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Silambarasan Rajender
Silambarasan Rajendar Simbu.jpg
Born Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
Occupation Actor, director, Screenwriter, playback singer, Lyricist, Voice Actor
Years active 1984-present
Parent(s) T.Rajendar,
Usha Rajendar

Silambarasan Tesingu Rajendar, frequently credited as Silambarasan or Simbu or STR,[1] is an Indian film actor, director and playback singer of the Tamil Film Industry. He began his career by playing roles as a child artist in films directed by his father T. Rajendar,[2] before his first lead role in Kadhal Azhivathillai (2002), under his father's direction and produced by his mother Usha Rajendar.

Early and personal life

Silambarasan studied at the Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School,[3] Shrine Vailankanni Matriculation Higher Secondary School, St.John's International Residential School and Santhome Higher Secondary school, Chennai. He then attended The Ashram School in Chennai.

Film career

Silambarasan made his acting debut as a child artist in 1984 and acted in his father T. Rajendar's Uravai Kaatha Kili, in which he acted in a friendly appearance.

He further acted in his father`s movies, including Thai Thangai Paasam, Oru Vasantha Geetham, En Thangai Kalyani, Enga Veetu Velan, Monisha En Monalisa, Oru Thayin Sabhatham, Samsara Sangeetham, Shanti Enathu Shanti, Pettredutha Pillai, Thiruvalla and Sabash Babu. In Samsara Sangeetham, Silambarasan danced to a song singing "I am a Little Star, Aaaven Naan Super Star".[2]

Silambarasan played his first protaginist role in Kadhal Azhivathillai (2002) directed by his father.The movie had an average run,despite his father`s involvement in this film. His second film was Dhum (2002), which loosely based on Jagannadh's 2002 Kannada film Appu starring Puneet Rajkumar, had mixed reviews but a good run at the theatres. His release in 2003 was Alai,which marks the first collabration of Simbu and Trisha, was a box office flop. This film remains the only unsuccessful film in the career of director Vikram Kumar till date.

Silambarasan had three releases in 2004. The first of three was Kovil.This film, which deals with the relationship between a Hindu boy and a Christian girl, had mixed reviews, but Simbhu was praised due to his "restraint and matured"performance.[4] It was a box office hit. After this, Silambarasan acted in a movie called Kuththu,[5] which is a remake of the Telugu film Dil.The movie opened with mixed reviews, but was a good business for the producers. His final release in 2004 was Manmadhan,[6] which had good reviews.The movie described as a good thriller.[7] This movie has been written by himself. He also co-wrote the dialogs.

In Thotti Jaya Silambarasan played the role of an orphaned gangster who finds love. This movie was described by the critics as realistic.[8] In 2006, he starred in Saravana, directed by K. S. Ravikumar.

He next starred and directedVallavan (2006), as well as writing the story, screenplay and co-dialogue for the film. The movie opened with mostly negative reviews. Despite this, it had decent collections, due its opening.

In 2008, he starred in the action masala film Kaalai,which was a flop.[9] Later that year, he appeared in another action masala film Silambattam.

In 2010, his film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa directed and written by Gautham Menon became a Tamil 'cult classic' film.[10] Director K. Balachander in an open letter called Silambarasan's performance as his best in his career.[11] The following year he appeared in two films.In early 2011, he appeared in the multi-starrer Vaanam [12] as Cable Raja,a poor youngster. Malathi Rangarajan from The Hindu called it a significant film in his career.[13] Later that year, his next release was Osthe[14] in which Silambarasan played a police officer,had a decent box office run.After a delay of three years,Podaa Podi released on 13 November 2012, and became a hit. After sabbatical of three years, he acted in Vaalu which released on 14 August 2015 with mixed reviews.


Silambarasan has frequently worked as a playback singer in the Tamil film industry. He first sang in Sonnal Thaan Kaadhala and went on to sing over 60 songs for various composers. He predominantly sings in his own films and has collaborated mostly with his friend and fellow composer Yuvan Shankar Raja. Silambarasan also wrote lyrics for several songs of his films.

On 27 December 2011, Silambarasan released the non-film single "Love Anthem For World Peace and Love" to promote world peace.[15]

He also cited on Summer 2015 that he will collabrate with Yuvan Shankar Raja to release the non-film single titled "Karma".[16]


Simbu has been the subject of several controversies, primarily due to his outspoken nature.[17]


After releasing a promotional version of "The Love Anthem" song in 2011, Silambarasan announced that a final version would be released thereafter and announced his desire to bring in international artists Akon and Rihanna for the venture.[18] He subsequently headed to Los Angeles in January 2012 and recorded an original version of the song by himself at Studio Zappa with music producer Elan Morrison on the keyboards.[19] The failure to sign in the international artists prompted the project's producer, Silambarasan's father T. Rajendar to lodge a police complaint against two agents who had misled his production company into supposed connections with the international artists concerned. Rajendar noted that the sound editor Ramji Soma and a Canadian entrepreneur Talvinder Bathh had charged Rs 1.2 crore ($200,000) from his company and failed to return it despite promises made to sign on Akon, David Guetta and either Rihanna or Nicole Scherzinger for the project.[20] In May 2013, Silambarasan was finally successfully able to bring in Akon to collaborate for an alternate version of the song, with the move being facilitated by Tracktical Entertainment.[21] The latest version of the song is yet to be released, with Silambarasan hinting in early 2014 that the song may be launched before the end of 2014.[22] In an interview in June 2015, he revealed that the venture would be resumed soon, though that he was busy with other commitments.[23]

In December 2015, a song, referred to by the media as the "Beep Song" was leaked online and was widely circulated. The song was initially reported to be written and sung by Silambarasan and composed by music director Anirudh Ravichander, and featured an expletive degrading women which had been beeped out. Subsequently, Anirudh denied any involvement in the song and Silambarasan clarified that he had written, composed and sung the song himself, stating he was unsure how the song was leaked and uploaded onto the internet.[24] The song provoked widespread criticism from pressure groups and film personalities. Women activists organised protests in front of Silambarasan house in T. Nagar and other places.[25] Meanwhile, the Left-wing of All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) alleged that the song was sexist and derogatory to women and filed a case against Silambarasan in Coimbatore.[26] Based on the complaint, The Racecourse Police Station registered FIR against the actor and Anirudh. Likewise, the Cyber Crime Police in Egmore also registered a similar case against them. Silambarasan stated on his Twitter page that he will not hide anywhere and will face the course of law. However, he failed to appear in the Racecourse Police station on December 19, 2015 as per the summons sent to him. Fearing arrest, Silambarasan had moved the case to the Madras High Court for anticipatory bail.[27] The Madras High Court consequently refused to issue an interim stay to arrest Silambarasan.[28]

Relationship with directors

Silambarasan experienced difficulties with director A. J. Murugan during the making of his breakthrough film, Manmadhan (2004) and was widely reported by the media to have "ghost-directed" the project.[29] Murugan was later demoted and worked in Silambarasan's directorial venture, Vallavan (2006) as an associate director, and was consequently critical of the actor's insistence on interfering with the director's role.[30] Likewise, soon after the failure of their collaboration in Kaalai (2008), director Tarun Gopi was critical of Silambarasan's involvement in the project and stated that the actor grossly interfered with his duties as a director. Gopi labelled the actor "unprofessional" and stated that he could not recognise the film from his original script.[31] He later apologised for his remarks in late 2011.[32] Cinematographer Madhi also had similar problems with the actor during the making of Silambattam (2008).[30] In 2010, Linguswamy sacked Silambarasan from the production of Vettai (2012) after the actor suddenly began production on another film, without letting the director know. In reply, Silambarasan argued that Linguswamy had wasted hundred days of his time without telling him the script of the film and called the director "unprofessional". Silambarasan was later replaced in Vettai by Arya, while he chose to launch another new project titled Vettai Mannan immediately after his removal from Vettai.[33][34]

During the making of Idhu Namma Aalu (2016), the film's production delays meant that director Pandiraj and Silambarasan had difficulties. In July 2014, Silambarasan had changed his hairstyle in between schedule breaks, leaving Pandiraj unhappy. Silambarasan subsequently disclosed to the media that Idhu Namma Aalu was his production and that others should not question his involvement in the project. Pandiraj later also publicly clashed with Silambarasan's brother, the composer Kuralarasan, stating his annoyance at the delay in providing the film's music.[35][36] He also defended actress Nayantara against a complaint made by Silambarasan's father, producer T. Rajender, and stated the actress had wasted almost two years on the film due to the producers' poor organisation and was still yet to be paid for her work. He further stated that Silambarasan was insisting an extra "kuthu" number that the script did not warrant and that Rajender, Kuralarasan and Silambarasan were unnecessarily interested in making sure that the song was included against Pandiraj's wishes.[37] Gautham Menon has also spoken out against the actor's lack of punctuality, but labelled him an "outstanding actor" and noted his high levels of comfort and trust in Silambarasan's ability.[38][39]

The actor's films have also languished in development hell since 2011, with the media widely labelling his interference as a reason behind the delays. Vignesh Shivan's Podaa Podi (2012) took four years to complete after production had started, while his next release Vaalu (2015) took three years.[40] Another film, Nelson Dilipkumar's Vettai Mannan, began in November 2010 and still remains unreleased, with the actor shooting for the film intermittently. Likewise Idhu Namma Aalu and Gautham Menon's Achcham Enbadhu Madamaiyada, began in 2013 and are only likely to be released in 2016, after publicised production delays.[41] Silambarasan has also announced various directorial projects, which have failed to materialise, including Kettavan in 2007, Valiban in 2009 and Manmadhan 2 in 2012.[42][43][44]

Relationship with colleagues

Silambarasan has regularly had differences of opinions with fellow actors in the Tamil film industry. He has had a long-running rivalry with actor Dhanush, which has been widely reported in the media. Initial hostility between the pair began after certain punch dialogues from Silambarasan's Manmadhan (2004) had seemed to be directed at Dhanush, including a reference to his sudden rise to fame with Kadhal Kondein (2003) and his marriage to Aishwarya Dhanush, the daughter of leading actor Rajinikanth. When questioned about their rivalry in 2005, Silambarasan stated that the pair were not friends and that Dhanush failed to reciprocate his pleasantries at a wedding.[45] Silambarasan continued to take shots at Dhanush through film dialogues in Kaalai (2008) and during the teaser trailer of Vaalu in 2012.[46] Following the widespread acclaim of Dhanush's song, "Why This Kolaveri Di" from 3 (2012), Silambarasan claimed that he begun the trend of writing songs with simple lyrics and releasing single tracks for films, in reference to his "Evan Di Unna Pethan" from Vaanam (2011). He subsequently also recorded, filmed and released a promotional video to his "The Love Anthem" within a month of "Why This Kolaveri Di"'s release. The actor's actions and song were criticized by the media during the period, who felt he purely just wanted to compete with Dhanush.[47][48] In 2012, the pair reconciled and sorted their difference during an awards ceremony held in Dubai, and later celebrated Dhanush's birthday together. Dhanush dismissed reports that the pair were rivals and stated that misunderstandings had grown as a result of their lack of interaction.[49] Dhanush later offered Silambarasan the opportunity to feature in a cameo role in his production, Kaaka Muttai (2015).[50]

During the making of Vallavan (2006), actress Reemma Sen threatened legal action against Silambarasan after he made changes to the scope of her role in the film. She later stated she regretted her claim and was proud to have won critical acclaim for the character.[51][52] In 2007, Silambarasan had a televised spat with actor Babloo Prithiveeraj during the filming of the dance show Jodi Number One, in which Silambarasan appeared as a judge. The actor argued with Prithveeraj regarding his dancing ability and later stormed out of the sets in tears, before being brought back by the other judges.[53][54] In early 2011, Silambarasan and actor Jiiva briefly displayed public enmity after Silambarasan had talked down the success of Jiiva's Ko (2011). Silambarasan had walked out of the production of Ko after a photoshoot in early 2010 over creative differences with director K. V. Anand, particularly on the issue of the casting of Karthika Nair as the lead actress.[55] Jiiva publicly called Silambarasan a "back stabber", though soon both actors decided to stop their respective public name calling.[56][57] Following the release of Vaanam (2011), actor Bharath expressed his disappointment at being largely left out of the film's promotions and alleged that Silambarasan had asked the producers to reduce publicity for the film's other actors. Bharath called the incident a "sad phase in his career" and stated he was unsure if he would work with Silambarasan again. In return, Silambarasan denied any involvement in the film's promotional strategy and hinted that the film's success was largely dependent on his star image.[58][59]

During the campaigning process for the 2015 Nadigar Sangam elections, Silambarasan launched a scathing personal attack on actor Vishal during a press conference.[60] Silambarasan had run for the position of Vice President as a part of Sarathkumar's team, and in a bid to denounce Vishal's credibility for the opposing party, the actor alleged that Vishal had a personal vendetta against Sarathkumar. He further added that Vishal was behaving like a "fox" and ridiculed Vishal's stature to be a part of the election.[61] Silambarasan's actions were widely criticised, with Vishal subsequently thanking the actor for tilting public opinion further towards his team. Subsequently, Sarathkumar's team and Silambarasan unanimously lost in the election process.[62][63]




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