Suriya (born Saravanan Sivakumar on 23 July 1975) is an Indian film actor, film producer and television presenter, who is currently working in the Tamil film industry. He has acted in 30 films in various genres as a lead actor till date. After making his debut in Nerukku Ner (1997), he went on to feature in several critical and commercial successes, most notably Nandha (2001), Kaakha Kaakha (2003), Perazhagan (2004), Ghajini (2005), Vaaranam Aayiram (2008), Ayan (2009), Singam (2010) and Singam II (2013). As of 2010, he has won three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and three Filmfare Awards South. He was listed #33 in Forbes India's "Celebrity 100 List" for the year 2013.
He is the eldest son of Tamil film actor Sivakumar, and married actress Jyothika in 2006, after being engaged for several years. In 2008, he began Agaram Foundation, which funds for various philanthropic activities. The year 2012 marked his debut as a television presenter with the popular STAR Vijay gaming show Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi, Tamil version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
23 July 1975
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Occupation||Film actor, producer, television presenter|
|Years active||1997 – present|
|Spouse(s)||Jyothika (m. 2006)|
Early life and family:
The stage name Suriya was bestowed to the actor by director Mani Ratnam to avoid a clash of names with established actor Saravanan. The name Suriya was frequently used for characters in Mani Ratnam films. Suriya attended Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan School and St. Bede's Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Chennai, and obtained his under graduate degree B.Com from Loyola College, Chennai. Suriya has a younger brother, Karthi, who is also a Tamil film actor, and a younger sister.
Suriya is married to Jyothika, who was also a film actress, with whom he was paired in films such as Kaakha Kaakha, Perazhagan and Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. The couple, after being together for several years, officially got married on 11 September 2006. They have two children, one daughter and one son. Jyothika has quit acting since their marriage and became a full-time housewife.
His only release in 2011 that feaured him in a starring role was A. R. Murugadoss's science fiction thriller 7aum Arivu. Suriya played dual roles in the film, as a circus artist and as the Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma, who lived in the 6th century. The film met with mixed reception, but was a commercial success. His 2012 release was the K. V. Anand directed Maattrraan in which he played the role of conjoined twins, Vimalan and Akhilan. The film received mixed reviews and the film ended up being an average grosser.
In January 2012, Suriya was named as the official host of the new game show to be presented on STAR Vijay, Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi, the Tamil version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, which began airing on 27 February 2012 and ended on 12 July. His next film was Singam II, a sequel to his 2010 film Singam, that released on 5 July 2013 to mixed responses from critics. However, the film received a huge opening and emerged one of the highest grossing Tamil films of all time. Suriya was once again acclaimed for his portrayal of Durai Singam and his performance was hailed as "the film's backbone". He had signed on to feature in Gautham Menon's film Dhruva Natchathiram and reportedly waited for six months to start filming. However, in October 2013, he backed out due to lagging of the project and differences with the director. His next film Anjaan directed by N. Lingusamy was released on 15 August 2014 to negative reviews, but was a moderate commercial success. He is currently working on Venkat Prabhu's film Masss.
Suriya has been the ambassador for TVS Motors, Aircel and Sunfeast since 2006. He has endorsed Saravana Stores, Bharathi Cements and Emami Navaratna products since 2010. In 2011, he had signed a new deal with Nescafe, Close-Up (toothpaste) and more recently with Zandu Balm brand as of May 2011, for which he appeared with actress Malaika Arora. In 2012, Suriya endorsed Malabar Gold, a leading jewellery group. Some of these commercials featured Suriya and his wife Jyothika together. In 2013, he was honored at the Edison Awards as the Best Male Endorser in South India.
In 2008, Suriya began the Agaram Foundation, working to help children who drop out of school early in Tamil Nadu. With the Ministry of Education in Tamil Nadu, he created a short commercial video outlining child poverty, labour and lack of education, titled Herova? Zerova?. The film was written and produced by Sivakumar and also starred Joseph Vijay, R. Madhavan and Jyothika. Agaram has sponsored 159 underprevileged students in 2010 for their higher education in various disciplines. With the firm belief that the educated mind can not only eliminate social evils but also aid in the socio-economic upbringing of society, Agaram Foundation works towards providing appropriate learning opportunities to the rural populace who do not otherwise have access to quality education. Suriya, along with his father and brother, has also extended help towards the education of Sri Lankan Tamil children on behalf of the Sivakumar Charitable Trust. He is also an active participant in other philanthropic works such as "Save The Tigers" campaign, which aids in the protection and preservation of Tigers in India, and "REACH", a non-profit that cures TB patients for free using supervised medication programs. The actor celebrates every birthday by doing charity work across Tamil Nadu.
Suriya records his voice for a TeachAIDS program in 2013
In 2013, during his 38th birthday celebrations, some of his fans requested Suriya to enter politics. He apparently discussed the same with his father Sivakumar who was of the opinion that apart from the late matinee idol MGR, no Tamil film actor can "shine" in politics and advised his son to stay focused on acting and excel in it. In an interview with the Bangalore Mirror, Disney UTV's head of business in South India, G. Dhananjayan credited Suriya as the "biggest star" in contemporary Tamil film and claimed it was mainly because of his popularity among Telugu and Malayalam speaking audience.