Vijay – ‘Thalapathy’ Vijay turns 48: Here’s a look at his career, stardom and must-watch films


From ‘Beast’ to ‘Master’, the Tamil superstar has produced several blockbusters over the years

Vijay in a dance sequence from ‘Mersal’.

Vijay in a dance sequence from ‘Mersal’.

ActorVijay/ Facebook

Saikat Chakraborty



Published 22.06.22, 03:51 PM

Tamil actor Vijay turned 48 on Wednesday. Popularly known as ‘Thalapathy’ Vijay among his fans, this actor started off as a child actor at the age of 10 and never looked back.  Here we take a look at Vijay’s career and some of the films that made him the superstar that he is today. 

‘Thalapathy’ the star 

Vijay enjoys an immense fan-following across southern India, and is fast making his way to the hearts of movie enthusiasts in other parts of the country and beyond. 

With his larger than life on-screen personality, punchy dialogues and the quintessential hero-like charm, Vijay has become one of the names to be reckoned with in the industry. 

His films are crafted to suit his onscreen persona and follow a familiar formula to magnify his heroism. His fans flood the theatres to see their hero in action and cheer his every move. 

Vijay’s journey to stardom 

Born as Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar to Tamil filmmaker SA Chandrasekhar and playback singer Shoba Chandrasekhar, Vijay made his debut as a child actor at the age of 10 in the drama Vetri and acted in many films directed by his father SA Chandrasekhar. 

Vijay made his debut as a lead actor in the 1992 film Naalaya Theerpu, which was produced by his father. He is one of the very few south actors to get featured in the Forbes India Celebrity 100 List before the release of Bahubali. 

After his 1994 film Rasigan, Vijay was given the prefix Ilaya Thalapathy (young commander) for the first time in this movie, and throughout the rest of his career, fans and the media referred to him by this nickname which later matured to Thalapathy.

Throughout the 90s, Vijay established himself as a romantic hero and the audience was wowed by his natural charisma. After the turn of the century, he transitioned into a romantic-action hero. By the next decade, he established himself as one of the leading stars of Tamil cinema. 

He made a special cameo song appearance in the 2012 Bollywood film Rowdy Rathore, directed by Prabhu Deva. 

Here are 5 films of ‘Thalapathy’ Vijay you should have in your watchlist: 


One of the first movies to be released in theatres during the COVID-19 pandemic was college drama Master, which was directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. The film follows an alcoholic professor who is enrolled to teach at a juvenile facility, unbeknownst to him. He soon clashes with a ruthless gangster, who uses the children as scapegoats for his crimes. Malavika Mohanan, Andrea Jeremiah, Shanthanu Bhagyaraj, and Arjun Das are also featured in this movie with Vijay Sethupathi.

Watch on: Prime Video/ Zee5


Directed by Atlee, this 2017 film follows the story of two long-lost brothers who are of two different personalities and what happens when they meet. Vijay plays a double role in this stylish thriller. Apart from Vijay, the film also stars Nithya Menen, Kajal Aggarwal, Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Yogi Babu in pivotal roles.

Watch on: Netflix/ Disney+ Hotstar


This 2018 political thriller is directed by Vijay’s frequent collaborator AR Murugadoss and stars Keerthy Suresh as his romantic interest. The film follows the story of an NRI millionaire who fights for his right to vote after his return to his homeland. The film also stars Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Yogi Babu, and Livingston. 

Watch on: Netflix


Thalapathy’s latest offering is action-drama Beast. Directed by Nelson Dilipkumar, the film was released on April 13 this year. It follows a terrorist attack at a mall that results in a stressful hostage situation, forcing a jaded former intelligence agent back into action. The film stars Pooja Hegde as the female lead with Yogi Babu, Redin Kingsley, Selvaraghavan, and Ganesan playing important roles.

Watch on: Netflix 


This 2019 sports drama follows an aggressive young man, who gives up his dream of becoming a footballer after his father’s murder. However, a friend convinces him to coach a women’s football team and turn his life around. Directed by Atlee, the film stars Nayanthara, Reba Monica John, Amritha Aiyer, Varsha Bollamma and Jackie Shroff. 

Watch on: Prime Video