Siddharth is an Indian film actor who has appeared in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi language films. Apart from acting, he has also been involved in films as screenplay writer, producer and playback singer. He has been described as one of the few actors in India who is able to achieve pan-Indian appeal.
After completing his business management studies, Siddharth chose to work in film making and assisted Mani Ratnam, before going on to make an acting debut in S. Shankar's coming-of-age Tamil film Boys (2003). The success of the film provided an opportunity to feature in Mani Ratnam's multi-starrer Aayutha Ezhuthu (2004), before he branched off to receive critical and commercial acclaim in Telugu and Hindi cinema through Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (2005), Rang De Basanti and Bommarillu (2006). In the late 2000s, he established himself as a bankable lead actor in Telugu films and subsequently chose to become more selective with his projects, while also winning acclaim for his work as a carrom player in Striker (2010) and as a blind warrior in the fantasy film Anaganaga O Dheerudu (2011). In 2011, he returned to Tamil films after a sabbatical and produced Balaji Mohan's commercially successful romantic comedy Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi (2012). The actor then had a prolific year in 2014, winning critical acclaim and box office success for his two ventures; Jigarthanda, where he portrayed an aspiring film maker, and Kaaviya Thalaivan, in which he played an actor from the 1920s Madras theater scene.
Siddharth was born to a Tamil-speaking family in Chennai, India. He began his education at DAV Boys' Senior Secondary School, Chennai and then studied at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Delhi. He subsequently graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) degree from Kirori Mal College, New Delhi. Siddharth participated extensively in extra-curricular activities during college, serving as the president of the college's debating society and attending the World Debating Championships. He then went on to complete his MBA from S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, while also ultimately winning a speaking skills competition which earned him the CNBC Manager of the year award in 1999.
Siddharth's first tryst with media came through dubbing for the Banish mosquito repellent ad in eight different languages in 1988, as instructed by his father's close friend, ad director Jayendra. He noted that he knew he was headed for a career in films since childhood, showing particular fascination for writing and directing, and thus only signed up for business school as a "safety cushion" as insisted upon by his father. He then briefly pursued amateur theatre during his time in Delhi through live stage performances with the theatre group Players, while also honing his writing and directorial skills.