Although Vijay made his debut with Nuvvila in 2010, it was Yevade Subrahamanyam (2011) that brought him under the spotlight in 2015. Then Pelli Choopulu happened in 2016 and Arjun Reddy in 2017. Talking about the success, Vijay says: “I don’t know if it is quick or it took its time. People who noticed me from Arjun Reddy say it is very quick. I think for everyone it is a struggle. All those days make you what you are today. I wouldn’t change it for anything. When you look back, those struggles equip you to deal with them better. When I meet kids, they tell me, ‘Vijay, we have 7th board exams or we have 10th exams!’ There is so much pressure in school. I tell them to enjoy this pressure as it is going to help them deal with pressures later in life. If it was all smooth sailing and fun, and suddenly when you come to the real world it’s going to give you one slap.”
“There is something to gain from struggles.”
Vijay reminisces that he would work out like a beast and push his body to the limits when he was younger. “Because on a daily basis, you are dealing with so much. Life is so hard, you are dealing with insult, so much struggle that you vent it all in this work out. It gives you so much motivation and drive to do so many things,” he says. He, however, has eased into a more comfortable place now. “Once it is comfortable, as you have made a name, you have the money, the house is paid for, fuel is paid for, you have good food and three films in queue – it is hard to find that motivation again. For star kids it is really hard, because they have everything. I have to keep telling myself to stay on my toes. You will slacken unless you keep monitoring yourself. I feel what we call privilege is really good in a lot of ways but it balances out. You have privilege but you are losing something, you have struggles but there is something to gain from it. Sometimes I think that when I have kids, I must put them through the exact same thing and see how they come out of it.”
Currently on the work front Vijay is working on a Pan Indian film directed by Puri Jagannadh, tentatively titled “Fighter” where he is starring next to Ananya Panday .