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Oviya Helen

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Oviya Helen
Oviya Helen in 2018.jpg
Helen Nelson

(1991-04-29) 29 April 1991 (age 28)[1]
Kerala, India
  • Actress
  • writer
  • model
Years active2007–present

Helen Nelson, (born 29 April 1991) better known professionally by her stage name Oviya Helen, is an Indian model and film actress who has worked predominantly in the Tamil and Malayalam film industries. She made her breakthrough as an actress in Sarkunam's rural romantic comedy Kalavani (2010), before appearing in other films including Pandiraj's Marina (2012), Moodar Koodam (2013) and Madha Yaanai Koottam (2013). Oviya has also enjoyed box office success through her roles in Sundar C's Kalakalappu (2012) and the horror comedy Yaamirukka Bayamey (2014). In 2017, Oviya appeared on the reality series Bigg Boss.[2]



Oviya began her career as an actress by portraying supporting roles in Malayalam films, notably working in Kangaroo (2007) and Puthiya Mukham (2009) starring Prithviraj and as one of the lead characters in the college drama Apoorva (2008).[3] Oviya then worked towards completing a BA in Functional English at Vimala College in Thrissur, before director Sargunam approached her for Kalavani (2010). Sarkunam cast her in the leading female role after seeing a picture of her online and was convinced that he had found the correct actress to portray the role despite reservations from the producer.[4] She was featured opposite Vimal, and the film subsequently gained positive reviews and became a sleeper hit at the box office.[5][6] Critics praised Oviya's performance of a village-based schoolgirl, with a critic from the Hindustan Times stating "Oviya’s marvellous expressions convey her gratitude, and she uses her eyes to say it all". Similarly, a reviewer from The Hindu stated "Oviya looks cute and emotes well, which is a rarity these days".[7][8]

Following the success of Kalavani, Oviya signed several small-budget films including Jeevan's Amara, Vengai, Mugam Nee Agam Naan, Sevanu and Rasu Madhuravan's Muthukku Muthaaga (2011), but only the latter had a theatrical release.[9][10] While several films were stopped due to financial reasons, Oviya had to opt out of a few films after inadvertently muddling her dates.[11] Portraying the role of a college basketballer in Muthukku Muthaaga, Oviya worked through the pain barrier for the film after fainting on the sets following an illness. The film, however, opened to negative reviews with a critic from stating Oviya's character was "annoying".[12][13] During the period, she was also seen in two further Malayalam films Puthumukhangal (2010) and Manushyamrugam (2011), despite making claims that Malayalam films were "uninteresting and boring".[14] The Kannada remake of Kalavani titled Kirataka (2011) won Oviya more critical acclaim, with a reviewer from stating she "charms her way through the film", though a proposed Telugu remake later fell through.[15][16] Oviya was also seen in a guest appearance in K. S. Ravikumar's romantic comedy, Manmadhan Ambu (2010), where she featured alongside Kamal Haasan and Madhavan. Post-release, the actress revealed that she appreciated the opportunity to work alongside big actors but was disappointed that several of her scenes were edited out of the film.[17]

Over the following three years, Oviya prioritised her work in Tamil films appearing in several small and mid-budget projects and alternated between performance-based and glamorous roles. In Pandiraj's critically acclaimed drama film Marina (2012), Oviya and her co-star debutant Sivakarthikeyan portrayed a couple who frequent Marina Beach, with a critic describing their performance as "absolutely enjoyable and hilarious".[18][19] Likewise, the black comedy Moodar Koodam (2014) and the thriller Madha Yaanai Koottam (2014) also featured Oviya in performance-based roles and both won critical acclaim.[20][21] She portrayed a glamorous role for the first time in Sundar C's comedy Kalakalappu (2012), where she worked alongside a star cast of Shiva, Vimal and Anjali. The film opened to positive reviews and performed well at the box office, becoming her most profitable film to date.[22][23][24] Following further glamorous roles in unsuccessful films such as Sillunu Oru Sandhippu (2013) and Pulivaal (2014), Oviya scored another success with her role as a dainty, hot girl in Deekay's horror comedy Yaamirukka Bayamey (2014).[25][26] Critics also praised her performance, with a reviewer from the Deccan Chronicle stating "as the girl-next-door-unafraid-of-her-sexuality, Oviya is perfect".[27][28]

Oviya's acting career began to decline after 2014 and she was primarily offered glamorous roles in low-profile films. She was cast opposite veteran actor Sarathkumar in the unsuccessful Sandamarutham (2015) which garnered negative reviews, while her subsequent Tamil films, C. V. Kumar's heist comedy 144 (2015) and Sundar C's horror comedy Hello Naan Pei Pesuren (2016) did not perform as well as anticipated at the box office.[29][30] Another project, the female-centric Bhogi co-starring Trisha and Poonam Bajwa, was also stalled despite the shoot progressing. She subsequently moved on to portray a role in the low-budget Hindi film Yeh Ishq Sarfira (2015) and then the leading role of a city girl in the Kannada film, Mr. Mommaga (2016).[31][32]

In the media[edit]

In 2017, Oviya took part in the Tamil reality television show Bigg Boss hosted by Kamal Haasan for the Star Vijay channel. Oviya gained instant popularity on the show through her charm and honesty, in comparison to other housemates. While enjoying a cordial relationship with fellow housemate and eventual winner Arav, which later turned into a one-sided romantic relationship, she was repeatedly targeted and bullied by other housemates including Gayathri Raghuram, Namitha, Juliana and Shakthi Vasudevan. Her clever responses and positive attitude to the bullying won over audiences.[33][34] Voters repeatedly kept her in the show despite her being up for eviction at multiple instances, while she garnered a "cult following" on social media with phrases such as "Oviya Army" regularly trending.[33] Her behaviour and positive attitude on the show also attracted other celebrities to tweet in appreciation of her, with the likes of Priya Anand, Nivetha Pethuraj, Sathish and Karunakaran amongst others praising her on social media.[35] The popularity of Oviya reached such a high in late July 2017 that the makers of an unrelated Tamil film, Balloon (2017), included a song titled "Neenga Shut Up Pannunga" and dedicated it to the actress. Likewise, several other songwriters created their own "Oviya Anthems" and released them online.[36][37]

In early August 2017, Oviya quit the show on medical grounds, following a week-long spat with Arav regarding her one-sided romantic feelings for him. Prior to her exit, she deliberately jumped into the swimming pool to force her departure, prompting the police to briefly investigate a potential suicide angle to the move.[38][39] Despite widespread calls on social media for her to return to the show as a wildcard entrant, Oviya released a video confirming that she had no interest in going back into the Bigg Boss House and would take an extended break and prioritise film opportunities. She also called for the public to forgive Shakthi and Julie for their behaviour towards her on the show.[40]

Her acting career also saw positive developments following her stint on the show and her subsequent popularity. A long-delayed, small-budget film titled Seeni was renamed to Oviyaava Vitta Yaaru to cash in on the actress's new found fan following. Likewise, her Malayalam film Manushyamrugam from 2012, was dubbed into Tamil and prepared for release under the title Police Rajyam.[41][42] Filmmakers including Sundar C, C. S. Amudhan and Santhosh Jayakumar announced their interest in signing the actress for roles in their film Kalakalappu 2, Tamil Padam 2 and Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuththu, but she turned down the offers.[43][44] Post her Bigg Boss-fame, she signed on to appear in the Muni 4: Kanchana 3 by Raghava Lawrence, a sequel to her breakthrough film in Kalavani 2, and a female-orientated script, 90ml.



Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Role Language Notes
2007 Kangaroo Susanna Malayalam
2008 Apoorva Pooja Malayalam
2009 Puthiya Mukham Meera Malayalam
Naalai Namadhe Aishwarya Tamil
2010 Kalavani Maheswari Tamil Tamil debut
Manmadan Ambu Sunanda Tamil
Puthumukhangal Varsha Malayalam
2011 Muthukku Muthaaga Shwetha Tamil
Kirataka Nethra Kannada Kannada Debut
Manushyamrugam Sophie Malayalam
2012 Marina Sopnasundari Tamil
Kalakalappu Maya Tamil
2013 Sillunu Oru Sandhippu Geetha Tamil
Moodar Koodam Karpagavalli Tamil
Madha Yaanai Koottam Ritu Tamil
2014 Pulivaal Monica Tamil
Yaamirukka Bayamey Sharanya Tamil
2015 Sandamarutham Minmini (Rekha) Tamil
Yeh Ishq Sarfira Riya Hindi
144 Kalyani Tamil
2016 Hello Naan Pei Pesuren Sridevi Tamil
Mr. Mommaga Karthika Kannada
2018 Idi Naa Love Story Abhinaya Telugu
Silukkuvarupatti Singam Kanaka Tamil Extended cameo appearance
2019 90ml Rita Tamil
Ganesha Meendum Santhipom Keerthi Tamil
Muni 4: Kanchana 3 Kavya Tamil
Oviyavai Vitta Yaru Oviya Tamil
Kalavani 2 Maheswari Tamil [45][46]
2020 Raja Bheema dagger Herself Tamil Post production, extended cameo
Black Coffee dagger TBA Malayalam Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2017 Bigg Boss Tamil (season 1) Contestant Reality TV Series[47]
2018 Bigg Boss Tamil (season 2) Guest Reality TV Series

As singer[edit]

Year Film Song Language Composer
2018 90 ML "Marana Matta"[48] Tamil Silambarasan[49]

Awards and honours[edit]

Year Award Category Film Result
2010 5th Vijay Awards Best Debut Actress Kalavani Nominated
2011 Variety Film Awards[50] Best Actress Muthukku Muthaaga Won
2012 Edison Awards Best Female Rising Star Kalakalappu Won
2013 FETNA Awards [51] Shining Star Award Kalakalappu Won
2018 JFW Golden Divas Awards JFW Golden Diva Won
2018 Aval Awards Darling of Tamil Nadu Won


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  2. ^ "Ms Representation: The Oviya phenom". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Apoorva Review - Malayalam Movie Apoorva nowrunning review". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Oviya's flying start". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Oviya profile". Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Kalavani Movie Review, Trailer, & Show timings at Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  7. ^ Vijayakumar, Bharath (14 July 2010). "It's different". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Gautaman Bhaskaran's Review: Kalavani". 29 June 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Another test for Oviya". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Oviya rubbishes pay hike rumours". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Oviya thrown out of Amara". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Pick & choose is Oviya's mantra". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Oviya finds Malayalam film industry boring". 15 July 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Review: Kirataka is a breezy entertainer". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Oviya in Telugu and Kannada remake of Kalavani - KOLLY TALK". 9 March 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  17. ^ "I just keep getting better and better: Kannada actress Oviya - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". 11 March 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Review: Merina is worth a watch". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  19. ^ "MARINA REVIEW - MARINA MOVIE REVIEW". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Review: Moodar Koodam is hilarious". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Madha Yaanai Koottam Movie Review, Trailer, & Show timings at Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  22. ^ "Anjali And Oviya Go Glam! - Anjali - Oviya - Tamil Movie News -". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  23. ^ "KALAKALAPPU REVIEW - KALAKALAPPU MOVIE REVIEW". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  24. ^ S, Sudha (23 May 2012). "Kalakalappu: Funny business". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  25. ^ "'Yaamirukku Bayamey' is a super hit!". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  26. ^ Seshagiri, Sangeetha. "'Yaamirukka Bayamey' Review Roundup: Worth a Watch". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  27. ^ "Movie review ‘Yaamirukka Bayamey’: Never fear even if ghosts are near". 11 May 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  28. ^ "Yaamirukka Bayamey Movie Review, Trailer, & Show timings at Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  29. ^ "Hello Naan Pei Pesurean (aka) Hello Naan Peai Pesaren review". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  30. ^ "144 (aka) 144 review". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  31. ^ "Yash's Kirathaka heroine heads to Bollywood". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Movie Yeh Ishq Sarfira 2015, Story, Trailers - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  33. ^ a b "Why Oviya on Bigg Boss Tamil is such a hit in Tamil Nadu". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  34. ^ "The world loves Oviya". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  35. ^ "Now, Karunakaran joins the Oviya Army". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  36. ^ "Oviya in demand!". Deccanchronicle. 29 August 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  37. ^ "Bigg Boss Vote Oviya record likes retweets on twitter - Tamil Movie News". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  38. ^ "Bigg Boss Tamil: Tamil Nadu's darling Oviya walks out of the show, leaves her Army heartbroken". 6 August 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  39. ^ "Police summon actor Oviya for probe". 12 August 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017 – via
  40. ^ "Oviya is not returning to Bigg Boss Tamil, her fans heartbroken. Watch video". 18 August 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  41. ^ "Bigg Boss Oviya Malayalam film Manushya Mrugam dubbed in Tamil as Police Rajjiyam and release soon - Tamil Movie News". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  42. ^ "Producer of 'Bigg Boss' Oviya's film changes title to 'Oviyaava Vitta Yaaru'". 2 September 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  43. ^ "Former Bigg Boss Tamil contestant Oviya signs an adult comedy?". 11 September 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  44. ^ "Oviya in Sundar C's next?". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  45. ^ "Oviya, Vemal starrer K2 shoot begins - Suryan FM". Suryan FM. February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  46. ^ "Kalavani 2 title confusion - Here is what you need to know". IMDb. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  47. ^ "Bigg Boss Tamil: How Oviya Helen became the premiere season's most sensational contestant- Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  48. ^ MIG Series (31 December 2017), Marana Matta Lyric Video Song | New Year Song | STR | Oviya | Anita Udeep | #Welcome2018, retrieved 15 February 2018
  49. ^ "Marana Matta song: Fans of Oviya, Simbu can't miss this New Year track". The Indian Express. 3 January 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  50. ^ "Tamil Movie Event Variety Film Awards 2012 Photos". Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  51. ^ admin (20 July 2013). "FETNA 2013 Awards Photos | Samuthirakani | Abi | Oviya | New Movie Posters". New Movie Posters. Retrieved 10 May 2018.

External links[edit]