Vijay Sethupathi

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Vijay Sethupathi
விஜய் சேதுபதி
Born Vijaya Gurunatha Sethupathi
(1978-01-16) 16 January 1978 (age 36)
Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu
Other names Vijay Sethupathy
Occupation Actor, producer, screenwriter
Years active 2004–present[1]
Spouse(s) Jessie
Children Surya, Shreeja

Vijaya Gurunatha Sethupathi (Tamil: விஜய குருநாத சேதுபதி; born 16 January 1978), known as Vijay Sethupathi (Tamil: விஜய் சேதுபதி), is an Indian film actor, who appears in Tamil films. Following a stint as an accountant, he begun considering an acting career. He was working as a background actor, 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 Sundarapandian (2012), Pizza (2012), Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom (2012), Soodhu Kavvum (2013) and Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara (2013), which earned critical & commercial success, turned Vijay Sethupathi into a popular name in Tamil cinema.[4]

Early life[edit]

Vijay Sethupathi was born in Rajapalayam, 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 Sethupathi, he was a "below-average student right from school" and was neither interested in sports nor extra-curricular activities. [1][6]

He did a series of odd jobs for pocket money: Salesman at a retail store, cashier at a fast food joint and a phone booth operator.[5] He graduated with a B.Com degree from DB Jain College in Thoraipakam,[6] One week after he finished college, he joined as an account assistant at a wholesale cement business.[5] He had to take care of three siblings and moved to Dubai, U.A.E as an accountant only because it paid him four times more than what he was making in India. In those two years, he fell in love. Online [5]

Unhappy with his job, he returned to India in 2003.[7][8] After a brief stint in the interior decoration business with friends, he joined a marketing company that dealt with readymade kitchens when he saw Koothupattarai’s poster.[5] 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: "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 "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 highly praised. Haricharan Pudipeddi from The New Indian Express in his review wrote : "Vijay Sethupathi has become a darling of the masses. Scene after scene, the audience hoots and cheers for him in unison." [36] Rediff reviewer S.Saraswathi cited that "His greatest strength lies in being able to counter the stereotypical image of heroes in commercial cinema today. In every film, we see him in a completely different avatar, and his latest film is no different. Vijay Sethupathi seems to have the knack of choosing the right role and script and he effortlessly slips into his character as Kumar." [37] Behindwoods stated that Vijay Sethupathi as Sumar Moonji Kumar has done it yet again, raising his pennant higher, making himself more visible to his fervent fans. The depth in his innocence and the foolhardiness in his love are a couple of things that stand tall in the character he plays, and Vijay Sethupathi has pulled it off in grand style. The actor is a revelation in the climax sequence, showing the other dimension of his acting. [38]

In 2014, His films Rummy and Pannaiyarum Padminiyum were released, both directed by debutants.[39] 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.[40] The film opened to predominantly positive reviews from critics and is the only Tamil film which has been selected to be screened at the 19th International Film Festival of Kerala.[41] The same year Akhaada was being dubbed into Tamil as Edakku by its makers, to profit from Sethupathi's popularity in Tamil Nadu.[42] The film was being promoted as a Vijay Sethupathi film, with the actor being prominently featured in the posters, although he had only a minor role in it, and Sethupathi stated that the audience would feel cheated after seeing the film, if it was promoted this way.[43] He was next seen in the action drama Vanmam directed by debutant Jaikrishna. Though the film was met with average reviews, Vijay Sethupathi's performance was praised by critics. Malini Mannath from The New Indian Express in his review wrote : It’s Vijay Sethupathi’s film the whole way. The actor renders a power packed performance, capturing each nuance of the character with precision and understanding. [44] Behindwoods stated that the stand out element in the film is Vijay Sethupathi, who has managed to attach his performance to the nativity of the location to the best of his ability. The actor scores effortlessly in some portions, one of them being the scene where he breaks into Kreshna’s house under the influence of alcohol. [45]

He will be seen in Orange Mittai directed by Biju Viswanath, Idam Porul Eval directed by Seenu Ramasamy, Purampokku directed by S. P. Jananathan, and Mellisai directed by Ranjit Jeyakodi.[5] On 29 August 2014, Vijay Sethupathi has signed up one more film Naanum Rowdydhaan directed by Vignesh Shivan produced by Dhanush's Wunderbar Film banner, which will feature Nayantara as female lead.[46]

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).[47]


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released

As Actor[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
2004 M. Kumaran S/O Mahalakshmi Uncredited extra[48]
2006 Dishyum
2006 Pudhupettai Anbu's henchman
2007 Lee
2009 Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu
2010 Naan Mahaan Alla Ganesh
2010 Bale Pandiya Pandiya's brother
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
Norway Tamil Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Vijay Special Jury Award
Nominated—Vijay Awards for Best Actor
2013 Soodhu Kavvum Das Vijay Special Jury Award
Nominated—Vijay Awards for Best Actor
2013 Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara Kumaravel ("Sumar Moonji" Kumar)
2014 Rummy Joseph
2014 Pannaiyarum Padminiyum Murugesan
2014 Jigarthanda Himself, Young aged 'Assault Sethu' Special appearance
2014 Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam Himself Special appearance
2014 Thirudan Police Vinayagam Special appearance in "Ennodu Vaa" Song
2014 Vanmham Radha (aka) Radhakrishnan
2015 Orange Mittai Films that have not yet been released Also producer and co-writer
2015 Idam Porul Yaeval Films that have not yet been released Pandi Post-production [5][49]
2015 Purampokku Films that have not yet been released Yamalingam Post-production [50]
2015 Mellisai Films that have not yet been released Kathir Post-production [5]
2015 Naanum Rowdydhaan Films that have not yet been released Filming [51]

As Producer[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes
2014 Orange Mittai Biju Viswanath Vijay Sethupathi, Ramesh Thilak Also co-writer [52][53]
2015 Merku Thodarchi Malai Lenin Bharathi Pre-production [54][55]
Short features



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External links[edit]