Arvind SwamyFilm actor, television presenter, entrepreneur, singer, producer
born 18 June 1970 is an Indian film actor, model, entrepreneur and television presenter known for his work in Tamil cinema. 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). 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.
Swammi’s parents are industrialist V. D. Swami and Bharatanatyam dancer C. V. S. Vasantha. 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 Masters 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. 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.
1991–2006: Early career
Swami made his debut in Mani Ratnam’s action drama film, Thalapathi, 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. Roja and Bombay won awards at the State and National Film Award functions. His performance in Bombay was called “soulful” by Time Magazine. Swamy has won several awards, popular and critical, for his films. He has been described as one of the first few actors in India who is able to achieve pan-Indian appeal. In 1995, Swamy provided the Tamil dubbing voice for the adult Simba of Disney’s The Lion King (1994). He starred in Rajiv Menon’s Minsaara Kanavu alongside Kajol and Prabhu Deva, which won four National Film Awards besides high box office reviews.
He had also acted in director Mahendran’s Sasanam in 1999, for NFDC, a low budget ‘arthouse’ Film, without his remuneration only for the experience of working with the director(released 2006),
Swamy retired from acting in 2000 after playing a guest role in Mani Ratnam’s Alaipayuthey and concentrated on his business interests.
He was the only actor in India who opposed fans associations.
Swamy was earlier director of V D Swamy and Company and engaged in international trade and construction in the 90s. In 2000, he was the president of InterPro Global and the chairman and managing director of Prolease India, engaged in transaction processing. Swami 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.
He had quit films in 2000 and was focussed on growing his businesses. 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.
After his successful treatment, Mani Ratnam called him once more to play a role in one of his films, Kadal (2013)for which Swamy dropped 15 kilograms.
In 2013, he provided the voice-over for Santhosh Sivan’s film Ceylon. 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).
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. 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 is released to mostly positive reviews.
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. He is married to Aparna Mukerjee, a lawyer, since 2012. Arvind Swamy was granted custody of his children.