Vijay is one of the leading stars in Kollywood and enjoys a great fan following among people of different age groups. His film journey screams of hard work and is inspiring, to say the least. Today, his market is so huge that films get made just for him. After Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, Vijay is the next big thing in Kollywood.
Tracing the history of Tamil cinema, leading stars in Kollywood are seen as demigods. Tamil cine buffs are also used to referring to stars with their own epithets, as it is believed it brings the stars closer to the people. It all started with the legendary actor-politician MG Ramachandran (MGR) who started being known as Makkal Thilagam.
MGR is one actor who shares a great relationship with the public even after reaching the peak of stardom. His connect with the people made him the Makkal Thilagam of people. Soon after, every actor from Sivaji Ganesan to Ajith and Vijay, have been given epithets either by fans of filmmakers.
Vijay started his career as a child artiste in a film titled Vetri, which was released in 1984. After doing a handful of films as a child actor, he worked in Rajinikanth’s Naan Sigappu Manithan. It was in 1992 that Vijay turned hero with a film titled Naalaiya Theerpu.
In his initial days, Vijay worked closely with his father, SA Chandrasekhar, who is also a filmmaker. It took a while for Vijay to taste success as a hero. Two years after his debut as a hero, Rasigan happened to him. It was his first commercial hit venture even though the critics panned the film. Vijay’s career as an Ilayathalapathy began with Rasigan.
Rasigan was the first film in which Vijay was credited with the epithet Ilaya Thalapathy, which means young commander. In the films that followed, Ilaya Thalapathy became his identity and fans latched on to it.
For three decades, Vijay was called Ilaya Thalapathy and he ruled the roost. His growth was exponential, which serves as a lesson for many aspirants. At 43, Vijay was still called Ilaya Thalapathy. Ilaya in Tamil means young.
In 2017, Vijay and director Atlee decided to change his epithet to Thalapathy, which means commander or leader. When the first-look poster of Master released, he was credited as Thalapathy. His fans were elated to see the change and celebrated the occasion like a carnival.
Over the years, Vijay became a star and his fans started seeing him as a political leader. He shunned his shy image and made the fans go gaga over his brilliant public speeches on many societal issues.
Thalapathy Vijay could be crowned as the next superstar of Kollywood. Rajinikanth is hailed as the Superstar of Kollywood right now. As and when he quits, Vijay could be celebrated as THE Superstar.