Vijay Sethupathi made his first big-screen appearance as an ‘audience member’ in the 1996 romantic drama film ‘Gokulathil Seethai.’ He went on to make small appearances in films like ‘M. Kumaran Son of Mahalakshmi’ (1996), ‘Pudhupettai’ (2006), and ‘Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu’ (2009). After playing minor supporting roles for almost a decade, Vijay got his first breakthrough as the lead actor in ‘Thenmerku Paruvakatru’ (2010). The film went on to win three ‘National Film Awards’, including the ‘Best Tamil Feature Film' of the year.
In 2011, he starred in the drama film ‘Varnam,’ directed by Raju S. M. The film received positive reviews from critics and did decent business at the box office. In 2012, Sethupathi starred as ‘C. Prem Kumar’ in the Balaji Tharaneetharan-directed black-comedy film ‘Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom.’ He earned critical acclaim for his performance and won several awards, including ‘Norway Tamil Film Festival Award,’ ‘Edison Award (India),’ and ‘7th Vijay Award.’
The year 2013 was a good one for Sethupathi as three of his movies, ‘Sundarapandian’, ‘Pizza’ and ‘Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom’ were successful at the box office. By the end of the year, he was named the best Tamil actor of the year and ‘The rising star of Kollywood’. In 2014, Vijay Sethupathi starred in the comedy-drama film ‘Sundarapandian’ directed by S. R. Prabhakaran. Vijay earned wide praise for his performance as ‘Jegan’ in the film and won the ‘Tamil Nadu State Film Award’ for ‘Best Villain.’ Sethupathi continued to star in films like ‘Naanum Rowdy Dhaan’ (2015) where he earned a nomination for the ‘SIIMA Award,’ ‘Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum’ (2016), ‘Dharma Durai’ (2016), ‘Vikram Vedha’ (2017) where he won the ‘Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil; and ‘Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Solren’ (2018).
In the year 2019, Sethupathi appeared in the Karthik Subbaraj-directed action drama film ‘Petta.’ The film opened to mixed reviews from critics but went on to become a huge commercial success. That same year, he made his Telugu movie debut in the Surender Reddy-directed historical action film ‘Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy’ (2019). He was last seen in the 2021 drama film ‘Mughizh,’ directed by Karthik Swaminathan.
Vijay Sethupathi was last seen in the Karthik Swaminathan-directed drama film ‘Mughizh.’ He is all set to make his Bollywood debut in the upcoming action thriller film ‘Mumbaikar.’ Some of his upcoming movies include ‘Kadaisi Vivasayi,’ ‘Viduthalai,’ ‘Vikram,’ and ‘Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir.’