Vijay Sethupathi

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Vijay Sethupathi
Vijay Sethupathi.jpg
Born (1978-01-16) 16 January 1978 (age 36)
Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India
Other names Vijay Sethupathy
Occupation Actor
Years active 2004 – present[1]
Spouse(s) Jessy

Vijay Sethupathi is an Indian film actor, who appears in Tamil films. Following a stint as an accountant, he began considering an acting career. He was working as a background actor and playing minor supporting roles for over five years,[2] before playing his first lead role in Seenu Ramasamy's Thenmerku Paruvakaatru (2010).[3] He went on to star in Pizza (2012), Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom (2012) and Soodhu Kavvum (2013), which earned critical success and turned Vijay Sethupathi into a popular name in Tamil cinema.[4]

Early life[edit]

Vijay Sethupathi was born in Rajapalayam in Virudhunagar district and moved to Chennai when he was in Class six.[5] He did his schooling in MGR Higher Secondary School in Kodambakkam.[5] According to Sethupathy, he was a "below-average student right from school" and was neither interested in sports nor extra-curricular activities. [1][6] He graduated with a B.Com degree from DB Jain College in Thoraipakam,[6] following which he worked for three years as an accountant in Dubai, U.A.E.[7] Unhappy with his job, he returned to India in 2003.[7][8] He recalls that once Balu Mahendra remarked that he had a "very photogenic face",[7] and motivated him to pursue an acting career.[9]



He subsequently joined the Chennai-based theatre group Koothu-P-Pattarai as an accountant and actor where he observed actors from close quarters.[10][11] He made his beginnings as a background actor, particularly playing the role of the lead character's friend in a few films.[1] Besides he acted in television series, including the well-known series Penn that began in March 2006,[12] as well as several short films as part of the television show Nalaya Iyakunar for Kalaignar TV.[8] He worked with Karthik Subbaraj on many short films, who later cast him in his first feature film,[1] subsequently yield him the Best Actor award for one his films at the Norway Tamil Film Festival short film competition.[13][14]

Sethupathi accompanied a group of actors who went to director Selvaraghavan's studio to audition for his gangster film Pudhupettai (2006) and was selected to play Dhanush's friend in the film.[8] Following Pudhupettai, he was associated with a Tamil-Kannada bilingual film called Akhaada. While he was selected to play the lead in the Tamil version, the director offered him the antagonistic role in its Kannada version. However, the film did not see a theatrical release.[8] After making an appearance in Prabu Solomon's Lee (2007),[15] he was cast by director Suseenthiran in minor supporting roles in his first two projects, Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu (2009) and Naan Mahaan Alla (2010). Sethupathi would later credit Suseenthiran with having had an "important role in helping him realise his dreams".[10] Suseenthiran, furthermore, recommended Sethupathi to director Seenu Ramasamy and Sethupathi landed his first lead role in Ramasamy's drama film Thenmerku Paruvakaatru (2011), in which he portrayed a shepherd.[16] Although initial reviews were mixed,[17][18][19] the film went on to win three National Film Awards including the prize for the Best Tamil Feature Film of that year.[20]


2012 marked a turning point in Vijay Sethupathi's career;[2][21] all his three releases were critical and commercial successes, resulting in a rise in his popularity.[4][22] He was first seen in a negative role in Sundarapandian which featured M. Sasikumar in the lead role,[23] and then essayed the lead roles in the directorial debuts of Karthik Subbaraj and Balaji Tharaneetharan, the thriller film Pizza and the comedy entertainer Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom, respectively. He enacted the role of Michael, a delivery boy in the former and a young man named Prem who sustains short-term memory loss two days before his marriage in the latter, with his performance in both films being praised by critics.[24][25] Malini Mannath from The New Indian Express in her review of Pizza wrote: "Sethupathy, a delight to watch, carries the entire film on his shoulders. His voice perfectly modulated, he proves his versatility and acumen to handle any role. Michael’s nightmarish experience, and his fear and horror when he’s trapped in the mansion, is perfectly conveyed by the actor".[26] With regard to Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom, The Times of India reviewer M. Suganth cited that Sethupathy "continues his superb show from Pizza conveying Prem's peculiar condition with vacant stares and amusing pauses between his lines", further noting: "That he never makes the character's repetitive dialogues irritating is a proof of his terrific timing".[27] According to a survey published by BBC Tamil, Pizza and Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom claimed the first two spots in a Best Films list,[28] and both films competed at the 2013 Norway Tamil Film Festival,[29] while Sethupathi won two awards, one for each film, at the Edison Awards and the Big FM Tamil Entertainment Awards.[30][31] By the end of the year, named Sethupathi as one of 2012's best Tamil actors, [32] and called him "the rising star of Kollywood". [32] whilst film critic Baradwaj Rangan stated that Sethupathi had become "[...] sort of [an] indie-film star, the first ever in Tamil cinema".[33]

In 2013, he was first seen in the crime comedy Soodhu Kavvum that saw him essaying the role of a forty-year old kidnapper. The film opened to extremely positive reviews and has become a huge success at the box office. Malini Mannath from The New Indian Express in her review wrote: "Engaging screenplay, deft narration, well-etched characters and twists and humour generated at unexpected moments, make Soodhu Kavvum a wacky jolly fun ride. It’s laudable that the actor doesn’t hesitate to take a role that has him essaying a 40-year-old man, greying and with a paunch".[34] The Times of India reviewer N. Venkateswaran cited that "Soodhu Kavvum marks a hat-trick of successes for Vijay Sethupathy after the thriller 'Pizza' and the situational comedy 'Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom'. His knack of choosing good roles and working with new directors brimming with ideas will stand him in good stead, as also the work he puts in to portray each character. He put on weight and grew a beard to play Das, and the look fits him to a 'T'".[35] His next release was Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara, directed by Gokul. It was met with positive reviews by critics and Vijay Sethupathi's performance was praised.

Sethupathi's next films were Rummy and Pannaiyarum Padminiyum, both being directed by debutants.[36] Pannaiyarum Padminiyum, based on its same-titled short film, revolved around an old man and his vintage car Premier Padmini, with Sethupathi starring as its chauffeur.[37] He will be seen in S. P. Jananathan's Purampokku, which will feature him and Arya in the lead roles. Shooting for the film started in November 2013.[38] Other films he has signed up are Sangudevan, directed by Sudhakar where he plays a lorry driver, Idam Porul Eval directed by Seenu Ramasamy, Vanmam directed by Jayakrishna, Vasantha Kumaran directed by Anand Kumaresan and Mellisai directed by Ranjit Jeyakodi.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Vijay Sethupathi has three siblings, one elder brother, one younger brother and one younger sister.[5] He returned from Dubai in 2003 to marry his girlfriend, whom he had met and dated online.[5] He has two children, one son (Surya) and one daughter (Shreeja).[39]


Year Film Role Notes
2004 M. Kumaran S/O Mahalakshmi Uncredited extra[40]
2006 Pudhupettai Anbu's Henchman
2007 Lee
2009 Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu
2010 Naan Mahaan Alla Ganesh
2010 Bale Pandiya Pandiya's friend
2010 Thenmerku Paruvakaatru Murugan
2011 Varnam Muthu
2012 Sundarapandian Jegan
2012 Pizza Michael Karthikeyan SIIMA Award for Best Actor
BIG FM Most Entertaining Actor of the Year
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil
2012 Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom Prem Kumar Edison Award for Best Male Rising Star
Vijay Special Jury Award
2013 Soodhu Kavvum Das
2013 Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara Kumaravel ("Sumar Moonji" Kumar)
2014 Rummy Joseph
2014 Pannaiyarum Padminiyum Murugesan
2014 Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam Filming (Special appearance)
2014 Mellisai Filming[5]
2014 Vasantha Kumaran Filming[41]
2014 Purampokku Filming
2014 Idam Porul Eval Filming[5]
2014 Vanmam Radha Pre-production
2014 Orange mittai Filming
Short features


  1. ^ a b c d "I was rejected even for the role of a junior artist". The Times of India. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "The new Vijay on the block!, Vijay Sethupathy, Pizza". Behindwoods. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Audio Beat: Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom". The Hindu. 21 July 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Vijay Sethupathi signs up 'Rummy'". The Times of India. TNN. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Sudhish kamath (31 March 2010). "Full of pizzazz!". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h My Struggle is my Strength: Vijay Sethupathi | Deccan Chronicle
  7. ^ a b c y. sunita chowdhary (2 December 2012). "In a happy space". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d k. r. manigandan (16 September 2012). "Beyond numbers". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "30 Minutes with Vijay Sethupathi | 30 Minutes With Us". iStream. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  10. ^ a b k. r. manigandan (16 September 2012). "Beyond numbers". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Vijay Sethupathi: From an accountant to the most bankable Tamil actor – Economic Times". The Economic Times. 29 June 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Metro Plus Madurai / Telewatch : Another soap". The Hindu. 4 March 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Metro Plus Bangalore / Columns : The 'reel' life". The Hindu. 3 June 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  14. ^ Raghavi 2 (25 April 2011). "Norway Tamil Film Festival – Celebration of Global Tamil Cinema". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  15. ^ S. R. Ashok Kumar (21 July 2012). "Audio Beat: Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  16. ^ Mannath, Malini (4 January 2011). "Thenmerku Paruvakaatru". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Cinema Plus / Film Review : Celebrating motherhood". The Hindu. 26 December 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Thenmerkku Paruvakatru Movie Review". Behindwoods. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Movie Review : Thenmerku Paruvakatru". Sify. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  20. ^ Petlee Peter (21 May 2011). "Plans to release award-winning movie afresh". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "B-list actors turn safe bets for K-town". The Times of India. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "Vijay Sethupathy- Hat trick hero". Sify. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  23. ^ N Venkateswaran (16 September 2012). "Sundarapandian". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  24. ^ "Pizza movie review: Wallpaper, Story, Trailer". The Times of India. 21 October 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  25. ^ Malathi Rangarajan (20 October 2012). "Pizza: Freshly made". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  26. ^ Mannath, Malini (23 October 2012). "'Pizza' (Tamil)". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom movie review: Wallpaper, Story, Trailer". The Times of India. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "The New Vijay Takes The First Two Spots". Behindwoods. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  29. ^ "Vijay Sethupathi's films go to Norway". The Times of India. TNN. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  30. ^ "6th Edition Edison Awards – Popping up the bottles of success". ChennaiOnline. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  31. ^ "> News > Company Briefs > K Balachander awarded Life time Achievement award". afaqs!. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  32. ^ a b "Top Tamil actors of 2012". IndiaGlitz. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  33. ^ Baradwaj Rangan (14 December 2012). "Bergman, who? Hello new-age directors!". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  34. ^ Mannath, Malini (4 May 2013). "'Soodhu Kavvum' (Tamil)". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  35. ^ N. Venkateswaran (4 May 2012). "Woodhull Vacuum is a rage among audiences". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  36. ^ Venkadesan S (22 November 2012). "Vijay Sethupathi on a roll!". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  37. ^ "Vijay Sethupathi wanted Padmini!". The Times of India. TNN. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  38. ^ "Arya, Vijay Sethupathi in Purampokku – Times of India". The Times of India. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  39. ^ Subha J. Rao (18 June 2013). "Hits, no misses". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  40. ^ "‘I was rejected even for the role of a junior artist’". The Times of India. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  41. ^ "Vijay Sethupathi does one for his friend!". Behindwoods. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  42. ^ a b c d e f Sudhish kamath (19 September 2013). "Full of pizzazz!". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  43. ^ The Angel – Musical Short Film. "The Angel – Musical Short Film | Short Films". Filmelon. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  44. ^ "Tamil Short Film Kadhalithu Paar". Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  45. ^ Malathi Rangarajan. "Long and short". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 

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