Vijaya Gurunatha “Vijay” Sethupathi, is an Indian film actor, producer, lyricist, and dialogue writer who works in Tamil films. He is also referred to as "Makkal Selvan" (People's Son) in Tamil Nadu.
Following a stint as an accountant, Sethupathi began considering an acting career. He started his film career working as a background actor, playing minor supporting roles for over five years, before playing his first lead role in Seenu Ramasamy's Thenmerku Paruvakaatru (2010). He went on to play the villain role in Sundarapandian (2012), and got his breakout roles with the films Pizza (2012) and Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom (2012). He continued to star in successful films such as Soodhu Kavvum (2013), Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara (2013), Pannaiyarum Padminiyum (2014), Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (2015), Sethupathi, Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum (2016), Dharma Durai (2016), Kavan (2017), Vikram Vedha (2017) and Karuppan (2017) all of which earned critical and commercial success, and turned Vijay Sethupathi into a bankable and popular "Indie-film star" in Tamil cinema.
Vijay Sethupathi was raised in Rajapalayam until he moved to Chennai in class six. He attended the MGR Higher Secondary School in Kodambakkam and Little Angels Mat HR Sec School. According to Sethupathi, he was a "below-average student right from school" and was neither interested in sports nor extra-curricular activities.
Sethupathi did a series of odd jobs for pocket money: salesman at a retail store, cashier at a fast food joint and a phone booth operator. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Dhanraj Baid Jain College (an affiliate of the University of Madras) in Thoraipakam. A week after he finished college, he joined as an account assistant at a wholesale cement business. He had to take care of three siblings and moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates as an accountant only because it paid him four times more than what he was making in India. In those two years in Dubai, he fell in love with Jessie from Kollam in Kerala, whom he met online and married her in 2003.
Unhappy with his job, he returned to India in 2003. After a brief stint in the interior decoration business with friends, he joined a marketing company that dealt with readymade kitchens when he saw Koothupattarai’s poster. He recalled director Balu Mahendra remarking that he had a "very photogenic face", and motivated him to pursue an acting career.