Vijay is a Tamil film actor and playback singer. He began his acting career doing many minor uncredited roles as a child artist in films produced by his father S. A. Chandrasekhar. Post-Thirumalai, he began portraying a stereotypical acting manner, much like Rajinikanth and M. G. Ramachandran. Vijay has more recently become a charismatic film star and has thus developed a large fan-following for himself.
Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar was born on June 22, 1974, to film producer and director S. A. Chandrasekhar and Shoba Chandrasekhar, a playback singer. He had a sister named Vidhya Chandrasekhar who died at the age of two. The story of Vidhya Chandrasekhar was pictured in the film, Sukran. Vijay went on to do Visual Communications at Loyola College, Chennai & was classmates with fellow actor Surya Sivakumar, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Karthik Raja, and Vishnuvardhan.
He married the Sri Lankan Tamil, Sangeetha Sornalingam, on August 25, 1999. She was a die-hard fan of Vijay and sought interest in marrying him. She flew down and visited him personally in India. They eventually got engaged with the blessings of both their parents. They have two children, a son named Jason Sanjay, born on August 26, 2000 in London, and a daughter named Divya Saasha, born on September 9, 2005 in Chennai.
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 Vijay to stay in the industry. 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 and Kadhalukku Mariyadhai. Kadhalukku Mariyadhai made Vijay receive that year's Tamil Nadu state Best Actor Award. Thulladha Manamum Thullum came as a blockbuster in 1999. Then he came back with successes of Khushi, Priyamaanavale and Friends in 2000.His string of failure films during 2001 and 2002 was ended by Thirumalai in 2003 which had Vijay in a new facial appearance.
Ghilli, which was released in 2004, is considered to be one of Vijay's biggest hit in Kollywood. Another hit had followed, which was Madhurey, later that year. It was in this year which Vijay began to portray his current mass-hero, stereotypical acting style. The following year he had stumbling time with movies such as Thirupaachi was a major hit and Sachein was average grosser. Sivakasi was a super hit.
Vijay appeared in Aadhi in 2006, followed by a short hiatus. He later accepted to work in Pokkiri which was directed by Prabhu Deva and released in 2007. Later that year, Vijay starred in the romantic drama film Azhagiya Thamizh Magan, and for the first time, he appeared in dual roles, as both the antagonist and protagonist. In 2008, he starred in the action film Kuruvi, again under Dharani's direction.
The year 2009 started off with the action masala film Villu, which was directed by Prabhu Deva and had Vijay in dual roles for the second time in his career. Vijay's next film, Vettaikaaran, was directed by Babu Sivan, produced by AVM Productions and distributed by Sun Pictures. In 2010, Vijay's 50th film Sura, another Sun Pictures distribution, released with mixed reviews and fails in Boxoffice.
In the year 2002, Vijay was chosen as Coca Cola's brand ambassador in Tamil Nadu. In 2008, Vijay was signed up as the star ambassador for the Indian Premier League cricket team Chennai Super Kings. In 2010, Vijay was signed by Jos Alukkas as their brand ambassador for Tamil Nadu.
Vijay also sang several ghaana songs in his own films. He has also lent his voice for songs for other actors, which were films produced by S. A. Chandrasekhar. Vijay's songs are often of gaana-style folk beat type. The last song Vijay sang was Vaadi Vaadi from Sachien in 2005.
Vijay inaugurated 'Makkal Iyakkam' (People Movement) on his birthday in 2009, its motive is to do social work.
In the start of 2011 the Tamil remake of the Malayalam film Bodyguard also co-starring Asin directed by Siddque. It received a positive response from both viewers and critics and was deemed to be a box office hit, in spite of the ruling DMK stalling its release in many theatres which forced Vijay to shell out his salary and spend an extra 4 crore (US$728,000) for the release of the film
His next release was Nanban, the Tamil remake of the Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots, where he essayed the role played by Aamir Khan in the original. Directed by acclaimed director S. Shankar, it released during the Pongal weekend of 2012 and was a box office blockbuster.
Made a friendly appearance in the 2012 Bollywood film Rowdy Rathore starring Akshay Kumar, directed by Prabhu Deva.
The action thriller film Thuppakki, directed by A. R. Murugadoss and produced by S. Dhanu, released on Diwali 2012 to highly positive reviews and was a commercial success across the globe. After 7 years he has sung "Google Google" for Harris Jayaraj for his film Thuppakki. The movie again box office hit after Nanban