V. V. Vinayak is an Indian film director, screenplay director, writer, and actor who has worked in many films. He is one of the most well-known directors in Tollywood. In 2023, he entered Bollywood with his directorial venture Chatrapathi. He is regarded as one of the first directors who included car flip scenes in his films.
Gandrothu Veera Venkata Vinayaka Rao aka V. V. Vinayak Rao (also spelt as VV Vinayak) was born in Chagallu village in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. As per one source, he was born on Thursday, 9 October 1969 (age 54 years; as of 2023), and as per another source, he was born on Wednesday, 9 October 1974 (age 49 years; as of 2023). His zodiac sign is Libra. He completed his schooling till intermediate in his grandmother’s village Dommeru. He has been interested in films since childhood and watched a lot of films at his father’s movie theatre. After completing his schooling, he convinced his father and ventured into the area of filmmaking by moving to Chennai. He later worked on many Telugu films.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Weight (approx.): 75 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
He belongs to a Hindu family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name was Krishna Rao, and his mother’s name was G.Nagarathnam. His father was a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) member and Sarpanch of his village; he passed away in 2010. His mother was a housewife who passed away in 2014. He has two younger brothers and three younger sisters. One of his brothers is named Surender who is a politician and member of the YSR Congress. One of his brothers committed suicide.
Wife & Children
His wife’s name is Anantha Lakshmi Satyavathi. The couple has a son named Kundan Krishna and a daughter named Hasini Krishna.
His grandmother’s name was Chevvuri Venkata Rao.
In 1993, he started working as an assistant under the noted film director E. V. V. Satyanarayana and worked on the film Abbayigaru. He later worked under director Sagar and worked on many films including Amma Donga in 1995. In 2000, he worked as an assistant under the director S. V. Krishna Reddy on the film Sakutumba Saparivara Sametam. He also worked under the director Kranthi Kumar on the film 9 Nelalu in 2000.
He worked as a co-director with Bellamkonda Suresh, for Rs 10,000, on the film Varma Garu Bewarse Gaadu, which was later shelved; however, Suresh was impressed by Vinayak and promised to make him a director. He later met film producer Nallamalupu Bujji and told him a story, which Bujji liked, and he took Vinayak to Switzerland to shoot songs for his film Cheppalani Vundi, where he met N. T. Rama Rao Jr. who eventually acted in Vinayak’s debut film. NTR initially gave Vinayak 20 minutes to narrate the story of the film; however, he became so intrigued that he heard the story for 1.5 hours.
Director, Writer, & Screenplay Writer
His debut film as a director and writer was the action drama film Aadi in 2002 which featured N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Keerthi Chawla in the lead roles. The film became a massive hit at the box office, and critics applauded his directorial skills. His debut film as a director and screenplay writer was Tagore in 2003 which featured Chiranjeevi, Jyothika, Prakash Raj, and Shriya Saran in lead roles.
He later directed many hit films including Bunny in 2005 which featured Allu Arjun, Lakshmi in 2006 featuring Venkatesh, Yogi in 2007 featuring Prabhas and Nayanthara, Krishna in 2010 featuring Ravi Teja and Trisha, Adhurs in 2010 featuring N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Naayak in 2010 featuring Ram Charan and Kajal Aggarwal, and Khaidi No. 150 in 2017 featuring Chiranjeevi and Kajal Aggarwal.
In 2014, he directed the film Alludu Seenu which was the debut film of Bellamkonda Sreenivas, the son of noted film producer Bellamkonda Suresh, who produced Vinayak’s directorial debut Aadi. He took a break after 2018 and returned in 2023 with the Hindi film Chatrapathi which featured Bellamkonda Sreenivas and Nushrratt Bharuccha in the lead roles.
He made his debut in his 2003 film Tagore and did a cameo appearance as Gopi. In 2019, it was announced that he would play the lead role in the film Seenayya directed by Dil Raju; however, the project was later shelved. He has mainly made cameo appearances in many films.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Nandi Award for Best First Film of a Director for Aadi in 2002
- Santhosham Best Commercial Director award for Krishna in 2008
- Nominated for the Best Director award at the 3rd South Indian International Movie Awards for Naayak in 2014
He owns a Jaguar luxury car and a Toyota Fortuner SUV.
- His nickname is Nani.
- He owns many properties including mansions and theatres. His father named one of his seven theatres after him, Veera Venkata Vinayaka Talkies.
- In 2013, he directed a film on organ donation titled Jeevandan.
- He wrote the entire script for his debut film Aadi in 48 hours. In the film, his name was credited as Vinay due to which many people did not recognise him when he started using his full name V. V. Vinayak. The film was initially titled Sree and was shot within 54 days.
- In 2019, he received an offer to contest elections on the YSR Congress ticket; however, he rejected the offer as he did not want to contest elections.
- He has a brotherly bond with Chiranjeevi and often calls him a brother. He also served as the President of Chiranjeevi’s Fans Association Club.
- In June 2019, his house in Narsingi was demolished by authorities as he had permission for G+2 floors; however, he built G+6 floors. Notices were also sent to him prior to that, but he did not reply to any of those notices. The Times of India
- He considered Ram Gopal Varma, Raghavendra Rao, and S. S. Rajamouli as the biggest influence when he started working in Tollywood.
- In an interview, he called his film Badrinath, featuring Allu Arjun and Tamannaah, the toughest film to shoot as the shooting of the film was done in hilly regions.