Vijay Deverakonda© HelloIndia

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Vijay Deverakonda

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Sashidhar Adivi

Why he matters: The heartthrob from the South has become a widely recognised cultural icon, courtesy of his films on OTT. A Bollywood favourite with biggies and actresses alike, this ‘Rowdy’ may just be the one who migrates seamlessly from one industry to the other, no mean feat indeed, with several before him having tried and failed. Sashidhar Adivi delves into the Deverakonda phenomenon.

He wears his heart on his sleeve! One of the main reasons Vijay Deverakonda commands the kind of following he does can be credited to his fearless attitude. Be it his on- screen characters or public appearances, his no-holds-barred speeches are always a hit among fans and audiences. And in an industry where diplomacy is the need of the hour, Vijay consciously chooses to be elusive.

Early in his career, Vijay appeared in blink-and-miss roles. At a time when everyone felt there was a dearth of an outsider to make it big in Tollywood, his arrival was like a breath of fresh air. The tall and good-looking actor’s performance in Yevade Subramanyam (2015) was raved about. He was the cynosure of all eyes in his subsequent film Pelli Choopulu, which went on to win two National Awards (Best Telugu Film and Best Screenplay).

Vijay Deverakonda©HelloIndia

But the biggest validation of his filmography arrived when he played a flawed character in Arjun Reddy (2017). The movie was a rage and catapulted Vijay into the top league! Since then, he’s never looked back, and everyone now calls him “an uninhibited actor.”

“When you don’t believe in a character, you can never excel in it. I look at a character as a tool that drives the narrative. This approach helps get the best out of myself and prevents me from being judgemental,” said Vijay in one of his earlier interviews.

It’s his emotional engagement levels of being truthful to his roles that makes him bare his soul to his fans. Vijay stood his ground even when his films didn’t do well at the box office, an indication that he’s more settled as an actor with further milestones to conquer.

Photo courtesy: Ashish Chawla

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!