- Actor, Writer, Producer, Voice
Jan 16, 1978 in Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India
Jan 16, 1978 in Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India
One of the most popular and successful actors of Tamil Cinema, Vijay Sethupathi`s rise to fame and stardom is phenomenal. Having started his career playing small and supporting roles, for the first few years he almost went unnoticed but to turn around and make both the audience and the critics appreciate his roles is no mean feat. His choice of films have been immaculate, and on the back of his stellar performances in Pizza, Thenmerku Paruvakaatru, Soodhu Kavvum, and Sethupathi, his fans endearingly called him Makkal Selvam (People`s Son). Apart from being a successful actor, Vijay Sethupathi has donned other roles as a producer, lyricist and dialogue write with eloquence.
Born in Rajapalayam, Virudhunagar District, Vijay Sethupathi spent most of his childhood there until he moved to Chennai after completing his class six. After moving to Chennai, he attended MGR Higher Secondary School in Kodambakkam and later pursued his undergraduate degree in B.Com from Dhanraj Baid Jain College, Chennai. Whilst studying, Vijay did a lot of odd jobs like working as a phone booth operator, and as a cashier at a fast food joint to earn pocket money and fund his education.
After finishing his college, the actor took up a job as an accountant in Dubai, UAE. He worked in Dubai till 2003 and returned to India and started working in the interior decoration business with his friends. It was only after Balu Mahendra told Vijay Sethupathi that he had a very photogenic face and encouraged him to pursue a career in acting, he considered acting as a career option.
After returning to India from Dubai in 2003, Vijay married his girlfriend, Jessy whom he had met online. The couple has two children, a son named Surya and a daughter named Shreeja.
Vijay Sethupathi started his acting career by appearing in smaller roles, mostly as the friend of the lead character. While the actor did not find any major role in movies, he simultaneously worked in TV series` like Penn and in short films. He got his big break in 2009 when he collaborated with director Suseenthiram in his sports drama film Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu. Impressed by Vijay performances in films, Suseenthiran recommended Vijay Sethupathi to director Seenu Ramasamy for his film, Thenmerku Paruvakaatru and he got his maiden lead role. The movie released in December 2010 and it went on to win Three National Film Awards including the Best Tamil Feature Film.
The year 2012 marked a turning point in Vijay Sethupathi`s career; he had three releases in the year and all of them were critically and commercially successful. In his first film of the year, Sundarapandian he played the negative role. The movie directed by S.R. Prabhakaran was a commercial success and received positive reviews. He next played the lead in Karthik Subbaraj`s directorial debut Pizza. The movie co-starring Remya Nambeesan released in October 2012 and it emerged as a major critical and commercial success. For his last movie of the year, the actor collaborated with the debutant director Balaji Tharaneetharan for the comedy entertainer Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom. The movie, which also stars Gayathrie Shankar as the female lead had Vijay playing the role of a young man, Prem who sustains short-term memory loss just two days before his marriage. His performance in the movie was highly praised by the critics and the movie too was critically acclaimed.
In 2013, the actor starred in Nalan Kumarswamy`s crime comedy film Soodhu Kavvum, which is based on the concept of how silly talks has engulfed the day-to-today lives of the people in the modern society was received with positive reviews and it emerged to be a massive commercial hit. Talking about Vijay Sethupathi`s role in the movie, Indian Express wrote, "Vijay Sethupathi has become a darling of the masses. Scene after Scene, the audience hoots and cheers for him in unison.
Vijay continued his good run at the box office and continued to deliver stellar performances in 2015. His first release was the political thriller Purampokku Engira Pohuvudamai directed by S.P. Jananathan. The film co-starring Arya, Shaam, and Karthika Nair revolves around the relevance of capital punishment in a democratic society. Upon release, the film got positive reviews and Vijay Sethupathi`s performance in the film was appreciated by the critics as well as the audience. Later in July 2015, the actor appeared in Biju Viswanath`s critically acclaimed film Orange Mittai. The film also starring Ramesh Thilak and Aashritha premiered at the 20th Busan International Film Festival and it emerged to be a commercial hit.
After the success of Sethupathi (2016), the actor teamed up with director Nalan Kumarasamy for the Tamil romantic comedy-drama Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum, which was the official remake of the Korean film My Dear Desperado. The film co-starring Madonna Sebastian opened to wide positive critical reviews and emerged to be the highest grossing film in Chennai in its opening weekend. Later in the year, the actor delivered yet another stellar performance in the critically acclaimed satirical film Aandavan Kattalai co-starring Ritika Singh, Pooja Devariya and Nassar.
By his own standards, Vijay Sethupathi had quite a subdued year in 2017. Amongst his other release of the year, Vikram Vedha was well received by both the audience and the critics. His character as Vedha, which had shades of grey was much appreciated and won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Tamil.
The year 2018 saw the actor in a diverse range of roles in several well-received movies. Of these, his turn as a shrewd police officer named Rasool in Mani Ratnam`s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, photographer Ram in C. Prem Kumar`s 96 and ageing thespian Ayya Aadhimoolam in Balaji Tharaneetharan`s Seethakaathi received much appreciation from the critics and the audience alike. The Rajinikanth starrer Petta (2019), the ensemble thriller Super Deluxe (2019), the Telugu historical war film Syeraa Narasimha Reddy (2019) and the action thriller Sindhubaadh (2019) are some of Vijay`s other notable film credits in recent times. His other releases include Pizza 2 (2020), Master (2021) and Uppena (2021).