Suriya Sivakumar alias Saravanan, better known by his on-screen name Suriya, is an Indian actor, producer, and television presenter in the Tamil film industry. The actor who is known for playing versatile roles has been part of several commercial and critically hit movies. After making his debut in Nerukku Ner in 1997 he went on to feature in super-hit movies like Singam
, Kaakha Kaakha
and along the way, he picked up Three Filmfare Awards - South and Three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards. Apart from acting, Suriya also works as a production house named 2D Entertainment. In 2008, the actor started Agram Foundation, an NGO that funds the various philanthropic activities.
Born on 23rd July 1975, in Chennai, Suriya is the son of veteran Tamil film actor, Sivakumar and his mother`s name is Lakshmi. He attended the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan School and later went to St. Bede`s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Chennai. He obtained his B.Com degree from Loyola College, Chennai. The actor has two younger siblings, his brother Karthik Sivakumar
is an actor and his sister Brindha is married to an industrialist named Sivakumar.
Before Suriya began his career in the film industry, he used to work in a garment export factory for about Six months without revealing to anyone about his family background. While he was working at the factory, he was offered to play the lead role by Vasant in his film Aasai but he rejected the offer citing the reason that he is not interested in acting. When he eventually agreed to make his debut in the 1997 film Nerrukku Ner produced by Mani Ratnam, he took his stage name, Suriya, which was given to him by the producer.
During his initial days, the actor himself confessed that he struggled with acting due to his low confidence and lack of dancing skills. It was the late actor, Raghuvaran, whom Suriya considered as his mentor who advised him to create his own identity rather than stay under the shadow of his father.
After dating for several years, Suriya married fellow actor and co-star is many of his films, Jyothika
on September 11, 2006. The star couple has two children, a daughter named Diya and a son named Dev.
The superstar actor made his acting debut in 1997 with Nerruku Ner alongside Vijay
. Although the movie produced by Mani Ratnam
was a smashing hit, Suriya did not get any attention for his role in the movie. His next few films in the late 1990`s too were flops. With the dawn of the millennium, Suriya took his first towards becoming one of the most promising actors in the Tamil film industry. His first super hit film in 2001 was Friends co-starring Vijay. His role as a loyal friend was well appreciated by the audience and the critics.
Suriya followed his new found success and recognition with a few more hits in 2001 including Nandha, which won him the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor and Ameer Sultan`s Mounam Pesiyadhe. Over the next two years, the actor went to feature in a slew of super hit movies including Gautham Menon`s Kaakha Kaakha where he played the role of an honest police offer. The film not only opened to a grand reception at the box-office but also was praised by the critics. In the same year, he essayed the role of an happy-go-lucky village crook in Perazhagan, which also featured Vikram. In 2004, Suriya played the dual role in Perazhagan. The movie, which was both a commercial and critical success also won Suriya his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Tamil. In the same year, he played the role of a student leader in the political drama film, Aaytha Ezhuthu
. The movie which also had R. Madhavan and Siddharth
was greatly applauded by critics.
In his first and only big hit in 2005, he played the role of a man who suffers from short-term memory loss in A.R . Murugadoss
` Ghajini, which also featured Asin
. The movie went to become the third highest-grossing movie of that year and it was well received by the critics. His next release in the same year, Aaru
was only an average hit.
In November 2008, the actor once again collaborated with Gautham Menon on Menon`s biopic, Vaaranam Aayiram
where he played a dual role for the third time in his career. In the movie Suriya had to switch between the scenes as a 16-year-old son and 65-year-old father; he described his role as the most enduring one. For the film, he had to lose weight and followed a grueling fitness regime for about 8 months. The movie also features Divya Spandana
, Sameera Reddy
and Simran Bagga
in prominent roles was a commercial and critical success. His role in the movie also fetched him several noble awards including the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor, Vijay Award for Best Actor, Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Tamil and the movie went on to win National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil.
His 2010 release Singam directed by Hari and starring Anushka Shetty
where he the played the role of a bold, feisty and righteous cop was a hit. The year 2010 also marked Suriya`s debut in Bollywood as he appeared in Ram Gopal Varma`s
political-drama, Rakta Charitra
. In the subsequent year, the Singam actor appeared in his only release, 7aum Arivu
directed by A.R. Murugadoss opposite Shruti Haasan
. The movie that highlights the life of the yesteryear scholar and Buddhist Monk, Bodhidharma was a commercial hit and got mixed reception from the critics.
In 2012, the actor made his TV debut as he hosted Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi, the Tamil version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. His next movie Singham II, which was the sequel to the 2010 movie of the same name released in 2013 and his role as Durai Singam was hailed as `the film`s backbone` and the movie went to become one of the highest grossing Tamil movies of all time.
After the much huge success of Singam II, the actor next collaborated with director N. Lingusamy
for the action drama Anjaan
, wherein the played two distinct roles as a feared and respected don and a handicapped young man. The film also featuring Samantha Ruth Prabhu
in a lead role and Vidyut Jamwal
and Manoj Bajpayee
in important supporting roles, upon release, mostly received negative reviews and was declared an average grosser at the box office.
In his first release of 2015, Suirya starred in the Tamil-language supernatural comedy Masu Engira Masilamani
, which also featured Nayantara, Samuthirakani
, Premgi Amaren and Pranitha Subhash
in important roles. It got mostly positive reviews, with Behindwoods, stating, "Massu Engira Masilamani has the expected elements from a Venkat Prabhu movie, the crowd-pleasing supernatural factors treated in a slightly different ways and of course, Suriya in all his glory." Later in the year, he did an extended cameo in the children`s film Pasanga 2: Haiku
, which is the sequel to the 2009 film with the same title. It focuses on the less talked about issue of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) amongst the children in the city. The film starring child actors Nishesh and Vaishnavi and Amala Paul
and Karthik Kumar
was declared a blockbuster at the box office. After its huge success in Tamil, it was later dubbed in Telugu as Memu
In 2017, the actor reprised his role as Duraisingam in SI III
, the third installment in the Singam film series. The film co-starring Anushka Shetty and Shruti Haasan grossed more than 200 crores INR at the box office despite receiving average reviews. His other release of the year includes, Thaanaa Serndha Koottam
, an action-thriller directed by Vignesh Shivan
. His 2019 releases include NGK and Jackpot. His 2020 release includes Soorarai Pottru
. His other releases include Jai Bhim (2021), Etharkkum Thunindhavan (2022), Vikram (2022) and Rocketry: The Nambi Effect (2022).