Vijay Sethupathi Photo Shoot for Galata Magazine 2013
16 January 1978 |
Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India
|Other names||Vijay Sethupathy|
|Years active||2004 – present|
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, playing minor supporting roles for over five years, before playing his first lead role in Seenu Ramasamy's Thenmerku Paruvakaatru (2010). 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 and turned Vijay Sethupathi into a popular name in Tamil cinema.
Vijay Sethupathi was born in Rajapalayam in Virudhunagar district and moved to Chennai when he was in Class six. He did his schooling in MGR Higher Secondary School in Kodambakkam. According to Sethupathy, he was a "below-average student right from school" and was neither interested in sports nor extra-curricular activities.  He graduated with a B.Com degree from DB Jain College in Thoraipakam, following which he worked for three years as an accountant in Dubai, U.A.E. Unhappy with his job, he returned to India in 2003. He recalls that once Balu Mahendra remarked that he had a "very photogenic face", and motivated him to pursue an acting career.
He subsequently joined the Chennai-based theatre group Koothu-P-Pattarai as an accountant and actor where he observed actors from close quarters. He made his beginnings as a background actor, particularly playing the role of the lead character's friend in a few films. Besides he acted in television series, including the well-known series Penn that began in March 2006, as well as several short films as part of the television show Nalaya Iyakunar for Kalaignar TV. He worked with Karthik Subbaraj on many short films, who later cast him in his first feature film, subsequently yield him the Best Actor award for one his films at the Norway Tamil Film Festival short film competition.
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. 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. After making an appearance in Prabu Solomon's Lee (2007), 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". 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. Although initial reviews were mixed, the film went on to win three National Film Awards including the prize for the Best Tamil Feature Film of that year.
2012 marked a turning point in Vijay Sethupathi's career; all his three releases were critical and commercial successes, resulting in a rise in his popularity. He was first seen in a negative role in Sundarapandian which featured M. Sasikumar in the lead role, 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. 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". 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". According to a survey published by BBC Tamil, Pizza and Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom claimed the first two spots in a Best Films list, and both films competed at the 2013 Norway Tamil Film Festival, while Sethupathi won two awards, one for each film, at the Edison Awards and the Big FM Tamil Entertainment Awards. By the end of the year, Indiaglitz.com named Sethupathi as one of 2012's best Tamil actors,  and called him "the rising star of Kollywood".  whilst film critic Baradwaj Rangan stated that Sethupathi had become "[...] sort of [an] indie-film star, the first ever in Tamil cinema".
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". 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'". 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 directed by debutants. 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.
In 2014, Akhaada was being dubbed into Tamil as Edakku by its makers, to profit from Sethupathi's popularity in Tamil Nadu. 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. 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 January 2014. Other films he has signed up are Mellisai directed by Ranjit Jeyakodi, Idam Porul Eval directed by Seenu Ramasamy, Vanmam directed by Jayakrishna, Vasantha Kumaran directed by Anand Kumaresan and Orange Mittai directed by Biju Viswanath.
Vijay Sethupathi has three siblings, one elder brother, one younger brother and one younger sister. He returned from Dubai in 2003 to marry his girlfriend, whom he had met and dated online. He has two children, one son (Surya) and one daughter (Shreeja).
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
- Short features
- Petti Case
- Kadhal Sutru
- The Angel
- Kadhalithu Paar
- Maa Thavam
- 2012: Norway Tamil Film Festival Award for Best Actor- Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom
- 2012: SIIMA Award for Best Actor - Pizza
- 2012: Edison Award for Best Male Rising Star - Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom 
- 2012: BIG FM Most Entertaining Actor of the Year - Pizza
- 2012: Vijay Special Jury Award - Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom
- 2013: Vijay Special Jury Award - Soodhu Kavvum
- 2012: Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil - Pizza
- 2012: Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Actor - Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom
- 2013: Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Actor - Soodhu Kavvum
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- "Arya, Vijay Sethupathi in prison for 45 days!". The Times of India. Jul 17, 2014.
- "Confirmed: Vijay Sethupathi to romance Bindhu Madhavi". The Times of India. May 13, 2014.
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