Arvind Swami

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Arvind Swami
Aravind Swamy at 63rd Filmfare Awards 2016 (South) Press Meet.jpg
Arvind Swami at the 63rd Filmfare Awards South
Alma materWake Forest University
Loyola College, Chennai
  • Film actor
  • entrepreneur
Years active1991–2000
Gayathri Ramamurthy
(m. 1994; div. 2010)

Aparna Mukherjee
(m. 2012)
Parent(s)V. D. Swami
V. S. Vasantha Swami

Arvind Swami (born 18 June 1970) is an Indian film actor, model, entrepreneur and television presenter known for his work in Tamil cinema.[1][2] He was introduced as an actor by Mani Ratnam with the film Thalapathi (1991) and subsequently starred in successful films such as Roja (1992), Bombay (1995), Minsaara Kanavu (1997) Thani Oruvan (2015), Bogan (2017) and Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (2018).

Swami also starred in other regional film industries, including Telugu and Malayalam films where he has done films such as Mounam (1995), Daddy (1992) and Devaraagam (1996). He has also appeared in Bollywood, making his appearance in Saat Rang Ke Sapne (1998).[3] Swamy spent a decade in businesses ranging from software engineering, construction, international trade to global outsourcing, before returning to act with works such as Kadal (2013), Thani Oruvan (2015), Dear Dad (2016), Dhruva (2016), Bogan (2017) and Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (2018). He briefly worked as a television presenter as the host of the third season of Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi (2012–2016) on Star Vijay.

Early life[edit]

Swammi's parents are industrialist V. D. Swami and Bharatanatyam dancer C. V. S. Vasantha.[4][5] Swamy studied at the Sishya School and later in Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School and completed his schooling in 1987. He then graduated from Loyola College, Madras in 1990 with a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) degree. He then went to the United States to do his master's degree in international business from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Arvind Swami wished to be a doctor. In college, he used to be a model for pocket money.[6] In his Loyola Theatre Society, he wasn't well received and was asked to get off stage. Later on Mani Ratnam saw him in an advertisement and called for a meeting. Then he and Santhosh Sivan introduced him into the basics of film-making.[6]


1991–1996: Early career and breakthrough[edit]

Swami made his debut in Mani Ratnam's action drama film, Thalapathi (1991), where he played a young district collector pitted against a don and his own biological brother. Subsequently, Mani Ratnam signed him on to play the lead role in the 1992 political drama film Roja (1992). Roja and Bombay (1995) won awards at the State and National Film Award functions. His performance in Bombay was called "soulful" by Time Magazine.[7] Swamy has won several awards, popular and critical, for his films.[7] He has been described as one of the first few actors in India who is able to achieve pan-Indian appeal. He lends his voice for the Tamil dubbing version for the adult Simba of Disney's The Lion King (1994).[8] His next project was Indira (1995), followed by Telegu Mounam (1995) and Malayalam movie Devaraagam (1996).

1997–2000: Career challenges and sabbatical[edit]

He starred in Rajiv Menon's Minsaara Kanavu alongside Kajol and Prabhu Deva, which won four National Film Awards besides high box office reviews.[9] During the making of the film, Arvind Swami was critical of Menon changing the script to prioritise Prabhu Deva's role. The film eventually performed well at the box office after a slow start, with Arvind Swami eventually stating he was happy to be a part of the film.[10] His next film, Pudhayal (1997), again saw him portray a role in a film with a cast headlined by another actor, Mammootty. In the film, Arvind wore uncharacteristically loud clothes and portrayed a comedy-oriented role for the first time in his career.[10] Working on the two films meant that he missed out on the opportunity of acting in Mani Ratnam's Iruvar (1997).[10] He appeared in his first straight Hindi film through Priyadarshan's Saat Rang Ke Sapne (1998) produced by Amitabh Bachchan. Co-starring alongside Juhi Chawla, Arvind portrayed the role of a village do-gooder.[10]

In the late 1990s, several of Arvind Swami's films ran into production trouble. Three of his Tamil films, Gandhi Krishna's Engineer, Azhagam Perumal's Mudhal Mudhalaaga and Mahendran's Sasanam were all stalled after completing a few production schedules. The former two, which featured him opposite Hindi actresses Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor, respectively, eventually did not have a theatrical release. Sasanam, which he worked on without remuneration, had a belated release in 2006. Two prominent Hindi films that he signed during the period, Mahesh Bhatt's venture with Aishwarya Rai, and Anupam Kher's directorial debut film co-starring Amitabh Bachchan, also eventually were dropped.[10] His final two releases before his sabbatical, En Swasa Kaatre (1999) and Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya (2000) also took several years to complete, with long delays during the production phase.[11]

Swamy eventually stopped acting in films post-2000, after playing a guest role in Mani Ratnam's Alaipayuthey, and opted to concentrate on his business interests. As the director of V D Swamy and Company, he continued to engage in international trade and construction businesses. In 2000, he became the president of InterPro Global, and the chairman and managing director of Prolease India, engaged in transaction processing.[7] He was in charge of operations and technology for the delivery of many processes across different verticals globally. He then founded Talent Maximus in 2005, a company engaged in payroll processing and temporary staffing in India. In 2005, he had an accident and injured his spine. He experienced partial paralysis of his leg and suffered in pain for many years. The treatment took another 4–5 years.[6]

2013–2018: Back to success[edit]

After his successful treatment, Mani Ratnam called him once more to play a role in one of his films, Kadal (2013)[8] for which Swamy dropped 15 kilograms.[6]

In 2013, he provided the voice-over for Santhosh Sivan's film Ceylon.[12] In 2015, he acted in a now iconic negative role of Sidharth Abhimanyu in Thani Oruvan, for which he was highly praised and received positive reviews and many awards for his acting.

In 2016, he reprised the same role in Telugu in the film Dhruva with Ram Charan, a remake of Thani Oruvan for which he got a lot of appreciation from the Telugu audience. Later in a Hindi movie, Dear Dad (2016).[13]

The popular game show Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi recruited Swamy for its third season, which started airing on 30 May 2016.

In 2017, he did the title role of Bogan, co starring Jayam Ravi, for which he again got an outstanding response from the critics and the audience. In 2018, he acted in Bhaskar Oru Rascal. Arvind Swami does a neat job without imitating what Mammootty did in the original.[14] The film is followed by Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (2018). Throughout, the film pretends to be a hunt for that one bad guy among the heroes. The film was released to mostly positive reviews.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Swamy married Gayathri Ramamurthy in 1994 and has one daughter Adhira Swami, born in 1996 and a son Rudra Swami, born in 2000. The couple lived separately for seven years until 2010, when they filed for divorce.[16] He is married to Aparna Mukerjee, a lawyer, since 2012. Arvind Swamy was granted custody of his children.[17]


Year Film Role Language Notes
1991 Thalapathi Arjun Tamil
1992 Roja Rishi Kumar Tamil Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil
Daddy Anand Malayalam
1993 Thalattu Kuzhanthai Tamil
Marupadiyum Gowri Shankar Tamil
1994 Paasamalargal Raj Tamil
Duet Himself Tamil Cameo appearance
1995 Bombay Shekhar Tamil Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil
Indira Thiyagu Tamil
Mounam Kiran Telugu Also producer
1996 Devaraagam Vishnu Malayalam
1997 Minsaara Kanavu Thomas Tamil
Pudhayal Koti Tamil
1998 Saat Rang Ke Sapne Mahipal Hindi
1999 En Swasa Katre Arun Tamil
2000 Alaipayuthey Ram Tamil Guest appearance
Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya Mohit Kumar Hindi
2006 Sasanam Muthiah Tamil Production in 1999
2013 Kadal Sam Fernando Tamil
2015 Thani Oruvan Siddharth Abimanyu (Pazhani Sengalvarayan) Tamil Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Tamil
IIFA Utsavam Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role
2016 Dear Dad Nitin Swaminathan Hindi
Dhruva Siddharth Abhimanyu (Venkanna Chengalarayudu) Telugu
2017 Bogan Aadhithya Maravarman (Bogan) Tamil
2018 Bhaskar Oru Rascal Bhaskar Tamil
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam Varadharaj Tamil Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor - South
Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Tamil
2021 Kallapart Rajapandi Tamil Completed
Sathuranga Vettai 2 Gandhi Babu Tamil Completed
Vanangamudi Tamil Completed
Naragasooran Dhruva Tamil Completed
Thalaivi M. G. Ramachandran Tamil,
Dubbing artiste


  1. ^ "The Arvind Swami interview: Nationalism, GST, demonetisation and more". Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Mahesh Manjrekar to remake Kaksparsh in Hindi and Tamil with Arvind Swamy and Tisca Chopra – The Times of India". The Times of India.
  3. ^ "Arvind Swamy Goes To Bollywood Again". 27 November 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Arvind Swamy: I found stardom stifling". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Arvind Swamy". IMDb. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Kamath, Sudhish (31 January 2013). "Return of the heartthrob". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "An Actor, and a businessman". The Times of India. 14 November 2002. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Welcome". Archived from the original on 10 November 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Southern Spice: A chat with Arvind Swamy". Gulf News. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Arvind Swami in Santosh Sivan's 'Ceylon' – The Times of India". The Times of India. 4 June 2013.
  13. ^ Dear Dad movie review: Arvind Swamy's father son drama should not be missed! – Bollywood News & Gossip, Movie Reviews, Trailers & Videos at. (13 May 2016). Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  14. ^ Baskar Oru Rascal (aka) Bhaskar Oru Rascal review. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  15. ^ Purushothaman, Kirubhakar (27 September 2018) Chekka Chivantha Vaanam Review: Mani Ratnam demolishes gangster cinema – Movies News. India Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Aravind Swamy's 'happy' divorce". Sify. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
  17. ^ "Arvind Swamy to pay wife Rs 75 divorce settlement". The Times of India. TNN. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
  18. ^ Much-awaited biopic, Thalaivi commences shoot. Telugu 360 (10 November 2019). Retrieved 11 November 2019.

External links[edit]