M Rajesh. Arya turned producer with this film, which was co-produced under the banner, The Show People.

Boss Engira Bhaskaran became a major hit.


IMAGE: A different Elephant ride while shooting for Kadamban.

In 2011, director Bala and Arya got back together for the comedy drama, Avan Ivan. It also starred Vishal Krishna, Janani Iyer and Madhu Shalini. Though the film opened to mixed reviews, it turned out to be a success at the box office.

The year 2013 saw some major ups and downs in Arya's career. Both Settai, a remake of the 2011 Hindi film Delhi Belly, and Selvaraghavan's fantasy film Irandam Ulagam with Anushka Shetty, failed to do well at the box office.

However, debutant director Atlee's romantic comedy Raja Rani opposite Nayanthara, and director Vishnuvardhan's action thriller Arrambam which featured him alongside Ajith Kumar, were blockbusters.


IMAGE: It's selfie time for Arya and Hansika!

The edge-of-the-seat thriller Meaghamann, starring Hansika Motwani, won him acclaim and commercial success in 2014.

Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga, which released in 2015, was Arya's 25th film and his second collaboration with director M Rajesh. Despite the negative reviews, the film managed to do well at the box office. 

Bangalore Naatkal, the remake of the 2014 Malayalam film Bangalore Days, featuring an ensemble cast comprising Arya, Sri Divya, Rana Daggubati, Parvathy and Bobby Simha, had a decent run at the box office.


IMAGE: Arya enjoying lunch with Mammootty in Cochin.

The actor is currently busy with the Malayalam film, The Great Father, directed by Haneef Adeni, in which he shares screen space with Malayalam superstar Mammootty and Sneha.

 He is also working on director Ragava's epic drama, Kadamban, opposite Catherine Tresa of Madras fame.  The shooting for the film is currently underway in the forests of Kodaikanal.

Photographs: Kind courtesy Arya/Twitter

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S Saraswathi in Chennai