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CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO GO TO ILAYATHALAPATHI VIJAY'S HOMEPAGE

BIOGRAPHY

(Source : www.dinakaran.com)

"It's not a cinematic face at all....it's simply a tinplate....the mouse-like thing that is his face..." these were some of the most devastating and negative type of criticism lavished upon Vijay once upon a time when he had had just stepped into cinefield as newface artist! It's only after boldly facing all such odds and insults that 'young super star' Vijay has reached the pinnacle of highest fame and popularity he's enjoying now!
He got introduced into film-acting through the Tamil film directed by his father S.A.Chandrasekaran. While acting in the film, one day in the sets, an assistant director made fun of Vijay saying that the latter's face just looked like a mouse! This comment, as it was made, didn't fail to reach Vijay's ears too! But he simply took it rather sportively and didn't get angry at all! Instead he began putting in hard-work and saw that his acting career gradually got elevated to the top spot, as far as newcomers are concerned, in cine industry!

One of the consequences of this sudden growth is that he earned the name of "the emperor of (revenue) collection" ("vasool chakravarthy") even as early as his 17th film itself! Cinema Distributors gathered together and announced: "Vijay's films have the same kind of reception and revenue collection as Rajinikanth and Kamalhassan's films do have! So we remove ceiling method for getting distribution rights for his films!".

Vijay always remains very simple without the least trace of any affected manners or pretence! Rather he's very affectionate towards one and all and shows special respect and regards to parents and elders! He worships with gratitude those who are responsible for his present level of development in life! First of all his father S.A.Chandrasekaran, mother Shoba, then actor Vijayakanth----like this his list of people who lend him great help in his formative period in cinema is getting on extended!

Vijay was born on June 22 as son to the lovers turned life-partners S.A.Chandrasekaran and Shoba! Vijay also had an younger sister by name Vidya, but the latter died quite unexpectedly! S.A.Chandrasekaran has directed so far 50 films in different languages. Shoba has directed "Nanbargal" and "Innisai Mazhai".

Vijay who's a drop-out from an incompleted B.Sc. Visual Communications course in Chennai Loyola College, got introduced as newface hero through the Tamil film "Naalaiya Theerppu", directed by his father S.A.Chandrasekaran. Vijay, who treats actor Vijayakanth as his affectionate elder brother, remains a staunch fan of Super Star Rajinikanth. Among actresses Meena, Gajol and Madhuri Dixit are his favourites.

When Vijay was acting in "Deva", during the shooting of a particular action sequence, without asking for a dupe artist, he himself jumped down from a terrace, and thus greatly stunned the viewers who had assembled there, with his act of valour! While acting in "Chandralekha" he got leg injury and managed acting in the subsequent shots as a lame person. It's Vijay's habit to attend punctually his shooting schedules! "Punctuality is the most important thing"--this's an advice by his father. Also Vijay hasn't so far been trapped into any nasty gossips of derogatory kind.

His hit films like "Poove Unakkaaka", "Love To-day", 'Nerukku Ner", "Once More", "Kaathalukku Mariyathai", "Ninaiththen Vanthaai", "Yentrentrum Kaathal" and "Thullaatha Manamum Thullum" have, one after the other, made easy the cineworld success-journey of Vijay. Rajinikanth once showered upon him his heart-felt felicitations saying: "You have got God's great help. Work hard and you can attain still greater levels of development in future".

In a theatre in Chennai, the victory celebration of the film "Poove Unakkaaka" took place. Tamilnadu Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi participated in it and gave away the shield to Vijay. This is considered by Vijay as the most fortunate omen in his career and he has now started lending various helps to the needy poor through his fans' association. When asked "Whether such acts of lending assistance to the poor is anything like laying the foundation for Vijay's future entry into politics?", he replies: "No, no...If one is born as a human being, it becomes his bounden duty to do good to other fellow beings! I'm doing only that! I would remain, until the last, an actor liked by all!"

Unmistakable outlook and a crystal clear expression of views----that's the mark of this success hero, Vijay!



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Born on 22nd June 1974 to a beautiful happily married couple S. A. Chandrasekharan and Shoba Chandrasekharan, I their first son C.Joseph Vijay was christened so. The fans have now christened me as Ilayathalapthy. I was not any prodigy or genious in academics who left my studies to pursue acting. I was just an average school kid who had a great passion for acting in films. When I told my folks about what I wanted to do for my living, there was a small storm at home and they were kind of taken aback. But finally they gave me the permission to discontinue my Bachelors Degree of Visual Communications at Loyola College and pursue acting in films. I entered the industry without any struggle. Otherwise I would have had to approach several companies and scout for opportunities. Having a father as a Director and a writer-cum-producer-cum director as a mother made my entry into films made life easy for me. Finally I made my debut into the industry in 1992. From their I went on do films, some of them were block busters, some of them were the opposite if it. But then there is no such perfect success formula for making the perfect movie. And then I met the love of my life Sangeetha, now my wife, we got married in August 1999, we have also been blessed with a son. There is pretty much nothing to say about myself. I am basically an introvert. Still just an ordinary guy who spends time with my friends Sajai, Srinath, Sanjeev, Manoj and Ramkumar. And about my favorites nothing much to say there either, my tourist spot being London and Los Angeles. I love non vegetarian food and I am comfortable in Jeans and T-Shirt. Last but not the least I am a strong believer in the Almighty and I believe I have been guided through the difficult times in my life by the Supreme power.

(Source : Vijay's Offical Site)

E Mail :- vijay@ilayathalapathyvijay.com

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Vijay - On his latest movie 'Friends'

(Source : www.tamilstar.com)


Vijay has been quite busy for the past four months. This time he was on an errand of white washing the palatial Kushaldas Gardens in Chennai for his new film, Friends. A much expected and eagerly awaited release after 'Kushi'.

'Friends is a remake of a Malayalam super-duper. My roles in 'Kadhalukku Mariyadai' and 'Kannukkul Nilavu', directed by Fasil, brought out my ability to handle somewhat unusual characters. And, now I have a chance to prove my worth under Siddique, the famous Malayalam director, in 'Friends,' which incidentally is my 25th movie,' beamed Vijay, with his eyes twinkling as usual. More over, this film is made by Appachchan, the celebrated producer of Malayalam films. 'Friends' is one of those movies categorised as 'a whole length comedy' in the celluloid-parlance.

Vijay's excitement shows on his face. Quite naturally. 'A good banner to work under. A remake of a superhit. We can understand your excitement Vijay. What is the story about?' we cast the net and fish swam in without much effort on our part.

'Well. It is like this. Devayani comes from a rich family and owns this palatial building. Vadivelu and myself enter into a contract with the family for white washing the house. The white washing team includes Surya, Charlie and Crane Manohar. Vadivelu is always tensed up and Crane Manohar messes around. Both manage to break all the valuables in the bungalow while the work progresses. Finally, we end up in a situation where we have to pay one lakh to the owner of the house as compensation, instead of getting one lakh as per our contract. How we tackle the problem and solve it, and how Devayani and I fall in love, and how my friends stand by my side through all problems form the rest of the story. It is your guarantee for a hearty laugh.'

'Quite interesting Vijay. You were known as an action hero in the beginning. Then came 'Kadhalukku Mariyadai', which showed as a romance hero. How about this film?' Our next dart slipped the bow.

'You see, it is always difficult to perform as a hero with a humorous garb. It is really difficult to make the audience laugh heartily,' Vijay smiled. And continued. 'Enga Veetu Pillai was a turning point for MGR, for it was a comedy-action movie. 'Sabash Meena' was such a break for Sivaji. Right from 'Thambikku endha ooru', Rajani has been giving this combination in 'Annamalai', 'Arunachalam' and more. This obviously is a winning formula'

Vijay was known for his one-line answers. Shy and speechless. 'You have changed a lot Vijay. You have learnt to handle interviews so nicely' we compliment him.

'I was always so. I used to respond in single-lines, even to my parents. But I have understood that it won't work in interviews. When I went through my interviews after they were published, I used to feel that something was lacking and that I should have been a little more elaborate. My fans do expect it. I don't miss the opportunity these days, whenever I get a mike in hand' winked Vijay.

'Ha that reminds us. You have been in the news lately as a saviour. You have been donating notebooks to poor students, rice and raincoat to the poor, during the rains. Any plans on the anvil, Vijay, to enter politics?'

'I have said it already and I repeat. Artistes like me are in the limelight due to the support from public. What we earn is what they pay for the film tickets. Well, I help some of them in times of their need. There is nothing more to it' said Vijay firmly.

He is constructing a building for his office. It has six portions additionally - to be let to his makeup man, car driver, costumer, his PA etc. for free. Yes. Without rent. 'A token of my gratitude to those who enable me to be successful,' Vijay smiles.

'What is the name of your baby, Vijay?' We stopped with that, for we knew that Vijay usually doesn't like to speak about his wife, baby and his parents in interviews.

'Sanjay. It is a combination of Sangeetha and Vijay'. Vijay is obviously happy about it.

Vijay will be the recipient of MGR Award of the Government of Tamil Nadu, this year. 'I have acted with the great artiste, Sivaji. I am going to receive MGR Award from the hands of Kalaignar. I am thrilled.'

Best of luck, Vijay.

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Interview with Ilayathalapathy - Vijay

(Source : www.pondicherry.com)

He comes from a privileged background for his parents, S. A. Chandrasekhar and Shobha, are producers, directors and writers in their own right. So when he joined films it was through his home production. His parents were not initially happy with their sons decision to take up acting as a career. Vijay recalls how he had to leave home to prove a point. Even then the going was not easy. The critics didnt take to him kindly in his first film. It was sheer determination and hard work that has helped Vijay carve out an enviable slot for himself. And when Vijay got married to Sangitha, the fan who stayed on to become his wife, rumour-mongers started spreading vicious gossip. That Sangitha had a child from an early alliance and that Vijay had committed suicide. Vijay then had cut short his honeymoon and arranged a press meet. "We are blissfully happy. Nothing is wrong with out marriage. I winder why the press doesnt clarify the matter with the concerned people," said he.

This was the second important press meet the actor had arranged to set matters right. The earlier one was when he had had an accident while performing a stunt scene in Priyamudan. As he was recuperating from a back injury, rumours spread in the press about how his career was kaput, and that he had better pack his bags and leave. It was also written that Vijay was in love with a co-star and that his parents had kept him under house arrest. A visibly hurt Vijay, normally a reserved, restrained person had then met the press promptly. With a chit in his hand, and still not completely recovered, the actor had then point by point refuted the various allegations against him. The press sure knows how to bring a shy-with-the-press actor out in the open and on the defensive!

Question :
You come from a privileged background. Your entry must have been very easy.

Vijay :
Since my parents were in films, no doubt I had an easy entry. But even if my father had not introduced me I would still have entered the line. I had a lot of confidence in my ability to deliver the goods if given the chance. Only thing is that it would have taken me a few more years to make my entry.

Question :
Who was your inspiration, which actor attracted you?

Vijay :
I had no role model as such. Every artiste has his own plus ad minus points. An artiste only in a particular scene or when he is good at a certain point inspires me. Like Vijaykants fight scenes. He does it so well and such scenes inspire me. Or a scene where dialogue has to be thrown in a very taunting, irreverent way. There is no one to beat Satyaraj in that. So I do take inspiration from them, and then work it out in my own style.

Question :
How do you choose your roles? The director/banner matters to you?


Vijay :
The director, banner is secondary to me. My first priority is the story. Only if I like it, do I go into the other aspects, like the director, heroine, banner, etc. I have worked in new banners and under new directors when their stories had interested me.

Question :
How do you rate yourself as an actor?

Vijay :
People do appreciate my fights, my performance, though I myself dont feel I have achieved much. Ill give myself ten marks out of hundred if I rate myself.

Question :
Are you still interested in doing two-hero subjects? You were reportedly put off by your early experiences.

Vijay :
I have no hassles doing a film with another hero. Provided the subject interested me and the role was good.

Question :
After Rajinikant and Kamal you are the one in the next enviable position. How do you feel about it?

Vijay :
I fell very happy. And grateful to all those distributors and producers who have put their faith in me. But comparing me with Rajini and Kamal I feel a little embarrassed by it. They have achieved so much. I still have a long way to go.

Question:
How do you manage to stay away from scandals?

Vijay :
There is no conscious strategy. But I as a newcomer did face this in my earlier days. Gossips about my affair with some heroine. But I didnt react to them then and they died a natural death.

Question:
You are supposed to be one of the highest paid stars. What have you to say about the skyrocketing star price?

Vijay :
It was after Kadhalukku Mariyadhai that these rumours started that I was charging astronomical rates. I want to clarify here that I have not entered this field for money. I am the only son, and my parents have made enough, and I dont have to struggle and earn my bread. I want to earn popularity, fame, and audience approval. Money is only secondary.

Question :
Who has been the most influential person in your life?

Vijay :
My father - in all respects, personally and professionally, he has been the greatest influence in my life.

Question :
But its said that he was a little overprotective about you.

Vijay :
Nothing of that sort, I should say. Being their only son, it was but natural that they be concerned about me. But they never forced their ideas or opinions on me that would have stifled my growth.

Question :
Talent, hard work and luck. Which do you consider as the most important for an artistes career?

Vijay :
Talent and luck I would rate at 50-50 for an artistes growth. Hard work is necessary no doubt. But without luck and the talent to back you up, all the hard work would go waste.

Question :
Negative criticism, how does it affect you?

Vijay :
I dont take it very seriously. But there was a time when a part of the media, was very harsh on me. When I had that problem with my back and was recuperating. They said that that was the end of me. There were other nasty rumours too. So I make it a point to clarify my stand with the press. They have been to a large extent instrumental in my success and have supported me all along. But thats all a thing of the past and I hold no grudge.

Question :
What are your plans for the future?

Vijay :
I have worked hard to reach this position. I have to maintain it. I have to work on how I should consolidate it. I cannot afford to be complacent, for it is a competitive field. I cannot let down my fans, who have put so much faith in me and my producers who have staked so much money on me. The respect and popularity that I have earned is tremendous. I try to do a variety of roles today. But I have realised that at the international level it is the action hero who commands more clout. So whatever roles I do today, I will definitely do at least one action oriented role a year.

Question :
You did start as an action hero. Somewhere along the way you changed track.

Vijay :
It is true. Then came Poove Unakkaga where I had this soft role. The film and my role were appreciated. Then, all the films that came my way were similar ones. I did do Selva an action oriented film. It didnt do well, so people never knew about it. My next success was again in a soft romantic role, Love Today. So people got this general impression that I was doing only the softer kind of roles. That was the reason I chose an anti-hero subject like Priyamudan.

Question :
How do you react to success and failure?

Vijay :
I react the same way to both success and failure, because these things are not in our hands. I do my part to the best of my ability. The rest is in the hands of the audience So, I dont worry much when my films flop nor get unduly excited when they are successful.

Vijays forthcoming films are Khushi where he is paired with Jotika. Produced by A. M. Ratnam (Indian, Kadhalar Dinam) this film is lavishly budgeted. S.J. Surya (of Vaali fame directs it. Another film on the floors is Udaya starring him and Simran. It has music by A. R. Rehman. Produced by V. Natarajan, it is directed by Azhagar Perumal. And there is the Fazil directed Kannukkul Nilavu where Vijay is teamed again with Shalini. Vijay feels its a challenging role like the one he had in the directors earlier film Kadhalukku Mariyadhai.

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Vijay: 'The superstar status embarrasses me'

(Source : www.cinematoday2.itgo.com)



Though Vijay debuted in his home production Nalaya Therpu, directed by his father S A Chandrashekar, it was Fazils super hit Kadhalukku Mariyathai that really boosted his career. Hits like Poove Unkahe by Vikraman, Love Today from Super Good Chowdhary, Priyamudan by Vincent Selva followed and he was hailed Tamil filmdoms superstar, next only to Rajanikanth and Kamal. But two years and a string of flops later, especially Kannukul Nilavu directed by Fazil, had him slipping down and out of competition. Now, with the success of Kushy hes back in reckoning but can he face competition from the likes of Ajith and Vikram?
The star discusses his superstar status, or the lack of it, as well as the rumours of his separation from his wife, his charitable acts and future moves.

Excerpts:

You have been off media for long...
Its not a deliberate move. I was in Ooty, London and Mysore to finish Friends and Priyamaanavale. Secondly, the question on every journalists lips is whether I have divorced my wife. I have been attacked by the press right since my marriage. Some said I was marrying under duress and others said it was without my parents consent. Then there was talk about my wife having a child before marriage and my attempting suicide because of it. Now that my wife delivered in London and I was not with her she is supposed to have separated from me. Should I answer to all this?

What is the truth?
Thank god you asked. I think I am lucky to have got a wife like Sangeetha. She has never reacted to these reports or asked me even once about them. I was completing the shooting of Priyamaanavale at the time she was to deliver and had I taken off it would have caused considerable loss. My parents went and met their daughter-in-law and grandchild instead. They scanned my son's photo and sent it to me. Anyway, I left for London after I finished my work. Some said that I was not with her because I had left her. I am shooting here and why cant the press talk to me about it?

You seem to have lost the superstar status now?
(laughs) It was something the distributors foisted on me. I really havent achieved anything like Rajanikanth or Kamal Haasan and was embarrassed by the superstar status. Failure of some films made the distributors re-think on the superstar status but I think its not so very important while success and failure are. One learns from them and we can only correct our mistakes.

How are you correcting your mistakes?
Priyamaanavale and Friends are two films which are bound to click. Selvabharathi has taken a Telugu story and worked hard on it. Sidiq of Friends is one director who has perfected the script and he comes from the Fazil school and so you can hope for the best.

Fazil once gave a lift to your career but then he also gave you a major flop?
Kannukul Nilavu might be a flop but its not a bad film. The audience was not prepared to see me in a mad mans role and I think I was too young to do the role. But as an actor its a very satisfying role.

Requesting Vikraman to direct you is also a part of your corrective measures?
He gave me a break from the dancing-fighting hero routine with Poove Unkahe and today he is the most saleable director, so what is wrong in my asking him to do a film with me?

Is doing a remake a corrective step?
Selvabharathi and Sidiq are doing remakes because its a surefire way to get a hit and I never found a story better than that of these two films.

Any other projects?
I have a film with Ravi, associate to Ramgopal Varma.

Your charity drives are said to be a move to enter politics?
I am a person who does not read the front page of newspapers because it does not interest me. The other day when I went to a function, the CM called me and spoke to me. Soon everyone started winking and saying look Vijay is with Karunanidhi. My father has taught me to distance myself from olitics but at the same time not from personalities. All his life, my father has been close to Karunanidhi but never once has he embarked on a political tour for DMK.
My father was the person to initiate me into charity and to tell the truth, I was not interested. I would just start off the charity drive and push off. It was when I read an item about a school topper struggling to raise money, that I traced her and told her that I would sponsor her studies further. The joy in her and her mother was what set me thinking about doing charity. When I donated gold rings to newborns in Madurai Government Hospital, one mother fell at my feet and wept saying it was her dream that one day she should put a gram of gold on her daughter but getting a gold ring on the first day itself was beyond her dreams.

You seem to be very much in awe of your father?
Yes, the reason is that my parents have always taken pains to see that I succeed as an actor. Without my fathers guidance I would not have come up this far and my mothers prayers have undoubtedly helped me.

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"An Interview with Actor Vijay"

(Source : www.cinesouth.com)

"Every film has to be approached with fear in the heart". - Vijay.


On our way to interview Vijay at the 'Badhri' sets, we chance to see the posters announcing the one hundredth day celebration of 'Priyamanavale' and the successful run of 'Friends'for twenty five days.

Has Vijay assumed Viswarupa? At the moment, Vijay's image has grown very high because of the continuous release of three successful films, namely, Kushi, Piriyamanavale and Friends, that too, within a short span of time. Coming back with a bang has become Vijay's style.

We are on the dot at the shooting spot of 'Badhri'. The film unit is in a relaxed mood until the arrival of Vijay. It becomes busy the moment the hero has arrived. Vijay exchanges pleasantry with all those who have assembled there.

The shot has been made ready. In the scene, Monal rejects the love of Vijay (as the film is a 'remake' we do explain the scene in all its details).

Silently, Vijay accepts that he is in love with Monal. But Monal turns down his love for her on account of the difference in status that exists between them. She scolds and chides him too. But Vijay is not taken aback. He gives suitable rebuff to her.

While the scene was being shot, we could understand as to what makes him so famous.

The scene needed three takes, as Monal was not fluent with her Tamil, but Vijay was not at all distracted. He was focused to the perfection of his part. He utters his dialogues to himself. He comes round Monal and rehearses his piece of action. He is in all seriousness inside but he conducts himself in a calm, cool and collected way. There is clarity in his words and deeds. He wears a handsome expression in his face. He displays his involvement in full, in the task assigned to him.

We were happy to see his wonderful acting talent. When the scene was done, he made him immediately ready for the interview. Pat came the pithy replies when we shot our questions to him. They were short, crisp, straight and to the point. Therefore it became easy for us to get replies for 16 questions.


What do you feel about featuring in the three hits, Kushi, Priyamanavale and Friends?

I must thank you alone first for the same. There were several factors for the success of those films. The stories selected by me were good, the Directors to whom those films were given in charge were highly capable, the Producers were prompt in delivering the goods and the fans were appreciative in receiving those films well. Whenever I choose a story I would bank on it only when it creates a special feel inside my mind. As the viewers could also feel the very same emotions, which I felt beforehand, I was in a position to give those three successful films.


Have you been forced to figure in success films, as a matter of pressure, because of the failure of the film, 'Kannukkul Nilavu'?

Well said. Surely, it was a pressing situation. I had pinned my hopes on 'Kannukkul Nilavu'. When it backfired, I was in dire need of a successful film immediately. Indeed every actor would expect a successful film of his as and when a film of his meets with failure. It's quite natural!


Comedy was the highlight of 'Friends'. The audience enjoyed the effective comedy dished out by the film in the theatres. Did you enjoy the comic scenes during the shoots themselves?

By all means, we also enjoyed the comic scenes on the sets, but we could not enjoy in equal measure to the extent enjoyed by the viewers in theatres, because we, the performing artistes should exercise much care about the dialogue, timing sense etc, while displaying our acting talents. When we identify ourselves with the characters we play and become one with them, there is no way we can enjoy even the finer points such as comedy. All our attention would be focused while acting, on doing the bits correctly. Yet I could enjoy the comic very well like the others in theatres.


Is there any dearth of good story in Tamil? Why do you select stories from other languages? Is there any particular reason?

These things happen on their own accord. It so happens. That's all! My previous hits, 'Kadhalukku Mariyadhai' and 'Ninaithaen Vandhai' were also remakes. Sometimes, I would be working along with new Directors, continuously. Likewise, this has turned out to be a season for remakes. But I have not planned to act in remakes only. I don't think it is a mistake to act in remakes. In a way I contribute to the languages of Tamil by bringing in certain successful film stories of other languages into Tamil film land. I hope this is a healthy sign.



What are your views about your friends?

Everybody will have one bosom friend at least. He can't be deemed as a human being at all if he does not have even one close friend. I do have five intimate friends at least. Their comments would be correct and to the point. I have come across people who eulogise me, during previews. My friends are not like them. They won't praise me pointlessly. In case my performance is not good, they would insist me to change my style. Usually, they pass on correct judgments. One cannot talk freely with his own parents but one can reveal all his thoughts to one's friends. I always open my mind to my friends. I consider myself lucky in having some good friends.


What kind of impact does your success and failures make on the people of your household?

No family would ever be glad over the failure of any one of its members. Our household would also wear a desolated look and remain grief-stricken whenever a film of mine flops, but normally would return to normal after a week's time. Slowly, my people would motivate me hiding their sorrow within themselves. They would also draw my attention to the minus points of the film.

Similarly, our gaiety would know no bounds whenever a film of mine makes its grade. The successful run of my film is a tonic to all of us.


Serial Victories increase the expectations of the fans more and more. Whether this trend gives you a pleasure or a pressure?

One, nurses fear in the midst of happiness. When you hog the limelight with a hit film, your fans automatically expect more from you. We can't just stop them. So an actor has to pay his full attention to every film of his. I am also reasonably caution in this respect. "Badhri" would be my next film. I am taking utmost care about the way in which the film takes shape.

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An interview with popular star Vijay

(Source : www.megspace.com)

He comes from a privileged background for his parents, S. A. Chandrasekhar and Shobha, are producers, directors and writers in their own right. So when he joined films it was through his home production. His parents were not initially happy with their sons decision to take up acting as a career. Vijay recalls how he had to leave home to prove a point. Even then the going was not easy. The critics didnt take to him kindly in his first film. It was sheer determination and hard work that has helped Vijay carve out an enviable slot for himself. And when Vijay got married to Sangitha, the fan who stayed on to become his wife, rumour-mongers started spreading vicious gossip. That Sangitha had a child from an early alliance and that Vijay had committed suicide. Vijay then had cut short his honeymoon and arranged a press meet. "We are blissfully happy. Nothing is wrong with out marriage. I winder why the press doesnt clarify the matter with the concerned people," said he.

This was the second important press meet the actor had arranged to set matters right. The earlier one was when he had had an accident while performing a stunt scene in Priyamudan. As he was recuperating from a back injury, rumours spread in the press about how his career was kaput, and that he had better pack his bags and leave. It was also written that Vijay was in love with a co-star and that his parents had kept him under house arrest. A visibly hurt Vijay, normally a reserved, restrained person had then met the press promptly. With a chit in his hand, and still not completely recovered, the actor had then point by point refuted the various allegations against him. The press sure knows how to bring a shy-with-the-press actor out in the open and on the defensive!

Vijay Face to Face

Q: You come from a privileged background. Your entry must have been very easy.

Vijay: Since my parents were in films, no doubt I had an easy entry. But even if my father had not introduced me I would still have entered the line. I had a lot of confidence in my ability to deliver the goods if given the chance. Only thing is that it would have taken me a few more years to make my entry.

Q: Who was your inspiration, which actor attracted you?

Vijay: I had no role model as such. Every artiste has his own plus ad minus points. An artiste only in a particular scene or when he is good at a certain point inspires me. Like Vijaykants fight scenes. He does it so well and such scenes inspire me. Or a scene where dialogue has to be thrown in a very taunting, irreverent way. There is no one to beat Satyaraj in that. So I do take inspiration from them, and then work it out in my own style.

Q: How do you choose your roles? The director/banner matters to you?

Vijay: The director, banner is secondary to me. My first priority is the story. Only if I like it, do I go into the other aspects, like the director, heroine, banner, etc. I have worked in new banners and under new directors when their stories had interested me.

Q: How do you rate yourself as an actor?

Vijay: People do appreciate my fights, my performance, though I myself dont feel I have achieved much. Ill give myself ten marks out of hundred if I rate myself.

Q: Are you still interested in doing two-hero subjects? You were reportedly put off by your early experiences.

Vijay: I have no hassles doing a film with another hero. Provided the subject interested me and the role was good.

Q: After Rajinikant and Kamal you are the one in the next enviable position. How do you feel about it?

Vijay: I fell very happy. And grateful to all those distributors and producers who have put their faith in me. But comparing me with Rajini and Kamal I feel a little embarrassed by it. They have achieved so much. I still have a long way to go.

Q: How do you manage to stay away from scandals?

Vijay: There is no conscious strategy. But I as a newcomer did face this in my earlier days. Gossips about my affair with some heroine. But I didnt react to them then and they died a natural death.

Q: You are supposed to be one of the highest paid stars. What have you to say about the skyrocketing star price?

Vijay: It was after Kadhalukku Mariyadhai that these rumours started that I was charging astronomical rates. I want to clarify here that I have not entered this field for money. I am the only son, and my parents have made enough, and I dont have to struggle and earn my bread. I want to earn popularity, fame, and audience approval. Money is only secondary.

Q: Who has been the most influential person in your life?

Vijay: My father - in all respects, personally and professionally, he has been the greatest influence in my life.

Q: But its said that he was a little overprotective about you.

Vijay: Nothing of that sort, I should say. Being their only son, it was but natural that they be concerned about me. But they never forced their ideas or opinions on me that would have stifled my growth.

Q: Talent, hard work and luck. Which do you consider as the most important for an artistes career?

Vijay: Talent and luck I would rate at 50-50 for an artistes growth. Hard work is necessary no doubt. But without luck and the talent to back you up, all the hard work would go waste.

Q: Negative criticism, how does it affect you?

Vijay: I dont take it very seriously. But there was a time when a part of the media, was very harsh on me. When I had that problem with my back and was recuperating. They said that that was the end of me. There were other nasty rumours too. So I make it a point to clarify my stand with the press. They have been to a large extent instrumental in my success and have supported me all along. But thats all a thing of the past and I hold no grudge.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

Vijay: I have worked hard to reach this position. I have to maintain it. I have to work on how I should consolidate it. I cannot afford to be complacent, for it is a competitive field. I cannot let down my fans, who have put so much faith in me and my producers who have staked so much money on me. The respect and popularity that I have earned is tremendous. I try to do a variety of roles today. But I have realised that at the international level it is the action hero who commands more clout. So whatever roles I do today, I will definitely do at least one action oriented role a year.

Q: You did start as an action hero. Somewhere along the way you changed track.

Vijay: It is true. Then came Poove Unakkaga where I had this soft role. The film and my role were appreciated. Then, all the films that came my way were similar ones. I did do Selva an action oriented film. It didnt do well, so people never knew about it. My next success was again in a soft romantic role, Love Today. So people got this general impression that I was doing only the softer kind of roles. That was the reason I chose an anti-hero subject like Priyamudan.

Q: How do you react to success and failure?

Vijay: I react the same way to both success and failure, because these things are not in our hands. I do my part to the best of my ability. The rest is in the hands of the audience So, I dont worry much when my films flop nor get unduly excited when they are successful.

Vijays forthcoming films are Khushi where he is paired with Jotika. Produced by A. M. Ratnam (Indian, Kadhalar Dinam) this film is lavishly budgeted. S.J. Surya (of Vaali fame directs it. Another film on the floors is Udaya starring him and Simran. It has music by A. R. Rehman. Produced by V. Natarajan, it is directed by Azhagar Perumal. And there is the Fazil directed Kannukkul Nilavu where Vijay is teamed again with Shalini. Vijay feels its a challenging role like the one he had in the directors earlier film Kadhalukku Mariyadhai.

Heres wishing Vijay all the best for the new millennium!

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