Nithya Menen during the shoot of Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty
8 April 1988
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
|Occupation||Actress, playback singer|
Nithya Menen was born in Bangalore into a Malayali family and studied journalism at the Manipal Institute of Communication. Her father's family is from Calicut and her mother's is from Palakkad. She once said in an interview that she never wished to become an actress but a journalist as she was "an idealist", but felt journalism was "not what it used to be". She then decided to become a filmmaker as she could express her ideas "better through films", and enrolled for a course in cinematography at the FTI Pune. During the entrance examination, she met Nandini Reddy, who "brainwashed" and convinced her to take up acting. Nandini Reddy would later turn director and sign Nithya for the lead female role in her first project.
Nithya Menen appeared first on screen as a child artist when she was ten in the Indian English language film, The Monkey Who Knew Too Much (1998), playing the younger sister to Tabu's character. The 2008 off-beat film Aakasha Gopuram, directed by National Film Award-winning director K. P. Kumaran, marked her debut in a leading role, in which she was paired with Mohanlal. She was in the midst of her 12th class exams when she was offered the role, after Mohanlal had spotted her on the front cover of a tourism magazine. Her performance was well received, with critics writing that she shows "sparkle in her debut venture" and "makes her entry in an impressive role", though the film, based on the Norwegian play The Master Builder, got mixed reviews and was a financial failure. She next made her Kannada debut with the film Josh. She essayed a supporting role in the film, which received rave reviews, and became a commercial success as well, with her performance garnering her a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category at the 57th Filmfare Awards South.
In 2011, her first release was Nandini Reddy's romantic comedy Ala Modalaindi, which was Nithya's maiden Telugu venture as well. The film opened to favorable reviews by critics and turned out to become a sleeper hit, while Nithya received critical praise for her performance. Idlebrain's Jeevi in his review cited that she "epitomized Nitya character with her fabulous performance", "looks beautiful in all kinds of dresses" and was "the best debut in recent years of Telugu cinema after Samantha in YMC", while another critic wrote that she was a "charming find" and "...quite the Genelia replacement that our cinema so badly needs right now." She eventually won the Nandi Award for Best Actress for her performance. Further more, she also sang two songs for the soundtrack album of the film, tuned by Kalyani Malik. Nandini Reddy, later, went on to describe Nithya as "the discovery of the decade". Following Ala Modalaindi, she starred in Santosh Sivan's historical fiction Urumi as part of an ensemble cast. She portrayed a Chirakkal princess named Bala, playing the love interest of Prabhu Deva's character, which gained positive remarks, with a Sify review claiming that she "looks pretty and is a scene stealer". Nithya quoted that much of her character was based on "Santosh's perception of who I am", with Sivan stating that he had written that role for her and that only she could play it. She next appeared in ad-filmmaker Jayendra's bilingual venture 180/Nootrenbadhu, made and released in Tamil and Telugu, in which she played a photo journalist named Vidhya. She described the character as "bubbly, full of life, nosey, wide-eyed and innocent in life" and to be similar to herself. Later the year, she was seen in Sibi Malayil's Violin in Malayalam and the Gautham Menon-produced Veppam in Tamil.
Her first 2012 release was the Telugu romance film Ishq with Nitin Reddy. She acted in Karmayogi, a Malayalam adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. For the Kannada film Aidondla Aidu she had sung and also choreographed one of the songs, titled "Payasa". She was seen in two Malayalam projects, T. K. Rajeev Kumar's Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty, in which she portrayed a village woman whose daily life is filmed and broadcast as a reality show for a month, and Ustad Hotel directed by Anwar Rasheed.
In 2013, she starred in three Telugu films, Okkadine, Jabardasth and Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde. She played a character with two shades in Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde and she dubbed for her as well as for the character of her co-star Isha Talwar. She also signed a film of director Cheran in which she is going to pair up with Sharwanand.
|1998||Hanuman||Anja's sister||English||As child artist|
|2005||Seven O' Clock||Anu||Kannada|
|2008||Akasha Gopuram||Hilda Varghese||Malayalam|
|2009||Josh||Meera||Kannada||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Kannada|
|2011||Ala Modalaindi||Nithya||Telugu||Nandi Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer – Telugu
|Malayalam||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Malayalam|
|2011||Nootrenbadhu||Vidya||Tamil||Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Actress|
|2012||Ishq||Priya||Telugu||CineMAA Award for Best Actress (Jury)
Nominated—CineMAA Award for Best Actress
|2012||Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty||Manjula Ayyapan||Malayalam|
|2012||Doctor Innocent aanu||Anna||Malayalam||Cameo appearance|
|2013||Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde||Shravani||Telugu|
|2013||JK Enum Nanbanin Vaazhkai||Tamil||Completed|
|2013||Yemito Ee Maaya||Telugu||Completed|
|2013||Malini 22 Palayamkottai||Malini||Tamil||Filming|
|2014||To Noor with Love||Malayalam||Filming|
|2014||Muni 3: Ganga||Tamil||Filming|
As playback singer
|2011||Edo Anukunte||Ala Modalaindi||Telugu
|2012||Oh Priya Priya||Ishq||Telugu||Anoop Rubens|
|2013||Arere Arere||Jabardasth||Telugu||S. Thaman|
|2013||Doore Doore Neengi||Natholi Oru Cheria Meenalla||Malayalam||Abhijith|
|2013||Modala Maleyante (Duet)||Myna||Kannada||Jassie Gift|
|2013||Thu Hi Rey||Gunde Jaari Gallanthayindhe||Telugu||Anoop Rubens|
|2013||Hi my name is malini||Malini 22 Palayamkottai||Tamil||Arvind & Shankar|
|2013||Kanneer Thulilye (Duet)||Tamil|
|2013||Madharthamma (Immigrant Mix)||Tamil|
|2013||Hi my name is malini||Malini 22||Telugu|
|2013||Navve Kaluva (Duet)||Telugu|
|2013||Yennali (Immigrant Mix)||Telugu|
- 2011: The Hyderabad Times Film Awards 2011-Promising Newcomer female in Ala Modalaindi.
- 2012: Nandi Award for Best Actress – Ala Modalaindi
- 2012: Thikkurissy Foundation Award for Most Popular Actress
- 2012: Ugadi Puraskar Award for Best Actress – Ala Modalaindi
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- "'I'm not inclined towards commercial cinema'". Rediff. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- PNG image. Retrieved on 2011-11-20.
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- "'I love to do intelligent films like Kerala Cafe' – Rediff.com Movies". Movies.rediff.com. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "Nithya plays a journalist in next". The Times of India. 2011-04-03. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
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- "I’ve never wanted to be an actress: Nithya". The Times of India. 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
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- "Movie Review:Aakasha Gopuram". Sify. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- G S Kumar, TNN (2009-04-10). "Josh movie review". The Times of India. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "Josh Kannada Movie Review". IndiaGlitz. 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "Movie Josh Review | Shivamani | Rakesh Amit Vishnuprasanna | Akshay Alok Jagannath". One India. 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "'Overwhelmed by response for Ala Modalaindi'". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
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- "Ala Modalaindi Review - Ala Modalaindi Movie Review on fullhyd.com". Fullhyderabad.com. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- Nandi awards 2010 announced – Telugu cinema news. Idlebrain.com (2011-08-05). Retrieved on 2011-08-10.
- "First look: Nandini Reddy's Ala Modalaindi – Rediff.com Movies". Movies.rediff.com. 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "'Urumi was difficult to shoot for'". Rediff. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "Movie Review:Urumi- Review". Sify. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- Nithya Menen: The character I play in 180 is like me – Rediff.com Movies. Rediff.com (2011-06-22). Retrieved on 2011-08-10.
- "'I am enjoying my own space'". Rediff. 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "When life becomes a TV show for Nithya Menen". The Times of India. TNN. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- Sanjith Sidhardhan (2011-11-13). "Nithya Menen forges ahead". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- Nitya Menen dubs for Isha Talwar in GJG – Telugu cinema news. Idlebrain.com (2013-04-20). Retrieved on 2013-06-19.
- Sharwanand & Nithya Menon new film. ifilmish (2012-06-20). Retrieved on 2012-08-09.
- "Nithya Menen exclusive interview". The Times of India. 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
- "I cannot do a film like Thuppakki, Rohini, Appavin Meesai". Behindwoods. 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
- "Asif Ali and Nitya Menen to team up again". Sify. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
- "The Hyderabad Times Film Awards 2011". 24June 2012.
- Press Trust of India (January 7, 2012). "`Aadminte Makan Abu chosen best film by Thikkurissy foundation". IBN Live. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- Telugu actress Nithya Menon. Telugugo.com (2011-07-16). Retrieved on 2012-03-18.
- "BHARATA MUNI 25th FILM AWARDS 2011 ANNOUNCED". Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 20 June 2012.