Vijay Sethupathi seems to be following in footsteps of Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan towards becoming a pan-India star
Vijay Sethupathi is gradually becoming a pan-Indian star by marking a presence in the Telugu, Malayalam, and Hindi film industries.
Right from the inception of Tamil cinema, only a few stars tried to explore other film industries despite earning a huge fan base in their own turf. Among these few stars, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan established a strong foothold in various languages, including Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi. If you look at the glorious filmographies of these Tamil Superstars, apart from Tamil language blockbusters, they have tasted success in Bollywood, Sandalwood, Mollywood, and Tollywood.
Only because of the pan-India presence, producers got the confidence in Rajinikanth to bankroll 2.0, the costliest film ever produced in Indian cinema. Though films like Sivaji, Enthiran, Kabali, and 2.0 were predominantly shot in the Tamil language, they also earned sizable revenue outside Tamil Nadu because of the pan-Indian image of Rajinikanth.
In this case, Haasan was a pioneer. He was a superstar in Malayalam cinema even before the arrival of Mammootty and Mohanlal. He delivered silver-jubilee films in Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi cinema. The other language market earned by Kamal Haasan only gave him the confidence to act in films like Hey Ram, Aalavandhan, and Vishwaroopam, which released in multiple languages.
But after Rajinikanth and Haasan, no other big Tamil star seriously pursued and acted in other language films. Yes, there are a few exceptions like Ajith, Vikram, and Suriya, who did a one-off project in other languages. Ajith acted alongside Shah Rukh Khan in Asoka, Suriya acted in Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakta Charitra, and Vikram was seen in Raavan and David, and as a second fiddle in a few Malayalam films early in his career. Dhanush is one more exception but he only concentrated on Bollywood with films like Raanjhanaa and Shamitabh. Of course, Dhanush also appeared in the English-French film The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir but it did not help him much.
At least, these above stars tried acting in other language films, but big Tamil names like Vijay, Sivakarthikeyan, STR and others prefer to stay in their comfort zone. Now, Vijay Sethupathi follows the footsteps of Rajinikanth and Haasan. Despite earning a good fan base and market in Tamil cinema, Sethupathi walks the extra mile, and explores the other film industries in India.
The talented actor played an extended cameo in Jayaram’s Malayalam film Marconi Mathai, which fetched him a good name in Mollywood.
Sethupathi also plays a pivotal character named Raja Pandi in Chiranjeevi’s magnum opus period action drama Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy. This film will certainly give him a countrywide appeal as it will be releasing multiple languages. Sethupathi has also agreed to play the villain an upcoming Telugu language film.
Recently, when Sethupathi visited Australia for the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Shah Rukh Khan hailed him as one of the best actors in Indian cinema. The icing on the cake for Sethupathi is that he has been approached by another Khan. Aamir Khan recently visited the sets of Vijay Sethupathi-starrer Sanga Tamizhan, and both of them had a long chat to join hands for a Hindi film. Sethupathi recently confirmed the news on his possible film with Aamir, and added that the talks have been initiated.
If Sethupathi acts alongside with Aamir, he will become a known face in Bollywood, which will not only fetch him more roles in Hindi, but also pave way for his producers and directors to make pan-Indian films without thinking too much on the budget front. If talented performers like Sethupathi own market across the country, sky is the limit for them.
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