Dhanush in 2010
|Born||Venkatesh Prabhu Kasthuri Raja
28 July 1983 
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Occupation||Actor, producer, singer, lyricist, screenwriter|
|Notable work(s)||Why This Kolaveri Di|
|Height||5 ft 6 in.|
|Children||Yatra (born 2006)
Linga (born 2010)
|Awards||National Film Award for Best Actor (2011)|
Venkatesh Prabhu Kasthuri Raja (born 28 July 1983), known by his stage name Dhanush, is an Indian film actor, producer, and playback singer who has worked predominantly in Tamil cinema. In 2011, he won the National Film Award for Best Actor for the movie Aadukalam and in the same year, he received international attention for his song "Why this Kolaveri Di", which went on to became the most viewed Indian song in YouTube. His most recent movie Velaiyilla Pattathari was his highest grossing Tamil movie, crossing the 50 crore (US$8.3 million) mark within 10 days.
Born to Tamil film director and producer Kasthuri Raja, Dhanush entered acting after being pressured by his brother, director Selvaraghavan. Dhanush married Aishwarya, actor Rajinikanth's daughter, on 18 November 2004. They have 2 sons, born in 2006 and 2010.
Dhanush debuted in the film Thulluvadho Ilamai, directed by Kasthuri Raja, which received mostly positive reviews from critics and the public. He then appeared in his brother Selvaraghavan's first directorial venture, Kadhal Kondein. The film portrayed Dhanush as a mentally-disturbed youth, Vinodh, who yearned for the love of his friend, eventually turning possessive over her. Upon release, the film won critical acclaim and also became a major commercial success, catapulting Dhanush into the main foray of actors in Tamil films. His next film, released later in 2003, was Thiruda Thirudi, which went on to become a highly successful movie, declared as a blockbuster.
Dhanush appeared in Pudhukottaiyilirundhu Saravanan and Ramana's Sullan, both which performed average at the box office. Later, he also appeared in Dreams, another film panned by critics. The film was directed by his father, like their previous venture was released with reviews claiming it was another adult film. In 2005, Dhanush appeared in Devathaiyai Kanden which was commercially successful film. Later it was dubbed into Telugu, and in very same year he also worked on Balu Mahendra's Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam which was completely panned by critics.
Pudhupettai re-united Dhanush with his brother, pitted him with two prominent actresses Sneha and Sonia Agarwal. Dhanush's portrayal was praised by critics & movie also received positive reviews. The Telugu dubbed version was titled Dhoolpet. Dhanush went on to star in the commercial entertainer Thiruvilayadal Arambam, alongside Shriya Saran and Prakash Raj also went on to become high financial success.
Dhanush's first release of 2007, Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaramdid not go well. The film, which was a remake of the successful Kannada language film, Jogi, starred him opposite Meera Jasmine However, his second film Polladhavan released during Diwali 2007 was clearly declared as a blockbuster. Polladhavan was based on 1948–Italian neorealist film The Bicycle Thieves and Dhanush's performance was appreciated.
The remake of a Telugu film directed by his brother formed the plot line for Dhanush's next movie directed by debutant Mithran Jawahar. The movie titled Yaaradi Nee Mohini cast Dhanush with Nayantara and was also a Super hit venture in box office. He later appeared in a cameo appearance, for his father-in-law Rajinikanth's venture, Kuselan. His subsequent Super-hit venture was Suraj's Padikathavan which was released in January 2009. His performance was praised and well received. His next two films Kutty and Uthama Puthiran, both collaborations with director Mithran Jawahar were Boxoffice hits.
Dhanush's first release in 2011, which he had shot for over three years, was Aadukalam, marking his second collaboration with Vetrimaran. Dhanush played the role of a local cock fighter and described the venture as his "dream project" during production. The film gained highly positive reviews and won six awards at the 58th National Film Awards, with Dhanush receiving the National Film Award for Best Actor, becoming the youngest actor to win the award. Dhanush appeared in an extended guest appearance in Subramania Siva's Seedan. His next two ventures were action-masala films: Mappillai, a remake of his father-in-law's same-titled 1989 comedy flick and Venghai, by Hari, which received mixed reviews but was declared a box office hit.
His next film, Mayakkam Enna, in which he again collaborated with his brother, casting him with Richa Gangopadhyay, received largely positive reviews. His only 2012 release was 3 directed by his wife, Aishwarya Rajinikanth with Shruti Haasan. The movie was a moderate success, owing to the popularity of the song Why this Kolaveri Di. In 2013 he appeared in Maryan opposite Parvathi Menon, which was applauded by critics and declared as an above-average grosser at the box office. His next release was Naiyaandi, directed by A. Sarkunam, which did not make any notable impact in the box office.
On July 18, 2014, he released Velaiyilla Pattathari, a romantic entertainer laced with action and directed by cinematography-turned-director Velraj. It released to positive reviews from critics and audience alike, and was a box office hit. It is his 25th venture and also known as #D25. He is currently filming for KV Anand's Action thriller Anegan and also working on a Soodhadi film of Vetrimaran's and R. Balki's Shamitabh.
Dhanush occasionally records music, generally for his own films. He was introduced as a playback singer in Pudhukottaiyilirundhu Saravanan by its composer Yuvan Shankar Raja and collaborated again with him in his brother Selvaraghavan's directorial, Pudhupettai. He sung further numbers in Selvaraghavan's films Aayirathil Oruvan and Mayakkam Enna; the former featured him alongside his wife Aishwarya Rajinikanth. "I'm not a playback singer, so my voice isn't perfect," Dhanush has said, in response to the popularity of his song Why this Kolaveri Di.
Why this Kolaveri Di
The song was released on YouTube in 2011 as part of the soundtrack to the film 3, the directorial debut of Aishwarya Dhanush. The song became the most searched video in India and an internet phenomenon across Asia. The title, 'Why this kolaveri di?' is a Tamil phrase that roughly translates to 'Why this murderous rage towards me, girl?'. Anirudh Ravichander was the soundtrack composer for the film and Dhanush wrote much of the lyrics.
Dhanush was honoured as the brand ambassador of PETA with the title of India's hottest vegetarian celebrity of 2011. He worked with WWF India to support Earth Hour 2012. In August 2013, Dhanush was signed by Perfetti India Ltd. as their brand ambassador for Center Fresh chewing gum.
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