The superstar that Vijay is today, he had quite a sedate start to his career. He had a string of flops initially, his debut movie Naalaiya Theerpu (1992), and subsequent films including Sendhoorapandi (1993), Rasigan (1994) and Deva (1995), all bombed at the box office. It was not until 1996 that he got his first major hit; his movie Poove Unakkaga not only performed well at the box office but also made Vijay a recognizable star.
The following year, in 1997, the actor appeared in movies like Love Today, Once More, and Nerrukku Ner but his major hit of the year was Fazil’s Kadhalukku Mariyadhai, which earned him his maiden Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor for that year. Vijay followed his Kadhalukku Mariyadhai’s success with a few more hit movies like Nilaave Vaa and Ninaithen Vandhai. He continued his good work in 1999 as he starred in Thulladha Manamum Thullum alongside Simran Bagga, which was a smashing hit and also highly critically acclaimed. The movie went on to win the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film.
During the early 2000’s Vijay planned to star mainly in action movies. In 2003, he starred in the romantic action film Thirumalai alongside Jyothika. The movie went on to become a massive commercial hit and is considered to be a turning point in Vijay’s career. The following year, Vijay collaborated with director Dharani for the first time for his action film Ghilli, which received rave critical reviews as well as emerged as a blockbuster at the box office. The actor followed his Ghilli success with yet another action films like Thirupaachi(2005), and Pokkiri (2007). The latter became the highest grossing film of 2007 and continues to remain one of Vijay’s biggest blockbuster hits in his career.
In 2011, the actor teamed up with director Siddique for the romantic-comedy Kaavalan, which was the remake of the Malayalam film titled Bodyguard was screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival in China. His other film of the year, Velayudham, directed by Mohan Raja went to become one of the highest-grossing films of that year. Vijay continued his good run at the box-office as he delivered yet another blockbuster titled Nanban (2012), which was the remake of the Bollywood film 3 Idiots. The movie went on to run for more than 100 days in the theaters across Tamil Nadu. His next release of the year, Thuppaki, which was directed by A.R. Murugadoss went onto gross 100 crore INR at the box office.
In 2014, Vijay once again collaborated with A. R. Murugadoss for the action-drama Kaththi co-starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Neil Nitin Mukesh. The movie released during Diwali and it went to become the highest-grossing Tamil film of the year. With no major success to his name in 2015, the actor started off 2016 with a bang with S. Dhanu’s Theri cast alongside Amy Jackson and Samantha Ruth Prabhu. The movie opened to positive critical reviews and was a huge commercial hit. His 2017 release includes Mersal, an action film directed by Atlee.