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, before playing his first lead role in Seenu Ramasamy's Thenmerku Paruvakaatru (2010). He went on to star in Pizza (2012), Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom (2012), which earned critical success and turned Vijay Sethupathi into a popular name in Tamil cinema.
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 Naalaya 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 realize 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 - Recent
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". 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, graying and with a paunch". 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'". 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 upcoming films include Rummy and Pannaiyarum Padminiyum, both being directed by debutants. While Pannaiyarum Padminiyum, based on its same-titled short film, revolves around an old man and his vintage car Premier Padmini, with Sethupathi starring as its chauffeur.
He will also be seen in S. P. Jananathan's Purampokku, which will feature him and Arya in the lead roles. Shooting for the film will start in November 2013. 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, Vasanthakumaran directed by Anand Kumaresan and Mellisai directed by Ranjit jeyakodi.
As an Actor
2015 Mellisai ( Tamil )
2014 Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam (Tamil) - Special appearance
2014 Idam Porul Eval ( Tamil )
2014 Jigarthanda ( Tamil )
2014 Purampokku ( Tamil )
2014 Rummy ( Tamil )
2014 Vanmam ( Tamil )
2014 Vasantha Kumaran ( Tamil )
2014 Sangudevan ( Tamil )
2014 Pannaiyarum Padminiyum ( Tamil )
2013 Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara ( Tamil )
2013 Soodhu Kavvum ( Tamil )
2013 Pizza ( Malayalam )
2013 Pizza ( Telugu )
2012 Sundarapandian ( Tamil )
2012 Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom ( Tamil )
2012 Pizza ( Tamil )
2011 Varnam ( Tamil )
2010 Thenmerku Paruvakatru ( Tamil )
2010 Naan Mahaan Alla ( Tamil )
2010 Bale Pandiya ( Tamil )
2009 Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu ( Tamil )
2007 Lee ( Tamil )
2006 Pudhupettai ( Tamil )
2004 M. Kumaran S/O Mahalakshmi ( Tamil )
As a Producer
2014 Sangudevan ( Tamil )
In Short Films
Ø Petti Case
Ø Kadhal Sutru
Ø The Angel
Ø Kadhalithu Paar
Ø Maa Thavam