Vijay started off with a role in Yograj Bhat’s Ranga SSLC with Sudeep. He then acted in films like Jogi, Shree, Ee Rajeev Gandhi Alla among others. He also did roles in television.
The turning point in Vijay’s career came when his friend Soori’s directorial debut Duniya. Vijay was cast as a naive village boy with a golden heart who ends up in the hands of underworld goons who use him as one of the henchman to execute their bad deeds. His acting won him rave reviews from critics. Vijay went on to win the State and Filmfare awards for his role in the film.
In 2007, Vijay appeared in three more films - Yuga, Chanda and Geleya. Yuga was an action oriented film on the lines of Duniya, but it was not a box office success. Vijay did a supporting role in Geleya, when Prakash Rai walked out of the film at the last moment.
In 2007, Vijay made more news with his film Chanda. The film was directed by S. Narayan, who had supposedly agreed with Vijay that he would release the film six weeks after Yuga, so that there would be no clash. The director did not keep this promise, for which Vijay refused to dub (lend his voice) for the film. The matter was settled with the KFCC, who decided to impose a year long ban on the actor. After the intervention of “Karnataka Film Federation” elders, the ban was revoked and Vijay was eligible to do other movies. Chanda did a roaring business at the box office and especially at B&C centers. He got the liking from the so-called ‘masses’ for his dare devil fights.
Vijay did a semi-art film Avva for Kavita Lankesh at the start of 2008. Vijay won accolades for a bravura performance, but the film did not do well. He was then seen in Sumana Kittur’s Slum Balatowards the end of 2008, which also did average business. The consensus was that both films lacked action, which was Vijay’s forte.
In 2009, Vijay was seen in action oriented films,namely, MR Ramesh’s Thaakath and Junglee directed by Soori and also in Sadhu Kokila’s directorial Devru.
The year 2010 continued to be a mixed luck for Vijay with three releases, out of which, one film Kanteerava managed to fetch average business and reviews. The other two, Shankar IPS and Kari Chirathe, went on to become failures at the box-office. However, he made a comeback with successful films which were also critically acclaimed Jarasandha, Johny Mera Naam Preethi Mera Kaam and Veerabahu in the year 2011.
In 2012, Vijay starred in the critically acclaimed Bheema Theeradalli which also found the commercial success. Vijay was lauded for his performance in the movie. In early 2013, the filmRajanikantha was released and it was a disaster in Box-Office. His subsequent release, which was under his production “Duniya Talkies” Jayammana Maga, a psychological thriller and his first production venture, met with rave critical reviews with his performance getting noticed.
His next awaited release is the action packed gangster film Shivajinagara directed by P N Satya.