During the time when hero-oriented films, and ‘mass’ heroes like Ajith and Vijay were ruling the box-office, the son of famous producer Kasthuri Raja debuted in the film industry. And back then, this tag was his only identity. Despite his first film Thulluvadho Ilamai doing well at the box-office, not many took notice of the actor.

The turning point in the actor’s career came in the form of his brother’s directorial debut Kaadhal Kondein, in which he played the role of an obsessed lover. This is when the Tamil film audience began admiring him. But the world took notice of him only with the popular song ‘Kolaveri Di‘. Does this ring a bell? Yes, the actor we’re talking about is Dhanush! Now, after completing over a decade in the film industry, the actor is one of the most popular and bankable stars of Tamil cinema. On the occasion of his birthday, let’s take a look at some less-known facts about the actor.

Dhanush is his screen name. His real name is Venkatesh Prabhu Kasthuri Raja. When Dhanush entered the film industry at the age of 16, he decided to opt for a stage name because he shared his original name name with famous Tamil actors, Prabhu and Prabhu Deva. It is said that Dhanush took inspiration from the film Kurudipunal (starring Kamal Haasan) which featured a mission named ‘Operation Dhanush‘. He was so impressed with the name that he decided to call himself ‘Dhanush.’ 
Dhanush was initially reluctant to join the film industry. It was because of his father and brother that he decided to give it a try. But before the acting bug bit, the star wanted to pursue a course in hotel management and become a chef. Imagine Dhanush playing the role of a chef in a film! 
Apart from singing Kolaveri Di, a song that became everybody’s ear worm, Dhanush also wrote the lyrics of the song. And he claims that it took him just six minutes to pen! The super-hit number has paved the way for several imitation songs.
Even one in the Turkish Coca-cola advertisement. 

Dhanush claims to be a spiritual person more than a religious person. And he reportedly derives his spiritual energy from Lord Shiva. He has even named his eldest son Yatra, which means pilgrimage and he has named his second son Linga, after the Shiva Linga. 
In 2011, Dhanush was voted the ‘Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity‘ by PETA, and was also named their brand ambassador. Dhanush has also worked with WWF to support the Earth Hour initiative in 2012. After facing much criticism for the number of smoking scenes in his recent film Maari, the actor has now promised that he will not smoke on screen. Looks like he takes feedback very seriously!
The actor’s upcoming projects include VIP – 2, Vada Chennai, and Prabhu Solomon’s untitled project. Here’s wishing the actor the very best for his upcoming films.