tv & movies

Happy Birthday Suriya: Five times Etharkkum Thunindhavan star changed his look drastically, started trends

On Suriya's 46th birthday, we look at his five films with which he created fitness and fashion trend. From Singam to Soorarai Pottru, here are all the times he changed his look onscreen.

Actor Suriya, who turned 46 today, has never taken his stardom for granted and is quite decisive about choices he makes for every film. If he so chooses, he can keep delivering out-and-out masala films like Singam and still find an audience. Instead, he chooses to take risks with a film like NGK. He can simply create a fashion trend by changing his hairstyle and beard like he did in Anjaan. And yet, he chooses to drastically change his appearance for every movie. For instance, he lost a huge amount of body weight to play the younger version of his characters in films like Vaaranam Aayiram and Soorarai Pottru. He experiments with his characters as he doesn’t like to repeat himself. His gamble doesn’t always pay off but that doesn’t keep him from trying out new things.

Here are five times Suriya created fitness and fashion trend with his films.

Vaaranam Aayiram

It was a trendsetter in many ways. Director Gautham Menon’s film showed Suriya in different stages of his life — from a teenager to an old man suffering from cancer. To fit the role of a teenager, Suriya lost massive weight. To play an army officer, he gained all his weight back in muscle to look the part. Suriya’s washboard abs in the 2008 film inspired many youngsters to take their fitness seriously.

7aum Arivu

Director AR Murugadoss’ sci-fi drama again allowed Suriya to experiment with his looks. He played the role of a 6th century Tamil monk Bodhidharma, who is touted to be the main reason for the creation of the Shaolin Temple in China. To pull off this role, he had to look ultra-fit, which he did and how.


Director KV Anand’s playful movie about an intelligent and good-looking young smuggler remains one of the biggest hits in Suriya’s career. The actor looked uber-cool as a globe-trotting, who smuggled things into India from across the world, just for the thrills.


The 2010 cop film, written and directed by Hari, showed Suriya as a dynamic and hot-headed officer. After the release of the film, the popularity of the handlebar moustache sort of skyrocketed, thanks to the actor. The success of the movie was such that any police officer with the handlebar and fascination for Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses was dubbed ‘Singam.’

Soorarai Pottru

Directed by Sudha Kongara, the film was loosely based on the struggles of Air Deccan founder GR Gopinath. Suriya essayed the role of an idealistic man, who aspires to make air travel affordable to everyone. Again, he had lost significant weight to briefly appear as a rebellious army recruit. His basic plain shirts and cargo pants coupled with dark sunglasses showed us that it doesn’t take a lot of effort for working-class men to look fashionable.

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