Tamil cinema’s lead actors have continued to impress with their performances and sheer star power. Some have turned experimental with interesting results whereas others have chosen to stick to their strengths.
Their offerings on the big screen have been lapped up by the audience. Here is a look at the top 20 lead actors in Tamil.
Ranking Based on:
- Current Trade Value
- Fans Following
- Hits Since 2000
- Upcoming Projects
Atharva made an impact with his debut film, Bana Kathadi. This young man seems to have his head firmly on his shoulders and is being judicious with his career choices. As a result, he has the promising Mupphozhudum Un Karpanaigal and none other than Bala’s next film, Eriyum Thanal in his kitty.
Srikanth’s career has revived in a big way. He landed a part in the hugely awaited Vijay film, Nanban which is a remake of 3 Idiots and also has Edhiri En 3 and Paagan to look forward to.
Aadhi has shocked with the power and versatility of his performance in films like Mirugam and Eeram. Vasanthabalan’s Aravaan may just be the launch pad that is going to catapult him into the higher echelons of stardom.
The actor who played Vijay’s brother in Bhagavathi has come a long way since then. Having gotten himself noticed in Chennai 600028, he went on to prove his mettle as an actor with Subramaniapuram. This year Jai delivered another memorable performance in Engeyum Eppodhum. He will be back with Vettai Mannan with Simbu next year.
Vimal will always be Kalavani in the hearts of Tamil cinema fans. This actor with the boy – next door looks is a wellspring of talent. This year, Thoonga Nagaram, Etthan, and Vaagai Sooda Vaa saw him in decent performances that proved he is here to stay. The future also looks bright for this young star as he will be seen next in Masala Café and Rendavadhu Padam.
Bharath was part of the multi – starrer Vaanam and Yuvan Yuvathi. It was a lukewarm year for the actor but he has already proved himself with films like Veyil and Kaadhal. He will be looking to prove himself again with Thiruthani, Aravaan and 555.
Madhavan is like the prodigal son of Tamil cinema as he is forever running off to make hit films in other languages. But he always returns to Tamil cinema and makes up with something extra special. He was last seen in Manmadhan Ambu where he gave a memorable performance and he is all set to rock with Vettai.
Avan Ivan has done wonders for Vishal’s career as people are sitting up and taking note of this promising star. Vedi was his other release this year. Vishal’s next is Samaran with Trisha and there is a good buzz for this film.
12. Jeyam Ravi
Jeyam Ravi’s only release this year was Engeyum Kaadhal. The actor seemed to have taken stock and made some key decisions regarding his career. Ameer’s film Aadhi Bhagawan promises to show Ravi in a new avatar and he will also be doing SP Jananadhan’s next film which will co – star Jeeva.
There is no denying that Jeeva is a talented performer and films like Ram, Siva Manasula Sakthi, and Ee bear testament to this statement. Finally it all came together for this actor with Ko which is one of the biggest hits of the year. Singam Puli, Rowthiram and Vandhaan Vendraan were his other releases in 2011. Following the success of Ko, Jeeva was flooded with the crème de la crème of offers and consequently he is working on promising films like Gautham Menon’s Neethane En Ponvasantham and Mysskin’s Mugamoodi.
Aarya is the dark horse who usually proves to be a winner. With Boss Engira Baskaran going on to become a cult classic, Aarya proved that he had truly arrived. In 2011, he displayed his acting chops in films like Avan Ivan and Urumi. Vettai will be his next release and he will follow it up with Selvaraghavan’s Irandam Ulagam.
Karthi proved that he was something special with his debut film, Paruthiveeran by delivering a performance that many consider to be among the finest in Tamil cinema. He is an endless reservoir of talent and has the X factor which sends fans into a frenzy when they see his magic on the big screen. His films like Paiyaa, Naan Mahan Alla and Siruthai have struck gold at the box office. With films like Saguni and All In All Azhagu Raja in the offing, Karthi seems poised to compete with the best in Tamil cinema.
8. Young superstar Simbu
Simbu was on a roll and revealed hidden depths as an actor with Vaanam. There is no denying that Simbu has that elusive something called charisma. With Vetrimaaran’s film, Vada Chennai and Nelson’s Vettai Mannan on the anvil, it seems likely that Simbu will continue to scale new heights.
Dhanush had the kind of year that most people can only dream about. Aadukalam saw him in the performance of a lifetime and he bagged the national award for it. He flexed his muscles as a commercially viable star with films like Maapillai and Vengai and then followed it up with another hard – hitting film, Mayakkam Enna. If all this were not enough, the phenomenon called Kolaveri Di happened and will help him maintain his momentum for the year ahead which will see him in wife, Aishwarya’s film, 3 and Mareesan.
6. Chiyaan Vikram
Vikram remains one of the gutsiest actors in Tamil cinema. Deiva Thirumagal saw him deliver yet another finely nuanced performance. The best part is he followed it up with a diametrically opposite Rajapattai.
People expect Surya to surprise them and he keep reinventing himself. And that is exactly what he did with 7am Arivu. And his vaunted six pack abs serves as his USP. Surya’s next film is Maatraan and word is that he is all set to push the envelope again.
4. Ultimate star Ajith
Ajith’s Mankatha was one of the landmark films of his career. The star went against the tide in his inimitable style playing a negative character in his 50th film and the film smashed records at the box office. And his legion of fans continues to grow and there is a fever of anticipation surrounding his next release – Billa 2.
3. Ilayathalapathy Vijay
Vijay had a memorable year as he notched up two of the biggest hits in a career that has seen many such box office gems. The strength of his fan following was evident when their loyalty kept Kavalan afloat even as vested interests worked against the film. Velayudham released later in the year has also been declared a smash hit. With Nanban, Thuppakki and Yohan: Adhyayam Ondru forming his line – up it seems that
2. Padma Shri Kamal Hassan
Kamal Hassan’s Manmadhan Ambu was released towards the end of 2010 and it has given the fans something to tide them over till his next delectable cinematic offering. Viswaroopam will hit the screens sometime next year and as always the expectations are sky high.
1. Superstar Rajnikanth
Rajnikanth remains number one the way he was yesterday, is today and will be tomorrow, the day after, always and forever. A personal health crisis played out like the heart stopping drama in one of his films and when he recovered the fans got their happy ending. Kochadaiyan is superstar’s next film and 2012 is going to witness Rajnikanth hysteria all over again.