Nithya Menen

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Nithya Menen
menen in 2011.
Born (1988-04-08) 8 April 1988 (age 32)[1]
Alma materMount Carmel College
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1998 as child artist, 2006–present

Nithya Menen (born Nithya Menen)[3][4][5] (born 8 April 1988)[6] is an Indian actress and singer, who appears in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi films. She is recipient of three Filmfare Awards for the Telugu films Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde, Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju and the Tamil film Mersal.

After making her acting debut as a child artist in the 1998 English film The Monkey Who Knew Too Much, Menen started her acting career by playing a supporting role in the Kannada film 7 O' Clock, which released in 2006. She made her debut in leading roles in Malayalam with Akasha Gopuram (2008), in Telugu with Ala Modalaindi (2011) and in Tamil with 180 (2011). In 2019, she made her Bollywood debut with Mission Mangal.

Early life[edit]

Nithya Menen was born in Banashankari, Bangalore to Malayali parents. She studied journalism at the Manipal University.[7] She once said in an interview that she never wished to become an actress but a journalist,[8][9] but ultimately found journalism unappealing, so she pivoted to filmmaking,[9][10][11] and enrolled in a cinematography course at the Film and Television Institute of India at Pune. During the school's entrance exam, she met B. V. Nandini Reddy, who convinced Menen to take up acting.[9] Reddy would later turn director and sign Menen for a lead role in her first Telugu film. Even though Menen's mother tongue is Malayalam, she can speak many South Indian languages.[12]



menen in 2011.

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.[13] In 2006, she started her acting career in a supporting role with the Kannada film 7 O' Clock directed by Kannada's top cinematographer Santosh Rai Pataje.[14] The 2008 off-beat film Aakasha Gopuram, directed by National Film Award-winning director K. P. Kumaran, marked her Malayalam debut in 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, Stark World Kerala.[3][8] Her performance was well received, with critics writing that she shows "sparkle in her debut venture" and "makes her entry in an impressive role",[15][16] though the film, based on the Norwegian play The Master Builder, got mixed reviews and was a financial failure.[15][16] She next made a comeback into Kannada films with the super hit film Josh. She played a supporting role in the film, which received rave reviews,[17][18][19] 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.

2011: Telugu debut and breakthrough[edit]

In 2011, her first release was Nandini Reddy's romantic comedy Ala Modalaindi, which was Menen's maiden Telugu venture as well.[5] The film opened to favourable reviews by critics and turned out to become a sleeper hit,[20] while Menen 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",[21] while another critic wrote that she was a "charming find" and "...quite the Genelia replacement that our cinema so badly needs right now."[22] She eventually won the Nandi Award for Best Actress for her performance and received a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Actress at the 59th Filmfare Awards South.[23] Further more, she also sang two songs for the soundtrack album of the film, tuned by Kalyani Malik.[24][25] Nandini Reddy, later, went on to describe Menen as "the discovery of the decade".[20] Following Ala Modalaindi, she starred in Santosh Sivan's historical fiction Urumi as part of an ensemble cast.[26] She portrayed a Chirakkal princess named Bala, playing the love interest of Prabhu Deva's character,[26] which gained positive remarks, with a Sify review claiming that she "looks pretty and is a scene stealer".[27] Menen 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 received a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress at the 59th Filmfare Awards South[26] 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.[28] She described the character as "bubbly, full of life, nosey, wide-eyed and innocent in life" and to be similar to herself.[28] Later the year, she was seen in Sibi Malayil's Violin in Malayalam and the Gautham Menon-produced Veppam in Tamil.

2012: Recognition[edit]

Her first 2012 release was the Telugu romance film Ishq with Nitin Reddy. She received the CineMAA Award for Best Actress(jury) while received best actress nomination at the same event and at the SIIMA Awards. 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".[29] 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,[30] and Ustad Hotel directed by Anwar Rasheed.[31]

2013–2015: Critical acclaim[edit]

In 2013, she starred in three Telugu films, Okkadine, Jabardasth and Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde and one Kannada movie Mynaa. 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. For this movie, she received her first Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress at the 61st Filmfare Awards South.[32] In 2014, she made a cameo in the Malayalam movie Bangalore Days, which became the highest grosser of that year.[33] Her Kannada film Mynaa which won the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Kannada[34] in which she plays a character of a physically challenged girl, became a huge blockbuster hit completing 100 days in many centers across Karnataka and her performance was well praised by the critics. She has paired up with Sharwanand for the 2015 Telugu movie Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju. Her performance was well praised by the critics eventually receiving her Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress South, Nandi Special Jury Award and also receiving her second nomination at Filmfare. With this Menen became the first Telugu actress ever to win Critics Award & the Best Actress Award at Filmfare. She did a minor role in the film S/O Satyamurthy, directed by Trivikram'. She appeared opposite Dulquer Salmaan in two films in 2015, 100 Days of Love, a romantic Malayalam film and OK Kanmani, a Tamil film directed by Mani Ratnam. Dulquer and Menen's on-screen chemistry was praised in the reviews of both films. For OK Kanmani, she received her first Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actress nomination.[35][36]


In 2016, she starred in three Tamil films, 24 opposite Suriya was opened to high critical acclaim, with critics praising her screen presence and garnered her a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Tamil nomination at 64th Filmfare Awards South, Another K. S. Ravikumar's bilingual project titled Kotigobba 2 opposite Sudeep while both versions opened to positive reviews, Kannada version became Blockbuster and Tamil version turned out to be a sleeper hit at Box Office.[37] later she starred opposite Vikram in a SciFi thriller Iru Mugan in which she had a limited screen presence.[38] In Telugu she starred in two films, okka Ammayi Thappa opposite Sundeep Kishan opened to negative reviews and tanked at box office, Followed by Janatha Garage opposite Jr. NTR opened to positive reviews, though her role is limited but brought raves from critics and latter was commercially successful at box office.[39][40]

In 2017, Her only release was a Tamil film Mersal opposite Vijay opened to critical Acclaim with praising portrayal of her character "Aishwarya Vetrimaran" as a loyal wife by critics and Audience alike and the film turned out be a Blockbuster at the box office and garnered her a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Tamil at 65th Filmfare Awards South .[41][42]

In 2018, her first release was Nani's Production venture an anthology psychological thriller Awe[43] In which she played one of the couple alongside Eesha Rebba who try to get approval of their lesbian relationship from latter's parents. Later the film was opened to unanimous critical acclaim with critics praising menen's performance as screen lighting with a brief and impactful role.

Her next release was VK Prakash's Praana which marks her comeback to Malayalam industry after 2015's romantic flick 100 days of love.[44][45]

She made her Hindi debut with Mission Mangal alongside Akshay Kumar.


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Role Language Notes
1998 The Monkey Who Knew Too Much Younger sister to Tabu English debut as child actor
2006 Seven O' Clock Anu Kannada kannada debut
2008 Akasha Gopuram Hilda Varghese Malayalam malayalam debut
2009 Josh Meera Kannada
Vellathooval Jiya Malayalam
Kerala Cafe Nithya
Angel John Sofia
2010 Apoorvaragam Nancy
Anwar Asna
2011 Ala Modalaindi Nithya Telugu telugu debut
Urumi Chirakkal Bala Malayalam
180 / Nootrenbadhu Vidya Tamil/Telugu tamil debut
Violin Angel Malayalam
Veppam Revathy Tamil
Aidondla Aidu Gowri Kannada
Makaramanju Model Malayalam
2012 Ishq Priya Telugu
Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty Manjula Ayyapan Malayalam
Karmayogi Moonumani
Doctor Innocent Aanu Anna Special appearance
Bachelor Party Neethu
Ustad Hotel Shahana
Poppins Ammu
2013 Okkadine Shailaja Telugu
Jabardasth Saraswati
Myna Myna Kannada
Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde Shravani Telugu
2014 Malini 22 Palayamkottai Malini Tamil
Bangalore Days Natasha Francis Malayalam Cameo appearance
2015 Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju Nazira Telugu
JK Enum Nanbanin Vaazhkai / Rajadhi Raja Nithya Tamil/Telugu
100 Days of Love Sheela Malayalam
S/O Satyamurthy Valli Telugu
Kanchana 2 Ganga Tamil
O Kadhal Kanmani Tara Kalingarayan
Rudramadevi Muktamba Telugu
2016 24 Priya Tamil
Okka Ammayi Thappa Mango/ Satyabhama Telugu
Kotigobba 2/Mudinja Ivana Pudi Subhashini/Shubhasree Kannada/Tamil
Janatha Garage Anu Telugu
Iru Mugan Ayushi Tamil
2017 Mersal Aishwarya Vetrimaaran Tamil
2018 Awe Krishnaveni Telugu
Geetha Govindam Nithya Special appearance [46][47]
2019 NTR Kathanayakudu Savitri Special appearance
Praana Tara Anuradha Malayalam
Mission Mangal Varsha Pillai Hindi hindi debut
2020 Psycho Kamala Das IPS Tamil
Kolaambi Arundhati Malayalam Post-Production
Dubbing artist
Year Film Role Language Notes
2013 Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde Shruti Telugu Dubbing Voice

Web series[edit]

Films that have not yet been released
Year Series Role Language Notes
2020 Breathe : Into the Shadows Abha Shabarwal Hindi Amazon Prime Video


Year Song Film Language Composer
2010 "Payasa" Aidondla Aidu Kannada Abhijit-Joe
2011 "Edo Anukunte" Ala Modalaindi Telugu Kalyani Malik
"Ammammo Ammo" Telugu
2012 "Oh Priya Priya" Ishq Telugu Anoop Rubens
"Payasam" Poppins Malayalam Ratheesh Vegha
2013 "Arere Arere" Jabardasth Telugu S. Thaman
"Doore Doore Neengi" Natholi Oru Cheria Meenalla Malayalam Abhijith
"Modala Maleyante (Duet)" Myna Kannada Jassie Gift
"Thu Hi Rey" Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde Telugu Anoop Rubens
"Hi my name is malini" Malini 22 Palayamkottai Tamil Arvind & Shankar
"Kanneer Thulilye (Duet)"
"Madharthamma (Immigrant Mix)"
"Hi my name is malini" Malini 22 Telugu
"Navve Kaluva (Duet)"
"Yennali (Immigrant Mix)"
2015 "Paalnilaa : Lets Do the Dandiya" Rockstar (2015 film) Malayalam Prashant Pillai
2016 "Laalijo" 24 Telugu A. R. Rahman
"Hrudayam Kannulatho" 100 Days of Love[48][49] Govind Menon
2018 "Va Va Vo" Mohanlal Malayalam Tony Joseph Pallivathukal

Awards and nominations[edit]

Nithya at the 65th Filmfare Awards South ceremony
Year Award Category Film Result
2009 Filmfare Awards South Best Supporting Actress – Kannada Josh Nominated
2011 Filmfare Awards South Best Supporting Actress – Malayalam Urumi Nominated
Best Actress – Telugu Ala Modalaindi Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer – Telugu (for song "Ammammo Ammo") Nominated
1st South Indian International Movie Awards Best Female Debutant – Telugu Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer – Telugu(for song "Ammammo Ammo") Nominated
Nandi Awards Best Actress Won
Hyderabad Times Film Awards Promising Newcomer Female Won
Ugadi Puraskar Awards Best Actress Won
Vijay Awards Best Actress Nootrenbandhu Nominated
2012 CineMAA Awards Best Actress (Jury) Ishq Won
2nd South Indian International Movie Awards Rising Star of South Indian Cinema (Female) Won
2013 Filmfare Awards South Best Actress – Telugu Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde Won
3rd South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actress – Telugu Nominated
Vanitha Film Awards Best Pair (along with Dulquer Salmaan) Ustad Hotel Won
2014 Vijay Awards Best Actress Malini 22 Palayamkottai Nominated
2015 Filmfare Awards South Best Actress – Telugu Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju Nominated
Best Actress – Telugu (Critics) Won
5th South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actress – Telugu Nominated
1st IIFA Utsavam Awards Best Actress – Telugu Nominated
Nandi Awards Special Jury Award Won
Filmfare Awards South Best Actress – Tamil OK Kanmani Nominated
5th South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actress – Tamil Nominated
Best Actress – Tamil (Critics) Won
Best Supporting Actress – Telugu Rudhramadevi Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Tamil Kanchana 2 Nominated
2016 2nd IIFA Utsavam Awards Best Supporting Actress – Telugu Rudhramadevi Nominated
2017 64th Filmfare Awards South Best Supporting Actress – Tamil 24 Nominated
2018 65th Filmfare Awards South Best Supporting Actress – Tamil Mersal Won


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  2. ^ "Melting pot India: I am not a Kerala kutti, Kannada my mother tongue, says Bangalore girl Nithya Menon". Archived from the original on 15 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Nithya Menen Latest Photos". TFPC. 17 April 2015. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  4. ^ "'I'm not inclined towards commercial cinema'". Rediff. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b Narasimham, M. L. (22 July 2010). "Arts / Cinema : Charm of romantic comedies". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Nithya Menen: Movies, Photos, Videos, News, Biography & Birthday | eTimes". Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Nithya Menen interview".
  8. ^ a b "'I love to do intelligent films like Kerala Cafe'". 3 March 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  9. ^ a b c "Nithya plays a journalist in next". The Times of India. 3 April 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  10. ^ "I forced myself to learn Telugu: Nithya". The Times of India. 22 February 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  11. ^ "I've never wanted to be an actress: Nithya". The Times of India. 30 July 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Gupta, Rinku (6 April 2011) Nithya Menen enters Kollywood. The New Indian Express. Retrieved on 29 April 2016.
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  19. ^ "Movie Josh Review | Akshay Alok Jagannath". One India. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  20. ^ a b "Overwhelmed by response for Ala Modalaindi". Rediff. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  21. ^ "Ala Modalaindi film review – Telugu cinema Review – Nani & Nitya Menon". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  22. ^ "Ala Modalaindi Review - Ala Modalaindi Movie Review on". Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  23. ^ Nandi awards 2010 announced – Telugu cinema news. (5 August 2011). Retrieved 10 August 2011.
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  25. ^ "First look: Nandini Reddy's Ala Modalaindi". 21 June 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
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  27. ^ "Movie Review:Urumi- Review". Sify. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
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  29. ^ "I am enjoying my own space". Rediff. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  30. ^ "When life becomes a TV show for Nithya Menen". The Times of India. TNN. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  31. ^ Sidhardhan, Sanjith (13 November 2011). "Nithya Menen forges ahead". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  32. ^ Nitya Menen dubs for Isha Talwar in GJG – Telugu cinema news. (20 April 2013). Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  33. ^ No Hyderabad days yet. Bangalore Mirror (6 January 2015). Retrieved on 30 April 2015.
  34. ^ Myna reality check! – Kannada Movie News. (12 March 2012). Retrieved on 29 April 2016.
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  36. ^ Review : Ok Bangaram / Ok Kanmani / O Kadhal Kamnai Movie, Story, Public Talk. Retrieved on 30 April 2015.
  37. ^ "Nithya Menon To Romance Kichcha Sudeep In 'Kotigobba 2'". Filmibeat. 30 July 2015.
  38. ^ "Iru Mugan Movie Review {3/5}: Critic Review of Iru Mugan by Times of India" – via
  39. ^ "Janatha Garage review by jeevi – Telugu cinema review – NTR, Mohanlall, Samantha & Nithya Menen".
  40. ^ "Janatha Garage Movie Review, Trailer, & Show timings at Times of India".
  41. ^ "Nithya Menen gets candid about her role in Vijay starrer Mersal: My character is the emotional pillar in the film".
  42. ^ Nathan, Leona (18 October 2017). "Mersal Movie Review: Critics Give A Thumbs Up To Vijay's Film".
  43. ^ "Nani's film: 'Awe' First Look out - Telugu Movie News -".
  44. ^ "WOW! Nithya Menen Is Back To Malayalam After A Brief Break!". 10 October 2017.
  45. ^ "Nithya Menen plays an English writer battling intolerance in VK Prakash's multi-lingual – Times of India".
  46. ^ "'Do You Know How Many Hours Nithya Shot For Geeta Govindam?'". 18 August 2018.
  47. ^ "Geetha Govindam' review: The good guy takes over'". The Hindu. 16 August 2018.
  48. ^ "'100 Days of Love' to be dubbed into Telugu -". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  49. ^ "Dulquer's 100 Days of Love to be remade in Telugu – Times of India". Retrieved 22 August 2016.

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