Antara Mali was born in Mumbai, India to photographer Jagdish Mali on 13 July 1979. She married Che Kurrien, the editor of GQ magazine on 12 June 2009.
Mali's father had a history of diabetes and other illness. On being contacted after he was reported found disoriented in the streets, Antara Mali claimed that she was not in a position to take responsibility for her parent as she was soon to become a mother.
Mali made her acting debut in the 1999 filmPrema Kadha which was directed by Ram Gopal Varma. Varma became Mali's frequent collaborator. With the exception of Khiladi 420, all of her films were directed or produced by Varma. Although Mali was critically acclaimed for her performances in each of her films, none of them did well at the box office.
She discontinued her acting career after production of her last film Mr Ya Miss in 2005 (which she had also written and directed) was received poorly and critically panned. Mali paid her tribute to Madhuri Dixit by playing an aspiring actress inspired by Madhuri in the movie Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon.She received a Filmfare nomination for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Company.