‘Mission: Chapter 1 has a good mix of emotions and action’: Arun Vijay

Actor Arun Vijay talks about his first-ever Pongal release Mission: Chapter 1, challenges in shooting action, working with director Vijay and more
Kollywood actor Arun Vijay (Photo | EPS)
Kollywood actor Arun Vijay (Photo | EPS)

Mission: Chapter 1 was initially titled Achcham Enbathu Illaye, which is a famous line from the iconic poem by Bharathiyaar. Interestingly enough, the team of the upcoming film braved many challenges while making the film. If the shooting in the UK was disrupted due to the death of Queen Elizabeth, the film sustained many production hurdles, including the destruction of sets. Even Arun Vijay had to undergo physical obstacles to play his character Gunasekharan.

“There is a fight sequence placed inside a bus. I sustained a ligament tear but took the basic first aid and finished the sequence. While watching the film, I might be able to guess the portions I was hurt, but the audience wouldn’t be able to. Things are bound to happen if you are an action hero,” says Arun Vijay, who sports a hand cast from a recent injury sustained from one of his action rehearsals.

While this might be one of the few challenges that the crew faced, the actor goes on to elaborate on how there were more practical difficulties in shooting the film predominantly set in London. “We had to get a lot of permissions to shoot. Vijay meticulously planned on how to get the job done, and the team rallied behind him,” he adds.

However, the team also faced certain unavoidable circumstances beyond control when their sets were damaged not once but twice. Arun Vijay recalls, “After we shot in London, we had built a jail set in Chennai for the interiors. The jail episodes are crucial to the film. But we had our sets worth crores go spoilt due to rains, twice. But kudos to the technical team for recreating the London jail. On top of this, our sets would have at least 600-700 people, and Vijay’s expertise in handling crowds came in handy. He keeps the edit in mind and shoots exactly what he wants. In that way, we saved a lot of time and resources. At the same, I must thank Silva Master, who helped me a lot in the stunts and uniquely orchestrated them.”

For Arun Vijay, the film is special in more than one way. It is not only his most expensive film but also his maiden Pongal release. Releasing alongside Captain Miller and Ayalaan, Mission: Chapter 1 marks Arun Vijay’s first collaboration with director Vijay. “I have wanted to work with Vijay for a long time and we have had a couple of meetings too. I wanted to do films like Deiva Thirumagal and Madrasapattinam. Vijay is very good at showcasing emotional bonds. When I met Vijay, I thought it would be one such film, but he narrated Mission and wanted to cast me for the action part of the film. But he also said there is an emotional quotient, in which I saw more potential and challenges.”

Mission: Chapter 1 is primarily about the father and daughter bond between the characters of Arun Vijay and child artist Iyal. “I know Iyal was part of Leo too, but we had shot the film first. However, this has become an added advantage for us. Besides this, we also have a surprise element in my character, which I hope works well with the audience,” Arun Vijay hints.

Starting his 2024 account with Mission: Chapter 1, Arun Vijay says that it is a proper theatrical film with superior visuals, quality sound, and a thorough action extravaganza. “Mission: Chapter 1 has a good mix of Vijay’s emotions and my actions. So, I hope this film will tick all the boxes for being a perfect entertainer. I am also happy to have shared the screen space with performers from various industries like Nimisha Sajayan, Bharat Bopanna, and Amy Jackson. And it’s also my first Pongal release. What else would I want?” signs off Arun Vijay.

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