Vijay (Tamil: விஜய்), (born Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar on June 22, 1974) is a Tamil film actor and playback singer. He began his acting career doing minor, uncredited roles as a child artist, produced by his father S. A. Chandrasekhar. Today he is known for his pacy dance sequences and his stereotypical acting style. He is referred to as Ilayathalapathy (transliterally meaning "Young General"), which is always used along with his name in film credits
Joseph Vijay was born on June 22, 1974 to film producer S. A. Chandrasekhar and Shoba Chandrasekhar, a playback singer. He had a sister named Vidhya who died at the age of two. Vijay studied Visual Communications at Loyola College, but dropped out to pursue an acting career. He was interestingly classmates with Surya Sivakumar, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Karthik Raja, and Vishnuvardhan.
He married Sangeetha on August 25, 1999. They have two children: Jason Sanjay, born on August 26, 2000 in London, and Divya Saasha, born on September 9, 2005 in Chennai
He began his acting career doing minor, uncredited roles as a child artist in Kollywood. Today he is known for his pacy dance sequences and his stereotypical acting style. He is referred to as Ilaya Thalapathy, which is also always used along with his name in credits. One can expect Vijay films to contain the art of entertaining people with dialogues, songs, dances, and superhero fight scenes.
Vijay's films often open large in India and, more recently, in several other countries as well. Vijay's films are noted to have a minimum guaruntee of collection at box offices. Vijay's stereotypical style of entertainment is often copy the styles of M. G. Ramachandran and Rajinikanth. Vijay is 3rd Big Hero of Tamil Industry after Rajinikanth and Kamal.
Vijay debuted as a lead role actor in the 1992 film Naalaya Theerpu, produced by his father, then he co-stared with Vijayakanth in the film Sendhoorapandi. This film helped Vijay to become popular in the interior areas of Tamil Nadu. Films like Rasigan, Vishnu, and Deva followed, which all helped to increase Vijay's star value. Vijay is also one of the few lead actors of his generation to co-star with veteran actor Sivaji Ganesan. This opportunity came in the film Once More, directed by S. A. Chandrasekhar in 1994.
The year 1996 saw a blockbuster hit in the Vikraman-directed film Poove Unakkaga which helped Vijay to establish as a bankable star in Tamil films. He found more success with films that followed, which had an unorthodox climax like Love Today, Kadhalukku Mariyadhai and Priyamudan. Kadhalukku Mariyadhai made Vijay receive that year's Tamil Nadu state Best Actor Award.
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, which changed his trend. His next venture was Kushi which was a blockbuster of 2000. The following films like Priyamanavale, Friends and Badri were once again successful for Vijay
Later on, he starred in Shahjahan, Thamizhan, Youth, and Bagavathi which maintained Vijay's success. However, the films that followed, which were Vaseegara, Pudhiya Geethai, and his delayed film Udhaya became low grossers and flopped. This highly affected Vijay's success rate and he was looked down upon by film critics and producers.
His string of failure films was broken by Thirumalai in 2004 which had Vijay in a new facial appearance. Ghilli, which was also released in 2004, is considered to be one of Vijay's biggest hits today. Another hit had followed, which was Madhurey. It was in this year which Vijay began to portray his current mass-hero, stereotypical acting style. The following year had other major successes such as Thirupaachi, Sachein, and Sivakasi.
Vijay's only flop film since the release of Thirumalai was Aathi, which released in 2006. Aathi had created some controversy during that year and many film distributors decided on thinking twice before handling any new Vijay films. This resulted in Vijay taking a break from acting for nearly a year, until the launch of Pokkiri, directed by Prabhu Deva, which released in 2007. Pokkiri had met the same success as Ghilli did, in which Vijay was given a different style to act as. This made Vijay receive 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.
Vijay's latest film, Kuruvi, managed to release worldwide with much hype,and became a silent hit movie. Directed by Dharani, Kuruvi also had Trisha Krishnan and Ashish Vidhyarthi in the cast and the film's score was composed by Vidyasagar, the same team that worked with Vijay in Ghilli four years ago.
Vijay is currently acting in Villu, again under Prabhu Deva's direction. The film is expected to be released in 2009. He will also make a special appearance in the film Pandhayam, starring Nithin Sathya and directed by S. A. Chandrasekhar
Tamil Nadhu state's Best Actor Award in 1997 for Kadhalukku Mariyadhai Roja Duke's Best Actor Award for the film Kadhalukku Mariyadhai M.G.R. Award in 2000 Dinakaran Best Actor Award in 2004 for Ghilli Film Today Best Actor Award in 2005 for Ghilli Honorary doctorate in 2007 Sunfeast Music Awards - Best Hero For The Film Pokkiri in 2007