Vadivelu is a Tamil comedian film actor. Post-2000, he has dominated Tamil films as a comedian in Kollywood, along with comedian Vivek. During his career, Vadivelu has won several Filmfare Awards and Tamil Nadu State Film Awards.
Born in the southern city of Madurai, Vadivelu is nicknamed Vaigai Puyal (the Vaigai storm, after the river Vaigai, which flows through the city; Puyal could be symbolic of his ability to 'bring down anything like a storm'). Starting as a sidekick to the famed Goundamani-Senthil comedy duo, he rose to prominence after his role in Kadhalan.
His Madurai Tamil accent (Tamil spoken in southern Tamil Nadu) is usually a perfect foil for his roles in Tamil movies with a village background or a simpleton in a city. Vadivelu has distant Tamil Sri Lankan ancestry.
In most movies, Vadivelu plays a simpleton with good intentions but lands in trouble because of circumstances or eccentricities of the people he comes across. These roles involve heavy use of slapstick and puns, which has led him to being typecast.
His comedy sequences typically end with him getting soundly trashed and a closing one-liner from him bemoaning his situation or antagonists. "Aaha oru guruppa thaaanya alayaraangaya" (this roughly translates to: These people seem to roam around in groups to pick on him), "vanduttangayya, vandutanngya" (In Tamil this announces the arrival of his soon-to-be tormentors).
His part in movies like Bharathi Kannamma, Vetri Kodi Kattu and Winner and Chandramukhi are typical of his performances that have brought him laurels and accolades from the Tamil movie-goer. Apart from acting, he has also lent his voice to songs in his movies. Some of his popular songs are "Ettana Irundha", "orendu onne" and "Kundakka Mandakka".
Cashing in on his popularity, he starred in the lead role of the historical comedy spoof, Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi. The movie was declared a blockbuster and was widely acclaimed for its 'clean' comedy. The movie features Vadivelu in a dual role, playing twin brothers.
As can be expected in such plots, one of them is a laidback, cowardly king and the other is his brother, who grows up away from the palace into a well-informed and brave rebel, only to exchange places later. His next venture as lead star was in the movie Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan which flopped in the box-office.
On Sunday, September 21, 2008, Vadivelu's residence, located in the Saligramam neighbourhood in Chennai, was pelted with stones by a gang, leaving several windows and furniture smashed and damaged. The actor had taken refuge in a room in his home and was safe.
Vadivelu is said to have suspected Vijayakanth because of a recent controversy that broke out between the two. Vadivelu had previously filed a case against Vijayakanth for assault and the final court hearing will occur on Monday, September 22, 2008. The attack, according to sources may have occurred in order to prevent Vadivelu from attending the court hearing.
Also, it is also suspected that followers of actor Ajith Kumar may have done this as the attackers were apparently seen wearing shirts with pictures of Ajith Kumar, also yelling out comments praising the star. However Kumar's manager had immediately denied any affiliations with the attacks.
Currently Vadivelu has filed another case on Vijayakanth for attempt of murder and investigations are taking place. Vadivelu has also mentioned his keen interest on competing against Vijayakanth in the next assembly elections and "teaching him a lesson." In response, actor Vijayakanth told a press meet on September 22 that Vadivelu's allegations are just based on the influence of people.
He however refused to comment on tata involvement on the issue. The attackers had left after uttering threat messages that they would attack again if he continues to oppose "the future Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu" (most probably referring to Vijayakanth).
In January 2010, Vadivelu accused fellow actor and comedian Singamuthu for cheating him in land purchasing. He lodged a police complaint claiming that Singamuthu has performed acts of extortion and murder threats, along with financial fraud. As of 3 February 2010, the case is being taken up legally.