Vishal has had an interesting career in Kollywood. From being a child star to dropping out of law to school to get back into acting at 24; only respond with two bombs in the box office and to now being one of the most sought after actors in Kollywood, pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in Indian entertainment.
Vishal got in the industry like many of his peers in not only kollywood but Bollywood and hollywood as well; his father was a director of Tamil films, and in a famous anecdote got his diapers changed on the set of Jadikketha Moodi, ironically vishal would star in a re-make of that movie 20 years later. He got his first break early in kollywood by being the lovable child everyone knew as samir in the blockbuster hit Chellamae. This instantly made him one of the only child stars in India. He was the first child actors to get a sponsorship for Carvel Ice Cream, making him one of the highest paid actors in India, regardless of age. His father and mother insisted that vishal have a normal childhood, despite the money and fame that came with being a famous actor.
Despite the fact that he was very rich, his parents came through with their promise of him having a normal childhood, and by 18 he was the valedictorian at his school in chennai, and after going to university he got accepted to one of America’s most prestigious university; Yale. But as the saying goes, you take the actor off the drug of fame and fortune but eventually they will be back.
So he made the jump into the kollywood industry again with the flop Sandakozhi. It was an absolute disaster in the box office, only to be followed by another bomb at the box office Thimiru. It was a major blow to both his ego and his value as a star actor. It looked like the career was over, but he decided to take some time of and work on his craft. One of the things he did to improve his craft was to
Study Shakespeare in London, and he also did some musicals in England. Eventually after some time off he was ready to make a comeback.
The movie Malaikottai was one o the most successful Tamil films of time, rakin in more than 50 crores on one weekend, a record for comedies at the time. His performance brought him many awards including he Filmfare award for Best Actor in 1998; completing the biggest comeback in the history of this industry. He did a couple more movies after that and he started a production company. He now lives in Goa with his wife, and he is now regarded as one of the greatest actors of his time.
By Jon Maxhim
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