A software engineer by profession and actor by choice, Jamshad Cethirakath, better known by his stage name Arya, is a Tamil movie actor and producer. However, he has also appeared in Malayalam and Telugu movies. Making his debut in 2005 with the Tamil movie Arinthum Ariyamalum, Arya went on to win the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut - South for his performance. In 2010, he founded his own production house The Show People, which soon ventured into film distribution in 2013. The same year, in 2010, he became associated with the production house August Cinema. The actor and producer was also awarded the Kalaimamani Award in 2011 by the Tamil Nadu government for his contribution in the field of art before he was cast in Ghajinikanth (2018).
Born to Umar Cethirakath, a restaurateur, who owns the restaurant Sea Shells in Chennai, and former footballer, and his wife Jameela Cethirakath, Arya has two younger brothers: Shahir Cethirakath, who, like him, is an actor and is known by his stage name Sathya, and Razi. He was born on the 11th of December, 1980 in Trikaripur, Kerala, Arya studied at the SBOA Matriculation and Higher Secondary School, in Chennai, following which he completed his engineering studied at the Crescent Engineering College in Vandalur, Chennai.
As an Actor
After graduating with an engineering degree, Arya went on to pursue his career and began working as an assistant software engineer. However, he was approached by cinematographer Jeeva, who lived around his vicinity, for a screen test for his movie Ullam Ketkumae. Although he was signed for the movie, owing to its delay, his debut movie was the 2005 Tamil drama film Arinthum Ariyamalum for which he was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut - South. Playing the role of a gangster`s adopted son, Arya`s debut performance was lauded by the critics with many stating that he has everything in him to make the big league. Following the success of his debut, he was seen in Ullam Ketkumae, which was supposed to be his debut and the film was, both, a commercial and critical success.
Despite the commercial dip, in his third release, Oru Kalluriyin Kathai, Arya emerged as one of the rising stars of Tamil cinema with critics lauding his performance. He was next seen in debutante director Igore`s romantic thriller Kalabha Kadhalan opposite Renuka Menon. The movie is about a young girl who finds herself attracted to her own sister`s husband. The movie, although low-budget, managed to gather a lot of praise for Arya, but was a commercial failure. The movie that placed Arya in the A-league Tamil actors was Pattiyal, which focussed on the lives of two ruthless underworld hitmen. The movie starring Bharath, Pooja, and Padmapriya not only won critical acclaim but was also well-received by the audience, and was declared a super hit.
Reuniting with Pooja, Arya was seen in the 2007 comedy Oram Po
, which was originally titled Auto. The movie saw Arya playing the role of Chandru, a cocky auto-rickshaw driver by day and racer by night. The movie was extremely well-received with critics from The Hindu commending Arya`s performance stating that he is terrific as the cocky yet lovable Chandru. A stark contrast from his portrayal of Chandru, Arya played the role of Rudran, an Aghori from Kasi, in Bala`s Naan Kadavul
, which also starred Pooja. The movie was well-received and went on to win various awards and nominations.
After a series of well-received and commercially successful movies, Arya was cast alongside Trisha Krishnan in the romantic thriller Sarvam
in 2009. The movie opened to mixed to negative reviews and failed at the box-office. Making his Telugu debut, Arya was seen in the action movie Varudu
opposite Allu Arjun, playing the role of the antagonist in the movie. Although the movie opened to mixed reviews, Arya`s performance received immense praise with few critics stating that his performance outshone Allu Arjun`s performance. His next was A. L. Vijay`s period drama Madrasapattinam
opposite Amy Jackson. Based on a love story set in the 1940`s, Madrasapattinam topped Chennai`s box office charts for 10 weeks.
In 2010, Arya was seen in the romantic comedy Boss Engira Bhaskaran
alongside Nayanthara and Santhanam. The movie was the first blockbuster of Arya`s career since it was screened for over 100 days at multiplexes, and also marked Arya`s first venture as a producer under his banner The Show People. Collaborating for the second time with Bala, Arya was seen in Avan Ivan
alongside Vishal in 2011. Although the movie opened to a lukewarm reception, the critics lauded the lead cast for their performance. The following year, he was a part of Lingusamy`s action entertainer Vettai
, which also starred Madhavan, Amala Paul, and Sameera Reddy. Arya played the role of a local thug, who defends his timid police officer brother. The movie went on to become a commercial success with critics, yet again, praising Arya`s performance.
The year 2013 saw Arya in four movies, namely R. Kannan`s comedy film Settai
, Atlee`s romantic comedy Raja Rani
, Vishnuvardhan`s action thriller Arrambam
, and Selvaraghavan`s magnum opus, fantasy film Irandam Ulagam
. Of the four, Raja Rani and Arrambam went on to become commercial successes. Appearing in an ensemble cast comprising of Sri Divya, Bobby Simha, Rana Daggubati, Raai Laxmi, Parvathy, and Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Arya was seen in the 2016 Tamil remake of the 2014 Malayalam movie Bangalore Days, titled Bangalore Naatkal
. Upon release, the film received mixed critical reviews and emerged to be a box office failure. The actor next made a cameo appearance in the Srikanth and N. Santhanam starrer sci-fi comedy Nambiyaar, which was written and directed by Ganeshaa. Arya more than made up for his failures in 2016 with a stellar performance in The Great Father, a Malayalam film directed by Haneef Adeni, which became one of the highest in the Malayalam industry. His other release of the year includes Kadamban
, a Tamil epic action drama film directed by N. Ragavan and Mande Suryudu
, a Telugu thriller drama directed by Magizh Thirumeni. His other mvoie credits includes Ghajinikanth
(2019) and Kaappaan
As a Producer
The actor established his own production house called The Show People in 2010, and under the banner, he produced the romantic comedy Boss Engira Bhaskaran in 2010, which also starred him in the lead role alongside Nayanthara and Santhanam. The movie not only was declared a commercial hit, but went on to run for 100 weeks in multiplexes. By 2013, The Show People also ventured into film distribution and were official distributors of the movie Irandaam Ulagam. His next as a producer was the 2014 movie Amara Kaaviyam, starring his brother Sathya and Miya George. The same year, he produced and distributed the movie Jeeva, following which he produced Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga. Among his other projects are Double Barrel, Darvinte Parinamam, and Anuraga Karikkin Vellam.