C. Joseph Vijay (born 22 June 1974), professionally known as Vijay, is an Indian film actor and playback singer who works in Tamil cinema. He is one of the highest paid actors in Tamil cinema. Vijay is referred to by fans and media as Thalapathy (commander).Vijay at the age of ten marked his childhood cinematic debut in drama Vetri (1984), he continued to perform as child artist in films till Ithu Engal Neethi (1988), directed by his father S. A. Chandrasekhar. He then featured in the film Naalaiya Theerpu (1992) in lead role at the age of eighteen also directed by his father, but he received his breakthrough in the film Poove Unakkaga (1996), which was directed by Vikraman. To date, he has acted in 62 films as a lead actor and has won numerous awards including notable three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, one Cosmopolitan Award, one Indiatoday Award, one SIIMA Award, eight Vijay Awards, three Edison Awards, two Vikatan Awards and one National Award UK.As a playback singer, Vijay has sung over thirty songs in his films, starting with "Bombay City" (1994). He also garnered global attention for his song "Selfie Pulla" (2014). In addition to his acting and singing career, he is also praised for his dance moves in his films.
Early life and family
Vijay was born on 22 June 1974 as Joseph Vijay in Madras (now Chennai). He is a Roman Catholic. He received his first Holy Communion at a church in Chennai. His father S. A. Chandrasekhar is a Tamil film director and his mother Shoba is a playback singer and carnatic vocalist. He had a sister Vidhya, who died when she was two years old. Vidhya's death affected Vijay very much. It has been said by his mother that Vijay, who was very talkative, naughty and hyperactive as a child, became silent after Vidhya's death. His sibling Vidhya's story is depicted in the 2005 film Sukran, where Vijay played an extended cameo.[better source needed]
Vijay spent his entire childhood in Chennai. He did his schooling initially in Fathima Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Kodambakkam and later joined Balalok Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Virugambakkam and went on to pursue a degree in Visual Communications from Loyola College, though he eventually dropped out as he was more interested in pursuing acting.
Vijay married a fan of his, Sangeetha Sornalingam, a Hindu Sri Lankan Tamil whom he met in the United Kingdom, on 25 August 1999. They have two children, a son Jason Sanjay born in 2000 in London and a daughter Divya Shasha born in 2005 in Chennai. Jason Sanjay made a cameo appearance with his father in Vettaikaaran (2009) and Divya Shasha portrayed a small role as her father's pre-teen daughter in Theri (2016).
In 1996, Vijay performed in the Vikraman-directed Poove Unakkaga, which became his first acclaimed performance as well as the breakthrough in Vijay's career and made him a recognizable star. Vijay's tenth film Vasantha Vasal was followed by the action films Maanbumigu Maanavan and Selva and the romantic film Kaalamellam Kaathiruppen. In 1997, Vijay acted in Love Today and Once More, where he co-starred with the Tamil film actor Sivaji Ganesan and actress Simran, and in the Mani Ratnam-produced movie Nerukku Ner, directed by Vasanth. Kadhalukku Mariyadhai, directed by Fazil, earned Vijay a Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor. In 1998, Vijay worked in the movies Ninaithen Vandhai, Priyamudan and Nilaave Vaa. In 1999, Vijay acted in Thulladha Manamum Thullum, with Simran, which earned Vijay a Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film. This was followed by Endrendrum Kadhal, Nenjinile and the K.S.Ravikumar-directed Minsara Kanna.
From 2000, Vijay began to commit to entertaining ventures, which marked a change in trend. In 2000, he performed in Kannukkul Nilavu, and two romantic movies Kushi and Priyamanavale. His 2001 comedy-drama film Friends was directed by Siddique and featured him in the leading role alongside Suriya. Vijay also performed in Badri, an action film remake of the Telugu film Thammudu, and the romantic movie Shahjahan. In 2002, he starred in the action film Thamizhan alongside Priyanka Chopra, making her acting debut before establishing herself as a leading Bollywood actress. Later, he featured in the romantic film Youth and the action film Bagavathi. Vijay began 2003 with the films Vaseegara and Pudhiya Geethai.
In late 2003, Vijay starred in the action-romance flick Thirumalai, co-starring Jyothika, directed by debutant Ramana and produced by K. Balachander's Kavithalaya Productions, which featured him in a different way. Thirumalai was considered a turning point in Vijay's career. Udhaya, which began filming in 2002, but was delayed, was finally released in early 2004. Ghilli, a remake of the Telugu film Okkadu was released next in 2004, and completed 200 days in theatres in Tamil Nadu. Directed by S. Dharani and produced by A. M. Rathnam, it co-starred Trisha and Prakash Raj. Ghilli is the first Tamil film of all time to gross over ₹500 million in the domestic box office.
It was followed by Madhurey, directed by Ramana Madhesh. In 2005, he starred in the Perarasu-directed action film Thirupaachi, followed by a guest appearance in Sukran, the romantic comedy Sachien, co-starring Genelia D'Souza, directed by John Mahendran, and Sivakasi, starring Asin, again directed by Perarasu. Vijay's next film Aathi, was produced by his father S. A. Chandrasekhar and directed by Ramana, and was released in 2006. In early 2007, Vijay starred in the gangster film Pokkiri, a remake of the Telugu film of the same name. Directed by Prabhu Deva, it became the third highest grossing Tamil film of 2007. Pokkiri is the first Tamil film of all-time to complete a 100-day theatrical run in Kerala. The film received critical acclaim.
In late 2007, Vijay starred in the psychological thriller film Azhagiya Tamil Magan, directed by Bharathan, in which he played a dual role for the first time in his career. He played the roles of both the antagonist and protagonist. The film was only a moderate success at the box office. Vijay was honoured with people's choice Superstar award in 2008 Vijay TV awards ceremony. In 2008, he starred in the action comedy film Kuruvi, again under Dharani's direction, and produced by Red Giant Movies. The year 2009 commenced with the action film Villu, in which Vijay teamed up with Prabhu Deva. His next film Vettaikaaran, directed by Babusivan and produced by AVM Productions and distributed by Sun Pictures became one of the highest grossing Tamil film of 2009. In 2010, he acted in action comedy film Sura, also distributed by Sun Pictures.
In early 2011, Vijay joined up with director Siddique again, for the romantic comedy Kaavalan, a Tamil remake of the Malayalam film Bodyguard. It received positive responses from both viewers and critics and was a box office hit. Kaavalan was screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival in China. During Diwali the same year, his next film, the action film Velayudham, directed by M. Raja and produced by Venu Ravichandran was released. Velayudham became one of the top-grossing films of 2011.
Vijay's next release was Nanban, the Tamil remake of the Bollywood film 3 Idiots, where he played the role which was played by Aamir Khan in the original. Directed by S. Shankar, it was released during the Pongal weekend of 2012 and emerged a major financial success. Nanban was screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia. Vijay's performance in the film was praised by critics, including leading Indian actor Kamal Haasan. Nanban went on to complete 100 days theatrical run. He made a special appearance in the 2012 Bollywood film Rowdy Rathore, starring Akshay Kumar and directed by Prabhu Deva.
Vijay's next film, the action thriller Thuppakki, directed by A. R. Murugadoss and produced by S. Dhanu, was released on Diwali 2012 to mostly positive reviews. The film became the third Tamil film to enter the ₹1 billion (US$14 million) club after Sivaji (2007) and Enthiran (2010). Thuppakki became the highest-grossing film of Vijay's career, and the first of his films to gross over ₹1,800,000,000. His next film Thalaivaa, directed by A. L. Vijay, was released on 9 August 2013 worldwide and had a delayed release in Tamil Nadu. His next film Jilla, co-starring Kajal Aggarwal and Mohanlal, and directed by R. T. Neason, was released on a Pongal weekend in 2014 and ended up as a box office hit.
Vijay again worked with AR Murugadoss in the action thriller Kaththi, co-starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Neil Nitin Mukesh and produced by Ayngaran International, which was released on Diwali 2014 to mostly positive reviews. It was the highest grossing Tamil film of 2014. In 2015, the fairy tale fantasy film Puli was released. His next film, the action-thriller Theri, directed by Atlee, co-starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Amy Jackson and Produced by S. Dhanu, was released in April 2016 to positive reviews. Theri is the highest-grossing film of 2016 and his second film to gross over ₹1,720,000,000.
"I've given hits and blockbusters but what I've truly earned is my fans ... Ignore all negativity. The two things that decide a person's fate are: his determination when he has nothing, and his attitude when he has everything."
—Vijay on his film career
His next, the masala film Bairavaa, directed by Bharathan, co-starring Keerthy Suresh and produced by Vijaya Productions was released in January 2017. His next film, the action-thriller Mersal, directed by Atlee, co-starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Kajal Aggarwal and Nithya Menen and produced by Sri Thenandal Films was released in late 2017. Mersal became the highest-grossing film of Vijay's career, and the first of his films to gross over ₹2,500,000,000. Mersal was also released in Japan in four major cities Tokyo, Ebina, Osako and Nakaya. For his role in Mersal, Vijay was nominated at the National Film Awards UK in 2018 and also the film won the Best Foreign Language Film award at the National Film Awards UK. Mersal was his second film to release in China after Kaavalan (2011). Mersal was screened at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea. His next film, the action film Sarkar directed by A R Murugadoss and produced by Sun Pictures released on diwali 2018. Sarkar is the highest grossing film of 2018.
In the media and other works
Vijay has been included several times in the Indian edition of the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, based on the earnings of Indian celebrities. In 2012, he was ranked #28, in 2013, he was ranked #49, in 2014, he held the #41 slot, in 2016, he held the #61 slot, and in 2017, he was ranked #31. In 2017, a third standard Central Board of Secondary Education textbook has displayed Vijay's image with veshti and shirt in reference to the traditional attire worn by Tamil men during Pongal festival in South India.