This star gave 30 solo hits before age 30, more than SRK, Salman, Amitabh combined; critics didn't praise him until...

This actor appeared in over 30 films that were box office successes, all before he even hit the age of 30 himself.

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Gone are the days when even male actors made their debuts as leads in their early 20s or sometimes even in their teens. These days, most young actors break through in their mid-20s and by the time they establish themselves as a force at the box office, they are nearing their 30s. That is why the superstars of the previous generation stand apart. Most of them had given huge hits before they turned 30. And yet, most Bollywood superstars can’t hold a candle to one name – an actor who starred in not 10, not 20, but over 30 solo hits before he himself hit 30.

The superstar with over 30 solo hits in his 20s

Vijay – fondly called Thalapathy by his fans – is one of the biggest stars in Tamil cinema today. The actor began as a chold artiste and courtesy that popularity, was able to transcend to lead roles by the time he was just 18. That early start – and a penchant for being prolific – meant that Vijay was able to do more films by the time he turned 30 than most actors do in their entire careers. After his debut as a lead actor in 1992, Vijay began delivering hits almost immediately. In 2000, when he was just 26, he appeared in Kannukkul Nilavu, his 25th hit. Over the next four years, he added several more to his kitty, including  Kushi, Thamizhan, and Ghili, which was the highest-grossing Tamil film ever at that point.

Just how impressive Vijay’s feat of 30 hits before the age of 30 is can be gauged by the fact that Amitabh Bachchan had only one solo hit by 30, while Shah Rukh Khan had five. Salman, who started earlier than the other two stars, also had just five hits before turning 30. Kamal Haasan, one of the other young stars, also had just under a dozen hits as a lead actor by the time he turned 30.

Thalapathy Vijay’s subsequent career

Vijay continued his run of good form with films like Pokkiri and Nanban, which established him as one of the biggest names in Tamil cinema. However, he was not taken seriously by critics for the first half of his career, who boxed him as a popular star. It was only after films like Nanban that many critics praised him. But it was in his 40s that the actor truly became a superstar, rivalling Rajinikanth and Ajith in box office returns. From 2014 onwards, the actor has given successive hits including some landmark films like Theri, Puli, Mersal, Sarkar, and Master. His stardom can be gauged by the fact that his two recent films – Beast and Varisu – received lukewarm reviews but still managed to make money at the box office. Vijay will be next seen in Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Leo, releasing next week.

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