|Name Rishi Raj|
Full Name Rishi Chandrasekaran
|Years active 2003-present|
|Occupation Film & television actor, TV Host|
Rishi is an Indian film, theatre and television actor. He is a regular performer on the Chennai stage and is best known for his trend-setting anchoring style in Sun TV's phenomenally successful Deala No Deala (Tamil version of Deal or No Deal).His second non-fiction show with Endemol India was Sun TV's Kaiyil Oru Kodi (Tamil version of Million Dollar Money Drop), one of the most successful TV programmes of the year. Rishi has appeared in supporting roles in Tamil films most notably Anandha Thandavam and Payanam (Gaganam in Telugu).
He is currently the brand ambassador for Vim Liquid for South India.
Rishi is the only child of S. Chandrashekaran (a Malayali-Tamil) and Gayathri Chandrashekaran (a Gujarati), with his father being a musician and his mother an amateur poet. His paternal grandfather is the ex-politician C.R. Subramaniam (aka 'Tamil' Mani), a member of the Kamaraj headed Congress in the 60s. At 17, Rishi quit engineering to do theatre.
Rishi appeared in a few fiction and non-fiction shows on STAR Vijay before appearing on Sun TV with Endemol's Dealaa No Dealaa (Tamil version of Deal or No Deal). This was a runaway success with Rishi's anchoring style making him a household name among the Tamil people all over the world, with a special fan following in Malaysia and Canada. Sun TV broke the norm of low-budget game shows by pumping in never-before-seen funds and resources making it a trendsetter not only in its success but also the way the TV business was done in Southern India. In 2012, Endemol South and Sun TV joined hands once again for Kaiyil Oru Kodi, Are you ready? (Tamil version of Million Dollar Money Drop) with Rishi as the anchor. It was one of the most successful shows of the year. And Sun TV received special praise for confidently choosing Rishi as the anchor over film-stars who were failing to keep audiences glued to the television anyway. In 2009-10 Rishi played the lead in the hugely popular Telugu-language soap opera, Sundarakanda the first Indian TV show to be shot in the USA.
Having idolized M.R. Radha and Raghuvaran through his childhood, Rishi has always wanted to play negative roles and made his debut in Ananda Thandavam. (The forgettable and very sparsely released Thodakkam came and went noiselessly with barely anybody being aware of its release). He then went on to do supporting roles in a few films like Mandhira Punnagai, Mirattal, Naan Sigappu Manithan etc. and then appeared in the ensemble cast of Payanam (Gaganam in telugu) that brought him a lot of attention.
He also played the lead role in Parithi opposite actress Kareenasha, but the film did not have a theatrical release.
On the stage
Rishi started to direct and act in plays at 17. He did a series of Shakespeare readings in 2006. He has appeared in the Metroplus Theatre Festival with The Madras Players twice. Recently, Rishi received rave reviews for his performance in the play Honour.