Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan to Thalapathy Vijay to Thala Ajith: How these Tamil actors got their popular titles

How were these popular Tamil actors given their equally popular titles? Find out how Vijay became Thalapathy and Ajith became Thala.

Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan to Thalapathy Vijay to Thala Ajith: How these Tamil actors got their popular titles (PC: IMDb)
Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan to Thalapathy Vijay to Thala Ajith: How these Tamil actors got their popular titles (PC: IMDb)

Tamilians love addressing their favorite actors not just by their names but by their titles. This is not news to anyone. This phenomenon led to Ajith becoming Thala Ajith, Vijay becoming Thalapathy Vijay, and Kamal Haasan becoming Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan. Well, Tamil Nadu’s love of titles is not merely limited to actors; this is also the case with cricketers as well. So, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is Thala, and Suresh Raina is Chinna Thala.

For outsiders, these may be mere titles, but for the people in Tamil Nadu, this indicates their love and adoration for these people. We have thus decided to make a list of actors, their titles, and how exactly they got their titles. 

Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan to to Thala Ajith: How these Tamil actors got their popular titles

kamal haasan

Did you know Kamal Haasan was not initially keen on being referred to as Ulaga Nayagan? The thespian was given this title by director K S Ravikumar. He used this title for the first time ever in his film Thenali. Anyone who is familiar with Tamil cinema knows that the title card is a huge deal. This is the moment when a star’s name appears on screen in the movie, resulting in an uproar in the theater.

Rather than just a plain display of the actor’s name, makers come up with exciting ways to introduce an actor. As Kamal had helped Ravikumar a lot during Thenali, the maker wanted to do something special for the actor and came up with the now iconic title of Ulaga Nayagan and an equally memorable title card. 

Thalapathy Vijay

Since almost the start of his career, Vijay has been referred to as Ilayathalapathy. The 1994 film Rasigan was the first to use the title for the star. For three decades, addressing the actor as Ilayathalapathy continued. Towards the later part of the 2010s, it became evidently clear that it was time for the actor to naturally progress from Ilayathalapathy to Thalapathy. And finally, it happened, and it happened in style. In his first collaboration with Vijay, Atlee excluded the Ilaya part and introduced the actor as the Thalapathy we know him as now. 

kamal haasan
Kamal Haasan Nag Ashwin Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan to Thalapathy Vijay to Thala Ajith: How these Tamil actors got their popular titles news

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