Vinay Rai

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Vinay Rai
Born (1979-09-18) 18 September 1979 (age 43)
Years active2007–present

Vinay Rai (born 18 September 1979) is an Indian actor who primarily appears in Tamil films. He is best known for his performance in the films Unnale Unnale (2007), Jayamkondaan (2008), Endrendrum Punnagai (2013) and Aranmanai (2014). He turned villain in Thupparivaalan (2017) and has played negative roles in several films including Doctor (2021), Etharkkum Thunindhavan (2022) and Christopher (2023).

Early life[edit]

Vinay was originally a commercial model in Mumbai. He played rugby for BRFC and was part of the Indian squad that toured Bahrain in 2001.[1]



He debuted as an actor in director Jeeva's Unnale Unnale (2007) co-starring Sadha and Tanisha Mukherjee.[2] The film became a huge success upon release and brought in more acting offers for Vinay. He was supposed to play the lead role in Gandhi Krishna's Ananda Thandavam but he was later replaced by newcomer Siddharth Venugopal.[3][4][5]

Since his debut film, he has appeared in a Telugu language film, Vaana (2008), which flopped at the box-office and it was dubbed in Tamil as Gnabagangal Thalattum in 2013.[6] Despite getting offers to act in romance films, Vinay stayed away from them and he stated that he didn't want to be stereotyped as a "chocolate boy".[7] His second Tamil film Jayamkondaan (2008) was commercially and critically successful. Playing the role of an NRI civil engineer who returned to Chennai to set up his own business, his performance fetched positive reviews with a reviewer citing that "Vinay, as the protagonist is very comfortable in his role. He has expressive eyes, emotes well, and makes sure his audience isn't disappointed".[8][9] In 2009, he starred in Saran's Modhi Vilayadu for which he dubbed in his own voice for the first time. The film, starring Kajal Aggarwal and Kalabhavan Mani, opened to mixed reviews from critics and became a box office failure.[10][11] Three of his films including Veelle and Nootruku Nooru were shelved because the production companies went broke.[12][13][14]


He made a comeback in 2011 with a role in the English film, Dam 999, which had a poor commercial and critical response.[15][16] The next year, Vinay appeared in the action comedy film Mirattal (2012), remake of the Telugu film Dhee (2007). The film, which starred Sharmila Mandre opposite him, got an average response. Vinay's performances received favourable reviews, with a reviewer citing that "Vinay Rai looks comfortable in his role and dishes out a neat performance".[17][18] In 2013, he appeared in P. T. Selvakumar's comedy film Onbadhule Guru. Upon release, the film was panned by the critics for its weak direction, poor execution and crude humour.[19] The same year, he played a supporting role in the comedy-drama film Endrendrum Punnagai co-starring Jiiva and Trisha. Upon release, the film won positive reviews citing that the film was "worth a watch" and a critic stated, "Vinay performs with no inhibitions in all his portions, be it comedy, dance or the emotional scenes and this film will prove to be a good vehicle for him to reach a larger audience".[20][21] Vinay then acted in the horror comedy film Aranmanai (2014) directed by Sundar C. which turned out to be a blockbuster.[22] His next release was Serndhu Polama (2015), co-starring Nyra Banerjee and Preethi Christina Paul, and directed by Malayalam film director Anil. The film, entirely shot in New Zealand, was released to negative reviews.[23]


In 2017, he played a negative character in the crime thriller Thupparivaalan directed by Mysskin. The film opened to positive reviews with a critic from Sify claiming that "Vinay Rai as the ruthless baddie is a revelation".[24] The same year, Vinay played a dual role in the long-delayed film Aayirathil Iruvar again with Saran.[22][7] The film opened to negative reviews with a critic from IndiaGlitz stating, "Vinay who just impressed with his heartless killer in Thupparivaalan can forget Aayirathil Iruvar in a hurry as both his characters are written wafer thin with no underlying subtext for him to score".[25][26]

His next venture Nethraa (2019) was a thriller film directed by A. Venkatesh co-starring Thaman Kumar and Subiksha. The film, which was extensively shot in Canada, opened to negative critical response upon release.[27] In 2021, his films were Iruvar Ullam that was delayed after years and Nelson's action comedy, Doctor opposing the actor Sivakarthikeyan. Vinay Rai played the antagonist.[28] Vinay Rai's performance adds to the tension created by the solid screenwriting and directing.[29] He has also acted as the antagonist in Suriya’s film Etharkkum Thunindhavan directed by Pandiraj.[30] He also playing a bad guy in Arun Vijay’s Oh My Dog produced by Suriya and Jyothika under the banner of 2D Entertainment.[31] Then, Vinay Rai acted as in the horror thriller genre Connect with Nayanthara as doctor husband.[32]


Year Title Role(s) Notes
2007 Unnale Unnale Karthick Debut film; Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Debut Actor
2008 Vaana Abhiram Telugu film
Jayamkondaan Arjun Sekhar
2009 Modhi Vilayadu Udhay Vasudev
2011 Dam 999 Vinay English film
2012 Mirattal Babloo
2013 Onbadhule Guru Billa
Endrendrum Punnagai Sri
2014 Aranmanai Murali
2015 Serndhu Polama Abhishek
2017 Thupparivaalan Devil / John Richardson Holcha Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Tamil[33]
Aayirathil Iruvar Senthattikaalai and Sevathakaalai Dual role
2019 Nethraa Vikram
2021 Iruvar Ullam Karthik Natarajan
Doctor Terry
2022 Etharkkum Thunindhavan Inbasekharan (Inba)
Oh My Dog Fernando
Connect Joseph Benoy Cameo appearance
2023 Christopher Sitaram Trimurthi Iyer Malayalam film[34]
Diesel Not yet released TBA Filming[35]
Hanu Man Not yet released Michael Telugu film[36]
Murder Live Not yet released TBA Filming[37]


  1. ^ "Sportsmen who turned towards acting in Kollywood". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Vinay going places". IndiaGlitz. 17 April 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Vinay's 'Sivaji – The Boss' connection". 14 July 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  4. ^ ""Not just in Reel life, in real life too" - Vinay". 19 May 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Sivaji's assistant starts on his own". 27 October 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Dubbing deluge in Kollywood!". Sify. 11 July 2013. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b Sudhir Srinivasan (7 February 2015). "Two at a time". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  8. ^ Pavithra Srinivasan (29 August 2008). "Go watch Jayam Kondaan!". Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Kannan to direct Jeeva". IndiaGlitz. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  10. ^ Nikhil Raghavan (20 August 2009). "Itsy bitsy: Silent moves". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  11. ^ "MODHI VILAYADU MOVIE REVIEW". Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Vinay - too young to be a professor". 25 November 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  13. ^ Malathi Rangarajan (4 August 2012). "Mirattal: In jest". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  14. ^ Ashameera Aiyappan (21 September 2017). "Mysskin is probably the Tarantino of Tamil cinema: Thupparivaalan actor Vinay". The Indian Express. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  15. ^ Sharadha Srinidhi (9 March 2010). "Vinay: I miss Tamil and Telugu cinema". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  16. ^ "For actor Vinay Rai, a part Dam999 was just an experiment - Entertainment - DNA". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  17. ^ "MIRATTAL MOVIE REVIEW". Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  18. ^ "Vinay celebrates birthday on sets - Times Of India". The Times of India. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  19. ^ "'Onbathula Guru' - lesson on how not to make a film". Sify. 9 March 2013. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  20. ^ S. Saraswathi (23 December 2013). "Review: Endrendrum Punnagai is worth a watch". Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  21. ^ "ENDRENDRUM PUNNAGAI MOVIE REVIEW". Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  22. ^ a b "Vinay Rai Interview: 'I Had To Wait 11 Years To Shed My Chocolate Boy Image'". 22 September 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Serndhu Polama Movie Review". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  24. ^ "Review : Thupparivaalan review – Solid action thriller (2017) –". Sify. 14 September 2017. Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  25. ^ "Aayirathil Iruvar review: An all-round rotten drama". The New Indian Express. 23 September 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  26. ^ "Aayirathil Iruvar review". IndiaGlitz. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  27. ^ Navein Darshan (8 February 2019). "Nethraa Review: An awful suspense drama that leaves you cringing". Cinema Express. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  28. ^ "Vinay Rai to play the antagonist in Sivakarthikeyan's Doctor". Hindustan Times. 6 December 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  29. ^ Llewellyn, Tom (5 November 2021). "Doctor: Vinay Rai shines as the villain in the hit Tamil action comedy".
  30. ^ "Vinay to play villain in Suriya and Pandiraj's film". India Today. Archived from the original on 9 March 2021. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Mysskin is probably the Tarantino of Tamil cinema: Thupparivaalan actor Vinay". The Indian Express. 21 September 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  34. ^ "Mammootty starrer 'Christopher' gets a release date! - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 February 2023.
  35. ^ Diesel - Glimpse | Harish Kalyan, Athulya Ravi | Dhibu Ninan Thomas | Shanmugam Muthusamy, retrieved 30 June 2022
  36. ^ "Vinay Rai introduced as Michael from Teja Sajja starrer Hanu Man by Rana Daggubati - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  37. ^ "First Look Out For Vinay Rai-Starrer 'Murder Live' With Sharmila Mandre". Retrieved 4 October 2022.

External links[edit]