Born Name: Deverakonda Vijay Sai
Date of Birthday: 9 May 1989
Place of Birth: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (now in Telangana), India
Occupation: Actor, film producer
Siblings: Anand Deverakonda
Parents: Deverakonda Govardhan Rao, Deverakonda Madhavi
Deverakonda Vijay Sai (born 9 May 1989) is an Indian actor and film producer who predominantly works in Telugu cinema. He debuted in 2011 in Ravi Babu's romantic comedy Nuvvila, and gained recognition for his supporting role in Yevade Subramanyam (2015). Deverakonda played the lead role in the 2016 romantic comedy Pelli Choopulu.
Deverakonda has established himself as a leading actor of Telugu cinema by starring in films such as Arjun Reddy (2017), Mahanati (2018), Geetha Govindam (2018), Taxiwaala (2018) and Dear Comrade (2019). His performance in Arjun Reddy won him several accolades, including the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu. In 2019, he won the South Indian International Movie Award for Best Actor (Critics) and was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu for his work in Geetha Govindam. He owns King of the Hill Entertainment, a film production company, which produced its maiden film Meeku Maathrame Cheptha in 2019.
Deverakonda was featured by Forbes India in their 30 Under 30 list of 2019. According to Google's annual report, he was the most searched South Indian actor in 2019.
Deverakonda Vijay Sai was born in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana) to Govardhan Rao and Madhavi. His family hails from Thummanpeta village of erstwhile Mahbubnagar district (now Nagarkurnool). His father was a small television serial director who quit doing them due to lack of success. Deverakonda studied in Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School (a boarding school) till 10th grade in Puttaparthi. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He has a younger brother, Anand, who is also an actor.
Early career and struggle (2011–2015)
Deverakonda made his debut with Ravi Babu-directed romantic comedy Nuvvila (2011). He later appeared in Sekhar Kammula's Life is Beautiful in a minor role. He was introduced to Nag Ashwin, who later cast him in a supporting role for the 2015 film Yevade Subramanyam alongside actor Nani. The film was produced by the daughters of Ashwini Dutt, a producer in the Telugu film industry; Priyanka Dutt backed him and once shooting started, and Swapna Dutt signed him onto her company.
Breakthrough and success (2016–present)
Deverakonda's first lead role was in Pelli Choopulu, a romantic coming-of-age film directed by Tharun Bhascker. The film became commercially successful and won the Best Feature Film in Telugu and the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu at the 64th National Film Awards. He starred in the masala film, Dwaraka in 2017. His next film Arjun Reddy received praise and criticism alike for being very bold and radical. Vijay's portrayal as a self-destructive, short-tempered, and alcoholic surgeon received critical acclaim, and won him awards like the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu. In 2019, Film Companion ranked Deverakonda's performance in Arjun Reddy in "100 Greatest Performances of the Decade".
Following Arjun Reddy was Ye Mantram Vesave, which was supposed to release in 2013 but released on 2018. He then starred in Mahanati, a biographical film around the life of actress Savitri. Deverakonda's next release in 2018 was Geetha Arts' romantic comedy Geetha Govindam, in which he starred as an innocent and nervous college professor. His next film, released on 5 October, was the Tamil political thriller NOTA, directed by Anand Shankar, which performed poorly at the box office. His next project was UV Creations' supernatural comedy thriller Taxiwaala.
In 2019, Deverakonda was seen in Bharat Kamma's Dear Comrade, a romantic action drama, alongside Rashmika Mandanna. He later signed Hero, directed by Anand Annamalai co-starring Malavika Mohanan. But the film was reportedly shelved after beginning its production. In 2020, he acted in Kranthi Madhav's romantic drama World Famous Lover opposite Raashi Khanna, Catherine Tresa, Aishwarya Rajesh, and Izabelle Leite.
As of April 2021, his Hindi–Telugu bilingual film Liger is under production. The film is being directed by Puri Jagannadh and produced by Karan Johar.
In March 2022, Devarakonda has announced his upcoming film JGM which is being directed by Puri Jagannadh, which is scheduled to release on 3 August 2023.
Brands and endorsements
He was the brand ambassador of food delivery app Zomato. On 15 October 2018, Deverakonda launched his fashion brand Rowdy Wear. Later, in 2020 Rowdy Wear was launched on Myntra.
Deverakonda has donated to relief funds, including a donation to families of victims in the 2019 Pulwama attack.
The Deverakonda Foundation
Deverakonda conceptualised and founded The Deverakonda Foundation, a nonprofit organisation in April 2019. In early 2020, he donated ₹24,000 through the Foundation to help Ganesh Ambari, a kickboxer who won the Vaco Indian Open International Kick-boxing Championship Title 2020.
An initiative was started to battle COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The foundation has successfully aided 17,000 middle-class families with their groceries and basic essentials, spending ₹1.7 crores, with the help of his Middle Class Fund (MCF). More than 8,500 volunteers donated over ₹1.5 crores to join his community effort. Organizers decided to end the initiative on 2 June 2020.
In the media
Deverakonda says his family used to call him a rowdy every time he did something that they did not approve of. Over time, he started using this term for himself and his fans.
Deverakonda is known to express his real, unfiltered opinions on stage or interviews and has gathered a lot of popularity, like his speech at the Arjun Reddy audio launch in 2017.
Deverakonda placed 72nd in the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list of 2018. He was ranked in The Times Most Desirable Men at No. 4 in 2018, at No. 3 in 2019, at No. 2 in 2020.
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