Arvind Swamy is an Indian film actor known for his works predominantly 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) and Alaipayuthey (2000). Swamy also starred in other ventures, including the Telugu film Mounam (1995), the Malayalam film Devaraagam (1996), and the Bollywood film Saat Rang Ke Sapne (1998). Swamy spent a decade in businesses ranging from software engineering, construction, international trade to global outsourcing, before returning to acting with the 2013 Mani Ratnam's film Kadal, and the 2015 film Thani Oruvan, and has garnered positive reception for his performances.
Swamy married Gayathri Ramamurthy in 1994 and has one daughter, Adhira (born 1996) and a son Rudra (born 2000). However, the couple lived separately for seven years until 2010, when they filed for divorce. Arvind Swamy continues to live with his children.
Arvind Swamy was born in Tamil Nadu. His parents were industrialist V. D. Swamy and the Bharatanatyam dancer Vasantha Swamy. 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, Chennai in 1990 in Business. He went to the United States to do his Masters in International Business from Wake Forest University in North Carolina. In childhood, Swamy never wanted to become an actor or join his father's business. Instead he wanted to become a doctor. In college, he used to model for pocket money. When he joined the Loyola Theatre Society, he wasn't well received and asked to get off stage. Mani Ratnam saw one of his ads and called him for a meeting. He and Santhosh Sivan introduced him into the basics of film making.
Swamy made his début 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, which won four National Film Awards besides high box office reviews.
He semi-retired from acting in 2000 after playing a guest role in Mani Ratnam's Alaipayuthey and concentrated on his business interests. Swamy was director of V D Swamy and Company and engaged in international trade and construction. He initially wanted to come back to films after 4–5 years, but was physically injured. 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 lost 15 kilogrammes. In 2013, he provided the voice-over for Santhosh Sivan's film Ceylon. In 2015, he acted in a negative role in Thani Oruvan, for which he was praised and received positive reviews for his acting.
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