Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar (born on June 22, 1974), better known by his stage name Vijay (Tamil: விஜய்), is a Tamil film actor, who has been a performer in Tamil cinema, as well as a playback singer and a spokesperson for companies in India.
Vijay began his career appearing in several of his father’s directorial ventures in the early 1990s. He made his film debut in Naalaya Theerpu (1992). Since then, he acted in several films of action and romance genres. During his years in the Chennai film industry, he has been nominated for one Filmfare Award, while winning three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards.
Vijay has starred in several romance and action films, along with the commercially successful films Poove Unakkaga (1996), Kadhalukku Mariyadhai (1997), Kushi (2000), Ghilli (2004) and Pokkiri (2007). He is the current ambassador for the IPL cricket team Chennai Super Kings and has also served several commercial companies as a brand ambassador.
Early lifeJoseph Vijay Chandrasekhar was born on June 22, 1974, to film producer and director S. A. Chandrasekhar and Shoba Chandrasekhar, a classical and a playback singer. He had a sister named Vidhya Chandrasekhar who died at the age of two. Vijay went on to do his schooling in Balalok in Virugambakkam, Chennai and Visual Communications at Loyola College, Chennai
CareerVijay debuted as a lead role actor in the 1992 film Naalaya Theerpu, produced by his father. After a few other films, he co-starred with Vijayakanth in the film Sendhoorapandi. Films like Rasigan, Vishnu, and Deva followed. Vijay co-starred with Sivaji Ganesan in the film Once More, directed by S. A. Chandrasekhar in 1997. In 1995, Vijay was in the lead role in the film Rajavin Parvaiyile which also starred Ajith Kumar, another currently reigning film actor in Tamil cinema.In 1996 Vijay starred in the Vikraman-directed film Poove Unakkaga. He also starred in Love Today, Priyamudan, as well as Kadhalukku Mariyadhai for which he receive that year’s Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor. Following Thulladha Manamum Thullum, the films Endrendrum Kadhal, Nenjinile, Minsara Kanna and Kannukkul Nilavu failed to meet his previous success. He decided not to commit in films that took a year to release. His next venture was Kushi in 2000 which was followed by films like Priyamanavale, Friends and Badri. Later on, he starred in Shahjahan, Thamizhan, Youth, and Bagavathi which were followed by Vaseegara, Pudhiya Geethai, and his delayed film Udhaya.
The films Thirumalai and Ghilli were released in 2004. Ghilli, directed by Dharani and produced by A. M. Rathnam, it was a remake of the Telugu film Okkadu, and ran for 300 days in theatres in Tamil Nadu. The following year had other releases such as Thirupaachi, Sachein and Sivakasi. Vijay’s Aathi was released in 2006. In 2007 Pokkiri an other remake movie from telugu, directed by Prabhu Deva, was released in 2007 and Vijay received an honourary doctorate title from the M. G. R. University. Later that year, Vijay appeared in Azhagiya Thamizh Magan, and for the first time, he appeared in dual roles. His roles in this film, as the antagonist and protagonist, made him to be considered for a Filmfare Best Tamil Actor Award. In 2006, he starred in Kuruvi, again under Dharani’s direction. By 2006, Vijay was paid a salary exceeding $1 million.
The year 2009 started off with the spy and action film Villu, which was directed by Prabhu Deva. The film, which had Vijay in dual roles for the second time in his career, released in January 2009. Vijay will be acting in his next film titled Vettaikkaaran, directed by Babu Sivan, an associate director of Dharani, and produced by AVM Productions, which was launched in February 2009.
Brand endorsementIn the year 2002, Vijay was chosen as Coca Cola‘s brand ambassador in Tamil Nadu. He had acted in a variety of South Indian Coca Cola advertisements, along with Katrina Kaif. In January 2009, Vijay was once again chosen as the brand ambassador for Coca Cola products.
In 2008, Vijay was signed up as the star ambassador for the Indian Premier League cricket team Chennai Super Kings, along with actress Nayantara.
Awards and honoursIn Vijay Awards 2007, Vijay won the “Entertainer of the Year Award” for his performance in the films Pokkiri and Azhagiya Thamizh Magan.
Personal lifeVijay married Sangeetha Sornalingam, of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, on August 25, 1999. They have two children, a son born in 2001 in London, and a daughter born in 2005 in Chennai