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After an hour of waiting at the well-lit Arjun Sarja's Chennai residence/office, I could feel his presence minutes before he reached the door. The charming, ever-fit Action King stormed in with a gracious smile, which gave me goose bumps.

“Very sorry for the delay, was busy with Jai-Hind 2 dubbing. Had anything to drink or eat ?”

The veteran actor refused to have a laid back position while being interviewed and the King of action, who is very humble by nature, makes you comfortable before the interview even begins.

Ashok Babu became Action King Arjun! Now Jai-Hind is becoming Jai-Hind 2. Why such a long gap for a sequel?

Jai-Hind was meant to be left alone. The director in me wanted to do another sensible action film at the right time. When I was continuously busy with other projects, there was always this urge luring me into direction again. I was running short of excitement. There was nothing different. I wanted to do a straight action film in Hindi so to make sure the subject reaches to a larger audience, but during budgeting we realized it has to be stalled. That's when I thought of coming back to Tamil audience and give them the typical ‘my’ type film with lots of action and patriotism of course. So, why not make it a sequel to a hit film Jai- Hind (also a multilingual), considering the selling factor it has got?

Jai-Hind 2 is a proper mass masala film. It has all the ingredients to make it a viable commercial product with proper proportions of music, fight, comedy, emotions and also an important factor being highlighted. Though films are meant to entertain, I make it a point to give viewers something more than just entertainment. Jai-Hind 2 talks about education system in India. Be it good or bad, anything told through a medium like cinema reaches faster and wider. Why not use that to tell people about the status of education system in India? We've also made it a point to not make the film sound too preachy. I shouldn't talk about my own film, but I hope this film does full justice.

We have done so much of research to actually come up with a story. Detailed study was done across the nation to exactly know about education being dealt as a choice, a comfort or luxury among people of different demography and social economic status. Without education you go handicapped. Today's children are tomorrow's India. If education is compromised, then we are definitely not marching towards a better India. Jai- Hind 2 is a dedication to this!

You were the very first to come up with a title card saying ‘A film by Arjun and team’. How has the team come by for this film?

There is nothing without a team. I believe in unity. How can one single person pull off a movie? I can write the story and direct it, but I still need a dedicated team shaping it. To my one line, lots of people have given life. From the cinematographer to music director to art director to ensemble list of actors, everybody has given their best. A list of newbies are a part of this version of Jai-Hind. Thanks to Brahmanandham, Mayilsamy, Manobala and other comedians for bringing back the unforgettable Goundamani-Senthil combination-like scenes in the sequel. Everybody has contributed to make this one a quality product.

Something I can assure of this movie is, the way the core concept has been treated and dealt. We have used non-linear narration to tell the story with lots of twists and turns. It is only because of the team work, we were able to complete the movie at the first place. So, it will be ‘A film by Arjun and team’ this time also.

Nobody dislikes you. How is that?

I am so fortunate. God's grace may be. I generally don't attend public functions. I prefer maintaining a low profile. But to this, I don't have an answer. I'm gifted may be!

What is your connect with Lord Hanuman?

He is my friend. He is my Super-man! There has always been this connect with him since childhood. More than praying to him on a regular basis, I talk to him and interact on a regular basis. If it’s a role of Hanuman to be reprised, directors approach me. Even people prefer gifting me Hanuman idols. I always wanted to do something that will stand the test of time. That's how the Aanjaneya temple at the outskirts of Chennai started. (140 ton, 35 feet tall statue of Aanjaneya) I never thought I could come up with something like this. This is one thing that I'm actually proud of.

Have the action driven roles limited your acting skills?

What to do? That is what people expect of me. When I try so hard to come up with a spell-binding performance, I still get congratulated only for the action sequences. Thanks to films like Gentleman, Saadhu, Rhythm, Prasad, Kadal, the actor in me, once in a while, pops out accredited with awards also sometimes. This is one factor that's bothering me. I have done so much of acting in Jai-Hind 2, but I fear the action portions might overshadow it. We have incurred too much of risk to choreograph very unique fights in the movie. People's anticipation on my action films will be fulfilled here for sure.
Your kick looks painful and convincing. You are the indisputable action king. What is your belief on violence?

Depends... I need a day to answer this. It is not positive. It is not right. It is just not happening!

A word about Rhythm… (Our favorite movie of all time)

I generally don't watch my films. Even Gentleman and Mudhalvan, I just watched them twice. But whenever Rhythm is being played in TV, I sit for a while and try watching the movie. It is a very important film in my career. I am glad of having been part of it.

You have been around for decades. You have worked with a generation of directors. What is your understanding on the present trend in Tamil cinema?

There is nothing of those sorts. Any movie that guarantees entertainment in a presentable manner, wins. This is my experience. Trend is just a belief system. Audiences are always ready to watch quality products. Give a dedicated, 100 % product, people will love it.

What has cinema given to you?

It has given me life. It has given me love, support, care and fame. No other profession gives all of this in one shot. It made me popular. It is a gift. You respect it, it will give you back.

What keeps you fit?

I have been practicing martial arts from my childhood days. I make it a compulsion to exercise 4 times a week. I aim for basic level of fitness always. Regular workouts, proper diet and some focus and commitment over a healthy life will keep you happy and fresh. No fried food, no drinking and uncompromising sleep. These keep me fit.

Your love for your country, how do you want to endorse it?

Endorse? As a responsible citizen of this country, we are bound to certain parameters. It is how you have to be. You have to unconditionally love your country. It is just there in our blood right? Why will somebody try being so dutiful and patriotic about the nation? We have inspiring freedom fighters who, fought for the freedom we enjoy now. I am doing nothing extra.
I am an ardent Kamal fan. I didn't even ask for the story. He approached me for the role. I said yes!

It was just another role to me. If you play the role of a carpenter, you need training and insights. Enacting CM was normal. Not much of homework. All credits go to Shankar.

My daughter? One fine day, she came to me and showed interest to act. She has got a start now.

Such a cultured human being! One of the nicest gentlemen I have worked with. It was lovely working with him.

25 years young with
26 years of experience

How humorous are you in real life?
I don't think I'm humorous. But I love humor more than anything else. Even more than action parts! Those days, with Goundamani, it was so hard. I will be laughing during takes. Then times with Vadivelu were also fun. I enjoy doing comedy scenes.