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This article is about the Indian film actress. For the Indian writer, see Nayantara Sahgal.
For the plant, see Vinca rosea.
Nayantara at South Indian International Movie Awards 2013 (cropped).jpg
Nayanthara at the 2013 SIIMA Awards
Born Diana Mariam Kurian
(1984-11-18) 18 November 1984 (age 31)[1][2][3]
Bengaluru, India[4][5]
Residence Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Actress, model, Producer
Years active 2003–present
Home town Thiruvalla, Kerala, India
Religion Hinduism[6]
Awards Kalaimamani[7]

Nayanthara (born Diana Mariam Kurian on 18 November 1984)[8] is an Indian film actress from Kerala, who appears in South Indian films. She made her acting debut in the 2003 Malayalam film Manassinakkare and followed with Vismayathumbathu (2004) before foraying into Tamil and Telugu cinema.

She made her debut in Tamil cinema in 2005 with Ayya and a year later in Telugu with Lakshmi, after which she was the female lead in numerous commercially successful Tamil and Telugu films, making her one of the most sought after actresses in South Indian cinema.[9] In 2010, she also made her Kannada film debut through the Kannada-Telugu bilingual film Super,[10] her only appearance in a Kannada film to-date. Her portrayal of Sita in Sri Rama Rajyam (2011) earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress and the Nandi Award for Best Actress. She won the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actress for her performance in Raja Rani (2013). Kochi Times listed her in the "List of 15 Most Desirable Women in 2014".[11]

With a series of successful films like Thani Oruvan, Maya and Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (2015), she became the highest paid actress of South India.[12]

Early life[edit]

Nayanthara was born in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India,[4] to Malayali Orthodox Christians[13] parents Kurian Kodiyattu and Omana Kurian who hail from an ancestral family Kodiyatt in Thiruvalla.Tiruvalla, Kerala.[14][15] Her brother, Leno, who is nine years elder to her, lives in Dubai.[16] As her father was an Indian Air Force official, she studied in various parts of India, mainly in North India.[16] She did her schooling in Jamnagar, Gujarat and Delhi. In Tiruvalla, she studied at Balikamadom Girls Higher Secondary School and then attended Marthoma College for her bachelor's degree in English Literature.[17]


Debut in Malayalam cinema (2003–04)[edit]

While studying at college, Nayanthara was working as a part-time model. She was spotted by director Sathyan Anthikkad, who had seen some of her modelling assignments and approached her to play a pivotal role in his film Manassinakkare (2003).[18] Although she turned down the offer initially, as she was not interested in films, she gave in eventually and agreed to do "just that one film".[18] Manassinakkare went on to become a high financial success and she continued to receive acting offers. Her both releases in 2004, Natturajavu by Shaji Kailas and Fazil's psychological thriller Vismayathumbathu saw her co-starring alongside Mohanlal; while she played the protagonist's adopted sister in the former, she portrayed a ghost in the latter.[19] Her performance in Vismayathumbathu, in particular, was lauded, with critics claiming that she had "stolen the thunder with her author-backed role",[20] and was "the revelation of the film".[21] She also acted in Thaskara Veeran and Rappakal.

Work in Tamil and Telugu cinema (2005–07)[edit]

Nayanthara subsequently started appearing in Tamil and Telugu films. In 2005, she was cast in Hari's Ayya, debuting in the Tamil film industry. stated that she had made a "sensational debut in Tamil",[22] while a reviewer from said that her "presence with her beautiful smile is crowd winning".[23] While still shooting for Ayya, she was selected for the comedy horror film Chandramukhi,[24] after its director P. Vasu's wife had seen Manassinakkare and recommended her.[25] The film ran for over 800 days in theatres,[26] eventually turning Nayantara into one of the most-sought after actresses in Tamil.[9] Later that year she appeared in A R Murugadoss' Ghajini, in which she played a secondary female character.[9] Nayanthara then accepted to appear in an item number as herself in the Perarasu-directed masala film Sivakasi.[27]

Nayanthara's first release in 2006 was Kalvanin Kadhali. stated her performance was the "strength of the film".[28] She next made her debut in Telugu, starring in the film Lakshmi, following which she performed in Boss, I Love You. Three Tamil films in which she enacted the lead female characters – Vallavan, Thalaimagan and E – were released simultaneously during Deepavali 2006.[29] All three films opened to mixed reviews;[30][31] In Vallavan, she portrayed a lecturer who falls in love with a student younger than her. Sify wrote: "Nayanthara virtually walks away with the film and has never looked so beautiful. She looks gorgeous especially in songs and does justice to her well-etched out role".[32] The science fiction thriller E featured Nayantara in the role of a bar dancer. Reviewers from Rediff stated that she made an impact,[33] Indiaglitz said she was "very adequate and impressive in a slightly complicated role",[34] and that she had "come up with a good performance".[31] In Thalaimagan, she played a news reporter, with critics agreeing that she did not have much to do in the film.[35][36]

Public recognition and widespread success (2007-2011)[edit]

Nayanthara regained her star billing in Kollywood acting in the Vishnuvardhan-directed gangster film Billa (2007). A remake of the same-titled 1980 Tamil film, it went on to become a success at the box office[vague],[37] while Nayantara received many accolades for her performance as Sasha in her new glamour look.[38] Sify heaped praise on her, describing her as a "show stopper". The reviewer further wrote: "Nayanthara has gone full throttle to look her sexiest best [...] She has a beautiful body which she flaunts daringly [...] and is also able to bring out the cold aloofness and bitterness of her character.[39] Similarly a critic from noted that she looked "great in mini-skirts, jacket, dark glasses and tall boots".[40]

In 2008 she had five releases, four of which were in Tamil. Her first release, the family entertainer Yaaradi Nee Mohini. wrote: "Nayan dispels her bombshell act and proves that she can more than just that. She breaks into tears when needed, shows vicious contempt when rubbed the wrong way in the name of love, and looks endearing in songs". stated that she "exhibits her acting skills in full measure [and] gives a moving performance in emotional scenes",[41] while Sify's critic wrote that she looked "sensational and has done a great job in perhaps the meatiest role she has done so far".[42] She won the Vijay Award for Favourite Heroine for second consecutive year,[43] as well as a nomination for the Best Actress prize at the 56th Filmfare Awards South. Her subsequent releases were Kuselan , Sathyam, Villu and Aegan . In 2009 she released Aadhavan .

Nayanthara at South Filmfare Awards

In 2010, all her releases, which featured her as the female lead, turned out to be commercial successes: she had five box office hits in the four Southern languages – Adhurs (Telugu) Bodyguard (Malayalam), and Simha (Telugu), Boss Engira Bhaskaran (Tamil) and Super (Kannada).[44][45] She won the Asianet Award for Best Actress for her performance in Bodyguard. The latter three, in particular, were exceptionally successful, with Simha becoming one of the highest-grossing Telugu films of the year and Boss Engira Bhaskaran releasing to highly positive reviews, and becoming a blockbuster.[46][47][48] Upendra's Super, which marked her debut into the Kannada film industry opened to rave reviews, while her performance was also praised by critics.[49][50] Her performances in Simha, Boss Engira Bhaskaran and Super eventually fetched her nominations for the Filmfare Best Actress Award in the respective languages.[51][52][53] She also starred in Shyamaprasad's critically acclaimed Malayalam film Elektra. Her performance was well appreciated by critics when it was screened at the International Film Festival of India.[54] The film was also screened at the Dubai International Film Festival.[55]

Her only release in 2011 was the mythological film Sri Rama Rajyam by Bapu, in which she played the role of Sita. She received critical acclaim for her performance in the film with noting that "Nayanthara is the surprise package of the film. As Sita, she too has played the role of her lifetime. She gave a fine understated performance conveying a kaleidoscope of emotions",[56] while Sify commented "Nayanthara gave a fitting answer to all, unleashing grace and accomplishing the assignment with absolute perfection."[57] Subsequently, she was awarded the Nandi Award for Best Actress and the Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress.[58] The film was dubbed in the media as her swan song and considered to be her last release before her marriage as she was reported to quit acting thereafter.[59]

Recent work (2012 - present)[edit]

Nayanthara began shooting for Krish's Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum in March 2012 after an 11-months sabbatical.[60] She portrayed the role of a journalist in this film and her performance was also praised, with a reviewer from Sify stating that "Nayanthara does not play the normal commercial glam-doll for a change and she is good. As a reporter, she looks good and her chemistry with Rana is perfect".


[61] Her first release in 2013 was Greeku Veerudu. Her next film, Raja Rani was her first Tamil release after three years that had her in a lead role, which was followed by Vishnuvardhan's Arrambam. Her performance was praised with a reviewer from Rediff stated that Nayanthara looks gorgeous and does full justice to her character., while Behindwoods stated that Nayanthara puts out a fiery face when required and also showcase her oomph & style in many scenes. This superstar continues to shine. Both films became very successful at the box office making it as a dream comeback for Nayanthara.[62] In 2014, she appeared in Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal which was directed by S R Prabhakaran. Her next release was the bilingual thriller Anamika (Telugu)/Nee Enge En Anbe (Tamil) directed by Shekhar Kammula.

In 2015, she starred in the Tamil romantic comedy Nannbenda starring Udhayanidhi Stalin.[63] Her next release was Bhaskar the Rascal starring Mammootty in Malayalam. The movie completed after 100 days.[64] Her next release was the horror comedy Masss co-starring Suriya which became a commercial hit. Her next was the Blockbuster action flick Thani Oruvan starring Jayam Ravi.[65] She followed it with the horror film Maya. The film became a surprise blockbuster and Nayanthara's performance as an aspiring actress and single mother won her laurels. Her next Vignesh Shivan's Naanum Rowdydhaan starring Vijay Sethupathi also became a Huge Critical Success & eventually became a blockbuster. This made Nayanthara to have both performance oriented roles and blockbuster hit movies,thus making her as the Numero uno of the year. She is acting in the following upcoming Tamil projects: The romance film Idhu Namma Aalu starring Silambarasan,[66] and Kashmora starring Karthi. She also has Thirunaal co starring Jiiva. In November 2015, she signed a Tamil film opposite Vikram under the direction of Anand Shankar[67] and a Telugu film starring opposite Venkatesh for the third time, under the direction of Maruthi.[68]

Personal life[edit]

Nayanthara started dating actor-director Prabhu Deva in 2008.[69] In 2010, Prabhu Deva's wife Latha filed a petition at the family court, seeking directions against Deva from live in relationship with Nayantara and requesting a reunion with him.[70] Furthermore, she threatened to go on hunger strike if Prabhu Deva married Nayantara, while several women's organisations conducted protests against Nayantara for bringing disrepute to Tamil culture, burning an effigy of her.[71] In 2012, Nayantara confirmed that she had ended her relationship with Prabhu Deva.[72][72][73][74]

Nayanthara was born and brought up as a Syrian Christian.[14] On 7 August 2011, she converted to Hinduism at the Arya Samaj Temple in Chennai. She went through Shuddhi Karma, a procedure involving a Vedic purification and a Homam where Nayantara chanted the hymns from Veda and Gayatri Mantra under the guidance of the priest. After the purification ceremony, a Certificate of Conversion to Hinduism was issued to her and her stage name, Nayantara, became her official name.[8] She also visited a number of holy places, including Haridwar and Rishikesh in May 2014.[75]


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
No Year Film Role Language Notes
1 2003 Manassinakkare Gauri Malayalam Malayalam debut
2 2004 Vismayathumbathu Reetha Mathews Malayalam
3 2004 Natturajavu Katrina Malayalam
4 2005 Ayya Selvi Madasamy Tamil Tamil debut
5 2005 Chandramukhi Durga Tamil
6 2005 Thaskara Veeran Thankamani Malayalam
7 2005 Rappakal Gauri Malayalam
8 2005 Ghajini Chitra Tamil
9 2005 Sivakasi Herself Tamil Special appearance in the song "Kodambakkam Area"
10 2006 Kalvanin Kadhali Haritha Tamil
11 2006 Lakshmi Nandhini Telugu Telugu debut
12 2006 Boss Anuradha Telugu
13 2006 Vallavan Swapna Tamil
14 2006 Thalaimagan Meghala Tamil
15 2006 E Jyothi Tamil
16 2007 Yogi Nandini Telugu
17 2007 Dubai Seenu Madhumathi Telugu
18 2007 Sivaji: The Boss Herself Tamil Special appearance in the song "Balleilakka"
19 2007 Tulasi Vasundhara Ram Telugu
20 2007 Billa Sasha Tamil
21 2008 Yaaradi Nee Mohini Keerthi (Komalavalli) Tamil
22 2008 Kuselan Nayantara Tamil
23 2008 Kathanayakudu Nayanthara Telugu
24 2008 Satyam Deivanayaki Tamil
25 2008 Aegan Mallika Tamil
26 2008 Twenty:20 Diana Malayalam Special appearance in the song "Hey Dil Deewana"
27 2009 Villu Janavi Tamil
28 2009 Anjaneyulu Anjali Telugu
29 2009 Aadhavan Thara Tamil
30 2010 Adhurs Chandrakala Telugu
31 2010 Bodyguard Ammu Ashokan Malayalam
32 2010 Goa Village girl Tamil cameo appearance
33 2010 Simha Gayatri Telugu
34 2010 Boss Engira Bhaskaran Chandrika Tamil
35 2010 Elektra Elektra Alexander Malayalam
36 2010 Super Indira Kannada
37 2011 Sri Rama Rajyam Seetha Telugu
38 2012 Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum Devika Telugu
39 2013 Ethir Neechal Herself Tamil Special appearance in the song "Local Boys"
40 2013 Greeku Veerudu Sandhya Telugu
41 2013 Raja Rani Regina Tamil
42 2013 Arrambam Maya Tamil
43 2014 Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal Pavithra Tamil
44 2014 Anaamika Anaamika Telugu
45 2014 Nee Enge En Anbe Anaamika Tamil
46 2015 Nannbenda Ramya Tamil
47 2015 Bhaskar the Rascal Hima Malayalam
48 2015 Masss Malini Tamil
49 2015 Thani Oruvan Mahima Tamil
50 2015 Maya Maya Mathews/ Apsara Tamil
51 2015 Life of Josutty Swapna Malayalam
52 2015 Naanum Rowdydhaan Kadambari Tamil
53 2016 Puthiya Niyamam Vasuki Iyer Malayalam
54 2016 Thirunaal Films that have not yet been released Vidya Tamil Post-production [76]
55 2016 Idhu Namma Aalu Films that have not yet been released Mylaa Tamil Post-Production[77]
56 2016 Kashmora Films that have not yet been released Tamil Filming [78]
57 2016 Iru Mugan Films that have not yet been released Tamil Filming [79]
58 2016 Venkatesh-Nayanthara untitled project Films that have not yet been released Telugu Filming
59 2016 Untitled Sargunam Project Films that have not yet been released Tamil Pre-Production[80]


Year Category Award Film Result
2003 Best New Face of the Year Asianet Film Awards Manassinakkare Won[81]
2007 Favourite Heroine 2nd Vijay Awards Billa Won[82]
Best Actress Sunfeast Tamil Music Awards Won[83]
Best Tamil Actress 55th Filmfare Awards South Nominated[84]
Best Telugu Actress Tulasi Nominated[85]
2008 Favourite Heroine 3rd Vijay Awards Yaaradi Nee Mohini Won[86]
Best Actress 56th Filmfare Awards South Nominated
2010 Best Actress Asianet Film Awards Bodyguard Won[87]
Best Tamil Actress 58th Filmfare Awards South Boss Engira Bhaskaran Nominated[52]
Best Telugu Actress Simha Nominated[51]
Best Kannada Actress Super Nominated[53]
2011 Best Telugu Actress 59th Filmfare Awards South Sri Rama Rajyam Won[88]
Best Actress Nandi Awards Won[89]
Best Actress TSR-TV9 Film Awards Won[90]
Best Actress (Jury) CineMAA Awards Won[91]
Best Actress 1st South Indian International Movie Awards Won[92]
Best Actress Bharatamuni Film Awards Won[93]
Best Actress Ugadi Puraskar Awards Won[94]
Best Actress Santhosham South Film Awards Won[95]
2012 Best Actress (Critics) 2nd South Indian International Movie Awards Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum Won[96]
Best Actress TSR-TV9 Film Awards Nominated
Best Actress 60th Filmfare Awards South Nominated
2013 Best Actress Edison Awards Raja Rani Won[97]
Best Tamil Actress 61st Filmfare Awards South Won[98]
Best Actress 8th Vijay Awards Won[99]
Favourite Heroine Won[99]
Best Acting Performance Behindwoods Gold Medal Won[100]
Best Actress 3rd South Indian International Movie Awards Nominated[101]
2014 Best Actress Edison Awards Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal Nominated
Favourite Heroine 9th Vijay Awards Nominated[102]
Best Actress 4th South Indian International Movie Awards Anaamika Nominated[101]
2015 Amitabh Bachchan Youth Icon Award CIFF Awards Maya Won[103]
K. Balachander Award for Best Female Actor Won[104]
Best Actress IIFA Utsavam Awards Won[105]
Thani Oruvan Nominated
Vikatan Awards Nanum Rowdydhaan Won[106]
Edison Awards Pending[107]
The Gorgeous Belle Thani Oruvan Pending[108]


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External links[edit]

  1. ^ Nayanthara on Facebook