Vijay Sethupati is an Indian actor, producer, lyricist, dialogue writer known for his performance in Tamil Cinema. Before making his career in acting, he worked as an accountant and later started to work as a background actor and did small minor roles for the first five years and later in 2010, he appeared in his first lead role in the movie Thenmerku Paruvakaatru. He became popular in the Tamil Cinema for his role in the movies like Pizza and Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom. His role as a villain in the movie Sundarapandian released in 2012 received critical acclaim.
Vijay Sethupati was born to Mr. Gurunath Sethupathi and Sivagami Sethupathi on 16th January 1978 in Rajapalayam village of Virudhunagar District of Tamil Nadu. He was second of the four children born to his parents and he has one elder brother and one younger brother and one young sister. The family lived in Rajapalayam until he was in sixth standard and later they moved to Chennai. He then attended MGR Higher Secondary School in Kodambakkam to complete his schooling and later he graduated with a B.Com Degree from Jain College in Thoraipakam. Vijay started struggling from his college days itself. To earn his pocket money, he did odd jobs as a salesman, cashier and phone booth operator. After he finished his graduation, he joined as an accountant assistant at a cement business and later moved to Dubai and worked there for two years. He returned to India in 2003 since he was unhappy with his job. He then joined interior decoration business with friends for a small period and later joined a marketing company that dealt with readymade kitchens. He was motivated to pursue a career in acting by Babu Mahendra who once remarked him that he had a very photogenic face. It was in year 2006 when he decided to pursue a full time career in acting and joined a Chennai based theatre group titled Koothu-P-attarai and then started to work as a background actor and played role of the lead actor's friend's character. Later he also started to act in television series and he worked in the series Penn that began from March 2006. His popularity began to rise and he also started to act in many short films that were a part of the television show Nalayya Iyakunar that was broadcasted in the Kalaignar TV. It was at this time that he worked in short films with Karthik Subbaraj who later casted him in his first feature film. As an actor working for short films, Vijay received the Best Actor Award for one of his films in the Norway Tamil Film Festival Short Film Competition. He auditioned to play the character of Dhanush's friend in the gangster film Pudhupettai that released in 2006. After his role in the movie Pudhupettai, he was selected to play the lead role in the Tamil-Kannada bilingual film titled Akhaada and was selected as the lead in the Tamil version. However, the movie never released. He then appeared in the 2007 release 'Lee' and later played minor roles in Suseenthiram's first two projects Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu and Naan Mahaan Alia. Suseethiran recommended Vijay to director Seenu Ramasamy that led to Vijay getting his first movie as a lead in Ramasamy's 2011 release Thenmerku Paruvakaatru and he portrayed the role of a shepherd. The movie was a hit and it won three national film awards that included the award for the best Tamil feature movie of 2011.
After the success of his first lead movie in the year 2011, Vijay then appeared in three movies in the year 2012 and all the three movies proved to be critically as well as commercially successful that led to a rise in the popularity of the Vijay Sethupathi. His first movie of the year was the movie Sundarapandian where he portrayed the negative character of the movie. The movie was successful at the box office and his role as a negative actor was appreciated. He then starred in Karthik Subbaraj's thriller movie Pizza and played the role of Michael, a delivery boy. The movie is considered as one of the best movies of his career and it was a commercially successful movie. He later acted in Balaji Tharaneetharan's directorial debut Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and played the character titled Prem who has a short term memory loss two days before marriage. The movie too was very successful in the box office and Vijay also received critical acclamations for his role in the movie. According to a survey, Pizza and Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom were the two best movies of the year and later both the movies competed in the 2013 Norway Tamil Film Festival where Vijay won two awards, one for each film. He won the Edison Award and Big FM Tamil Entertainment Award. He was also named as one of the best Tamil actors of 2012 and his popularity among the masses reached new heights. He maintained his success in the year 2013 and first worked in the crime comedy Soodhu Kavvum where he played the role of a forty year old kidnapper. The movie was a big box office success and he was praised for his role in the move. His next release of the year - Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara helped him in gaining positive critical reviews and his performance was highly praised. In 2014, he worked in movies like Pannaiyarum Padminiyum and Vanmam. Pannaiyarum Padminiyum which revolved around a man and his vintage car. Vijay played the role as its chauffeur. The movie was successful and it is the only Tamil movie that was screened at the 19th International Film Festival of Kerala. The next release Vanmam was the directorial debut of Jaikrishna and the movie received average reviews. He was next seen in the political thriller Purampokku Engira Podhhuvudamai and his performance was highly praised. He turned into producer after producing the July 2015 released movie Orange Mittai that was successful at the box office. He also appeared in the rom-com movie Naanum Rowdy Dhaan. The movie was very successful and was the highest grossing movie till date of Vijay's career. 2016 marked his presence in the police action drama movie Sethupathi which helped him in gaining huge critical appraise. The next release of the year included the romantic comedy Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogam for which he again received positive critic reviews. His third movie of the year was the movie Iravi where he played the role of Michael and later his fourth movie of the year 2016 was Dharma Durai. The movie received huge success for Vijay. After this success, he appeared in Aandavan Kataalai. His latest release was the movie Rekka for which he received critical response as well as public support.
Vijay is married to Jessi. He met Jessi online and dated her and the duo got married in 2003. The couple has two children Surya and Shreeja. Surya made his acting debut by playing the younger version of Vijay in the movie Naanum Rowdydhaan.