Vijay (born Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar on 22 June 1974) is an Indian actor, playback singer and producer, who works in the Tamil film industry. Son of film director and producer S. A. Chandrasekhar, he started his career as a child actor in the movie Vetri and later made his debut as a lead actor in the 1992 film Naalaya Theerpu both of which were directed by his father. He launched the Vijay Makkal Iyakkam, a social welfare organisation in 2009. Vijay was listed #49 in Forbes India's "Celebrity 100 List" for the year 2013 and improved to #41 in the "2014 celebrity 100" list.
22 June 1974
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Alma mater||Loyola College, Chennai|
|Occupation||Film actor, playback singer,film producer, philanthropist|
Vijay was born in Chennai to S. A. Chandrasekhar, a film producer and director, and Shoba Chandrasekhar, a playback singer. He had a sister named Vidhya Chandrasekhar who died at the age of two. Vijay went on to study visual communications at Loyola College, Chennai.
In early 2011 he joined up with with director Siddique again, for the romantic drama Kaavalan, a Tamil remake of the Malayalam film Bodyguard (also co-starring Asin). It received positive responses from both viewers and critics. The movie 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.
His 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. Vijay's performance in the film was praised by critics, including by 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, directed by Prabhu Deva.
His next film, the action thriller Thuppakki, directed by A. R. Murugadoss and produced by S. Dhanu, was released at Diwali 2012 to mostly positive reviews. The film became the third Tamil film to enter the INR1 billion (US$16 million) club after Sivaji (2007), and Enthiran (2010). Eros International announced that Thuppakki made a domestic net collection of INR1.8 billion (US$28 million). His next film Thalaivaa, directed by A. L. Vijay, was released on 9 August 2013 worldwide to positive reviews from critics and audience Jilla, co-starring Kajal Aggarwal and Mohanlal, and directed by R. T. Neason, was released on a Pongal weekend in 2014.
He again worked with AR Murugadoss in the action thriller movie Kaththi, co-starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu and produced by Ayngaran International, which was released on Diwali 2014. It was the highest grossing Tamil film of 2014.
He is currently working on a big budget fantasy film Puli which is produced by T. Shibu of Thameens Films under the banner SKT Studios and directed by Chimbudevan co-starring Shruti Haasan and Hansika Motwani along with actress Sridevi .
Vijay married Sangeetha Sornalingam on 25 August 1999. They have two children, a son Sanjay born in 2000 in London, and a daughter Divya born in 2005 in Chennai.
His cousin Vikranth is an actor. His uncle S. N. Surendar is a playback singer and dubbing artist.
In 2002, Vijay appeared as Coca Cola's brand ambassador in Tamil Nadu. He acted in a variety of South Indian Coca Cola advertisements, along with Katrina Kaif. In 2008, Vijay was signed up as an ambassador for the Indian Premier League cricket team Chennai Super Kings, along with actress Nayanthara. In January 2009, Vijay was approached as the brand ambassador for Coca Cola products. As of August 2010, Vijay was signed by Jos Alukkas as their brand ambassador for Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Jos Alukkas advertisement featuring Vijay and his mother Shoba is an extremely famous one in Tamil Nadu. Vijay signed for Tata Docomo
Vijay started a social welfare organisation Vijay Makkal Iyakkam which was officially launched at Pudukottai on 26 July 2009. It is responsible for much of his philanthropic work. After Cyclone Thane his Makkal Mandram administrators arranged for a relief camp at Kammiyampettai, Cuddalore where the star provided rice to the affected people. Cuddalore was the worst affected area in floods and Vijay reached out to help these people out by rendering some assistance. The area in which the camp happened soon wore a festive look with thousands of people gathering to catch a glimpse of their favorite star. Vijay has appeared along with Suriya, R. Madhavan and Jyothika in a short commercial video about child poverty, labour and lack of education, titled Herova? Zerova? produced by Surya in an effort to eliminate children who drop out of school at an early age, made in association with Vishnuvardhan Induri the founder of CCL and the Ministry of Education of Tamil Nadu. The Ilayathalapathy Vijay Educational Awards 2012 was conducted at JS Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai on 8 July 2012 by his Vijay Makkal Iyakkam to honour the students topped in 2012 SSLC and 12th board exams and the awards were distributed by Vijay himself. On his every birthday, Vijay presents golden rings to the new born babies at the Egmore Government General Hospital.