Early Life of Dhanush
Dhanush, born Venkatesh Prabhu Kasthuri Raja, on July 28, 1983 in the city of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, is the second son of Tamil film producer and director Kasthuri Raja. He studied at the Thai Sathiya Matriculation High School. He took up acting after being coaxed by his elder brother Selvaraghavan who is a Tamil film director.
Acting Career of Dhanush
Dhanush made his debut with his father Kasthuri Raja’s film ‘Thulluvadho Ilamai’ in 2002. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics and audience alike. He then appeared in his brother Selvaraghavan's first directorial venture ‘Kadhal Kondein’, where he played a mentally disturbed youth Vinodh, who yearned for the love of his friend, eventually turning possessive over her. The film upon release earned critical acclaim and became a major commercial success. He next acted in films ‘Thiruda Thirudi’, ‘Pudhukottaiyilirundhu Saravanan’, ‘Sullan’, ‘Devathaiyai Kanden’ and ‘Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam’. He next worked in his brother’s film ‘Pudhupettai’, in which his performance was praised by critics. He starred in the commercial entertainer ‘Thiruvilayadal Arambam’, romancing Shriya Saran. Film ‘Polladhavan’ that released during Diwali 2007 was based upon 1948 Italian neorealist film ‘The Bicycle Thieves’ and Dhanush's performance was appreciated. He later appeared in a cameo appearance in his father-in-law Rajinikanth's venture ‘Kuselan’. His subsequent venture ‘Padikathavan’ released in January 2009, where his performance was again well received.
In 2011, film ‘Aadukalam’ released for which Dhanush had shot for over 3 years, describing the venture as his "Dream Project" during production. The film received highly positive reviews and won 6 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. He appeared in two commercial action flicks - ‘Mappillai’, a remake of his father-in-law Rajinikanth's same-titled 1989 film and ‘Venghai’ that received mixed reviews but was a commercial success. His next film was again collaboration with his brother, ‘Mayakkam Enna’ alongside Richa Gangopadhyay. It received largely positive reviews. His only 2012 release was ‘3’, a romantic-psychological thriller directed by his wife Aishwarya Rajinikanth, where he featured alongside Shruti Haasan. The movie was a moderate success, owing to the popularity of its song ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’. In 2013, Dhanush made his Bollywood debut with the film ‘Raanjhanaa’, alongside Sonam Kapoor. His performance in the film earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. He next appeared in ‘Maryan’ opposite Parvathi Menon, which was applauded by critics but became an above-average grosser at the box office.
Dhanush's first film in 2014 was his 25th film overall, ‘Velaiyilla Pattathari’. It received mostly positive reviews and was a success. His next release was ‘Shamitabh’ released in 2015, his second Hindi film, alongside Amitabh Bachchan and directed by R. Balki. It opened to rave reviews being praised for the concept, but failed to perform at the box office. His next film ‘Anegan’ was a psychological thriller that generated positive reviews and became a box office success. Dhanush's next release in 2015 was the action comedy ‘Maari’, co-featuring Kajal Aggarwal, Robo Shankar and Vijay Yesudas. He also appeared in ‘Thanga Magan’ with Samantha, Amy Jackson, KS Ravikumar and Raadhika Sarathkumar. Dhanush has signed up to feature in his first international film titled ‘The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir Who Got Trapped In An Ikea Cupboard’, to be directed by Marjane Satrapi.
Other Endeavours of Dhanush
Dhanush also records music, generally for his own films. He has written and sung a number of songs in Tamil films, the most notable of which is the song ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’ from the soundtrack of the film ‘3’. The film was the directorial debut of Dhanush’s wife Aishwarya Rajinikanth and Dhanush wrote much of the lyrics of the song. It became hugely popular and went viral with its video crossing 100 Million views on YouTube, becoming the first Indian song to do so. It became the most searched video in India and an internet phenomenon across Asia.
Dhanush, in addition to acting, recording playbacks and composing lyrics in films, has also produced Tamil films under the production house Wunderbar Films, established by him along with his wife Aishwarya.
Awards and Honours achieved by Dhanush
Dhanush in his career has been recognised with numerous awards and honours, mostly for his work in Tamil Cinema, some of which are highlighted hereunder.
Filmography of Dhanush
Dhanush as an actor has worked in the following films in his career.
Personal Life of Dhanush
Dhanush married Aishwarya, Rajinikanth's daughter, on November 18, 2004. The couple has two sons born in 2006 and 2010.