Sanya Malhotra

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Sanya Malhotra
Sanya Malhotra spotted during an ad shoot in Mumbai - Close view.jpg
Malhotra in 2019
Born (1992-02-25) 25 February 1992 (age 30)[1]
Delhi, India
Alma materGargi College
Years active2016–present

Sanya Malhotra (born 25 February 1992) is an Indian actress who works in Hindi films. She began her career with supporting roles in the biographical sports film Dangal (2016) and the comedy Badhaai Ho (2018), both of which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films.

Malhotra received nominations for the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for her roles in the drama Photograph (2019) and the black comedy Ludo (2020), and also received praise for starring in the streaming films Shakuntala Devi (2020), Pagglait (2021) and Love Hostel (2022).

Early life and background[edit]

Malhotra was born and raised in Delhi, India. She is a trained dancer in contemporary and ballet.[2] After graduating from Gargi College,[3] Malhotra participated in the dance reality show Dance India Dance and made it to the top 100.[4] She moved to Mumbai, where she began appearing in auditions and began assisting camerapersons for television commercials.[5] She was later contacted by the film casting director Mukesh Chhabra.[4]


Early work and recognition (2016–2019)[edit]

Malhotra was selected for Nitesh Tiwari's biographical sports film Dangal along with Fatima Sana Shaikh, who was also relatively new.[2] Before the film, she said that she did not know much about wrestling. She then watched several videos on wrestling and "how wrestlers move, walk, their body language" and also did the training.[2] Both Malhotra and Sheikh went through five rounds of auditions, physical training and workshops with Tiwari and Aamir Khan.[5] They were trained by coach and former wrestler Kripa Shankar Patel Bishnoi.[5] Released in 2016, Dangal received critical acclaim and became the highest-grossing Indian film ever with earnings of more than 2,000 crore (US$250 million) worldwide.[6][7] Anupama Chopra said in her review that Malhotra provides "strong support" to the story.[8] Malhotra later choreographed the song "Sexy Baliye" for the Secret Superstar (2017), which featured Khan.[9]

Two years later, Malhotra starred in Vishal Bhardwaj's drama Pataakha (2018) alongside newcomer Radhika Madan. .[10] Based on the short story Do Behnen by Charan Singh Pathik, it tells the story of two warring sisters in Rajasthan.[11] The story was based on the wives of Pathik's brothers.[11] To prepare for the film, both she and Madan met the real inspiration behind the characters to learn their nuances.[11] The two stayed in Ronsi village near Jaipur and learned the Rajasthani dialect; they also got accustomed to milking buffaloes, thatching roofs, plastering the walls with dung and walking for long distances while balancing matkas full of water on their head and another around their waist.[12] They also had to put on 10 kg of weight.[13] Critic Raja Sen found Malhotra to be a "fearless actress" and thought that she "plays this character with unhinged enthusiasm".[14] In the same year, she took on a supporting role in Amit Sharma's critically and commercially successful comedy Badhaai Ho, starring Ayushmann Khurrana.[15]

In 2019, Malhotra starred in Ritesh Batra's Photograph. The film follows a street photographer Rafi, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who tries to convince a student Miloni (Malhotra) to pose as his fiancée so that his grandmother stops pressuring him to get married. It was screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.[16] The Hollywood Reporter featured her in their listing of "breakout talent" from the latter festival.[17] Rahul Desai of Film Companion gave Photograph a positive review and wrote that Malhotra "becomes the dreamy-eyed participant that enables the film to embrace its quiet glances and gentle flights of fantasy."[18] Malhotra was nominated for the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for the film.[19][20]

Streaming films (2020–present)[edit]

Malhotra at an event in 2022

Malhotra's two films of 2020—the biographical film Shakuntala Devi and the black comedy Ludo—were initially planned for theatrical release. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India, they were released directly on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix respectively. Shakuntala Devi, directed by Anu Menon, is about the mathematician of the same name and starred Vidya Balan in the titular role, with Malhotra portraying Devi's daughter Anupama.[21] Mike McCahill of The Guardian found Malhotra to be "quietly affecting" in her part and commended her for holding her own opposite her co-star.[22] Anurag Basu's anthology film, Ludo, featured her alongside an ensemble cast.[23] India Today's Nairita Mukherjee took note of the "outstanding camaraderie" between Malhotra and her co-star Aditya Roy Kapur.[24] For her performance in Ludo, she received another nomination for the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress.[25]

Malhotra's first two films of 2021 were released on Netflix. In the black comedy Pagglait, she starred as a young widow who discovers her late-husband's infidelity. Critic Anna M. M. Vetticad found her to be aptly cast in a subtle part.[26] She received a Best Actress nomination at the Filmfare OTT Awards.[27] Malhotra then starred alongside Abhimanyu Dassani as newlyweds in the romantic comedy Meenakshi Sundareshwar.[28] The film received criticism for its stereotypical representation of Tamil people.[29]

In 2022, she starred in the ZEE5 film Love Hostel, a thriller about honour killing, opposite Vikrant Massey.[30] Sukanya Verma of Rediff wrote that both Massey and Malhotra "effortlessly convey the flavour of the world they inhabit".[31] Malhotra had a small role opposite Rajkummar Rao in the thriller HIT: The First Case, a remake of the Telugu film of the same name.[32]

Malhotra will next star in the Netflix satirical film Kathal, about a small-town cop in pursuit of a missing jackfruit.[33] She will also feature in the action film Jawan, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Nayanthara, and in the biopic Sam Bahadur, starring Vicky Kaushal as Sam Manekshaw.[34][35]


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2016 Dangal Babita Kumari [36]
2017 Secret Superstar Choreographer for song "Sexy Baliye" [37]
2018 Pataakha Genda/Chhutki [38]
Badhaai Ho Renee Sharma [39]
2019 Photograph Miloni Shah [40]
2020 Shakuntala Devi Anupama Banerjee [41]
Ludo Shruti Choksi [42]
2021 Pagglait Sandhya [43]
Meenakshi Sundareshwar Meenakshi [44]
2022 Love Hostel Jyoti Dilawar [45]
HIT: The First Case Neha Mahta [46]
2023 Kathal Film has yet to be released Mahima Completed [47]
Jawan Film has yet to be released TBA Filming [34]
Sam Bahadur Film has yet to be released Silloo Manekshaw Filming [35]


Year Awards Category Film Result Ref.
2018 Jackie Chan Action Movie Awards Best New Action Performer Dangal Won [48]
2019 Screen Awards Best Actress (Critics) Pataakha Nominated [49]
2020 Filmfare Awards Best Actress (Critics) Photograph Nominated [50]
2021 Ludo Nominated [51]
Filmfare OTT Awards Best Actress in a Web Original Film Pagglait Nominated [27]
2022 International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Actress Nominated [52]
Filmfare OTT Awards Best Actor in a Web Original Film (Female) Meenakshi Sundareshwar Nominated [53]
Love Hostel Nominated


  1. ^ "Sanya Malhotra gets birthday wish from Daniel Radcliffe, her response has a Harry Potter connection". Hindustan Times. 25 February 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Dangal selection process: Sanya Malhotra talks about the emotionally exhausting experience". 16 December 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  3. ^ Sharma, Riya (21 February 2017). "Sanya Malhotra: I did not attend even a single class during my three years in college". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b Awaasthi, Kavita (22 January 2017). "Dangal: For some reason, I thought it's a Kangana Ranaut film, says Sanya Malhotra". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Rathi, Vasundhara (20 December 2016). "Braving the bruises". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  6. ^ Goswami, Parismita (23 December 2016). "Dangal review roundup: Critics verdict is out; check out what they have to say about Aamir Khan-starrer". International Business Times. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  7. ^ Cain, Rob (19 June 2017). "How An Indian Drama Became The World's Highest-Grossing Sports Movie Of 2017". Forbes.
  8. ^ Chopra, Anupama (22 December 2016). "Dangal Movie Review". Film Companion. Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  9. ^ Goyal, Divya (16 October 2017). "Secret Superstar: Sanya Malhotra Enjoyed Making Aamir Khan Dance To Sexy Baliye This Much". NDTV. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  10. ^ Countinho, Natasha (23 June 2018). "Vishal Bhardwaj's Pataakha opens on September 28". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Jhunjhunwala, Udita (14 September 2018). "Blood is thicker". Mint. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  12. ^ Iyer, Sanyukta (7 April 2018). "Sanya Malhotra, Radhika Madan in Vishal Bhardwaj's next". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  13. ^ "This is why Sanya Malhotra is gaining weight for Vishal Bhardwaj's film". Hindustan Times. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  14. ^ Sen, Raja (28 September 2018). "Pataakha review: The new Vishal Bhardwaj film is colourful, noisy and dazzling". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Saif's Baazaar Earns Rs 11.93 Cr in 3 Days, Ayushmann's Badhaai Ho Gets Closer to Rs 100-Cr Mark". News18. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  16. ^ Mankad, Himesh (2 February 2019). "Sanya Malhotra on being hailed as a global talent to watch out for: It feels great to be appreciated". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  17. ^ Roxborough, Scott (5 February 2019). "5 Breakout Talents to Watch From the Berlin Film Festival". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  18. ^ Desai, Rahul (28 January 2019). "Slow-Burning Mumbai And A Leap Of Inter-Faith In Ritesh Batra's "Photograph"". Film Companion. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Nominations for Filmfare Awards 2020". Filmfare. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  20. ^ Dubey, Rachana (3 February 2020). "Nominations for the 65th Filmfare Awards 2020 are out!". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 March 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ "Vidya Balan's Shakuntala Devi biopic to be released on Amazon Prime, actor 'thrilled to entertain you in unprecedented times'". Hindustan Times. 15 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  22. ^ McCahill, Mike (30 July 2020). "Shakuntala Devi review – spirited biopic of a mathematical genius". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Abhishek Bachchan and Rajkummar Rao starrer Ludo to release on Netflix". The Indian Express. 16 July 2020. Archived from the original on 31 July 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  24. ^ Mukherjee, Nairita (13 November 2020). "Ludo Movie Review: Abhishek Bachchan, Pankaj Tripathi Netflix film is naram-garam and delicious". India Today. Retrieved 19 November 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ "66th Vimal Elaichi Filmfare Awards 2021: Check out the complete list of nominees". The Times of India. 25 March 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  26. ^ Vetticad, Anna MM (26 March 2021). "Pagglait movie review: A clear-eyed view of funeral politics and an unsparing gaze on the living-Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  27. ^ a b "My Glamm Filmfare OTT Awards 2021 - Nominations". FilmFare. 2 December 2021. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  28. ^ "Sanya Malhotra, Abhimanyu Dassani star in Netflix's 'Meenakshi Sundareshwar'". The Hindu. 25 November 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  29. ^ Sahu, Sushri (9 November 2021). "Netflix's 'Meenakshi Sundareshwar' Is Being Called Out For Stereotyping And Appropriating Tamil Culture. Again!". Mashable India. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  30. ^ "Sanya Malhotra was 'nervous' about filming lovemaking scenes with Aditya Roy Kapur in Ludo, but 'my god, he's good looking'". Hindustan Times. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  31. ^ "Love Hostel Review". Rediff. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  32. ^ "Hit: The First Case Movie Review : Rajkummar Rao lends gravitas to this dawdling crime mystery". The Times Of India. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  33. ^ "Netflix reveals the exclusive motion poster of its upcoming satire, 'Kathal'-Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 29 August 2022. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  34. ^ a b Chaubey, Pranita (3 June 2022). "Jawan Teaser: Shah Rukh Khan Is More Than "Ready" For Atlee's Action-Packed Film". NDTV. Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  35. ^ a b "SamBahadur: Vicky Kaushal, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh commence shoot for Meghna Gulzar's next directorial". Bollywood Hungama. 8 August 2022. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  36. ^ "Sanya Malhotra gets emotional as Dangal turns 3: 'The journey that started 3 years back'". Hindustan Times. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  37. ^ "Sanya Malhotra turns choreographer for Aamir Khan in Secret Superstar : Bollywood News -". Bollywood Hungama. 18 March 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Dangal girl Sanya Malhotra returns to kick start a new fight with Pataakha first poster". Hindustan Times. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  39. ^ "Fans Rejoice As 'Badhaai Ho' Stars Sanya Malhotra & Ayushmann Khurrana Are Back Together On Screen". ABP. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  40. ^ "Photograph movie review: Sanya Malhotra, Nawazuddin Siddiqui star in a poetic film about a dreamy city. 4.5 stars". Hindustan Times. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  41. ^ "Shakuntala Devi: Sanya Malhotra is unrecognisable in first look as Vidya Balan's daughter. See pic". Hindustan Times. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  42. ^ "Anurag Basu's upcoming film Ludo featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao to release on 24 April 2020-Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 27 December 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  43. ^ "'Pagglait': Sanya Malhotra shares BTS pictures from the sets as she starts shooting for the film". The Times of India. 20 November 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  44. ^ Kanyal, Jyoti (25 November 2020). "Sanya-Abhimanyu are perfect Tamil couple in Meenakshi Sundareshwar first look". India Today. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  45. ^ "Vikrant Massey, Sanya Malhotra and Bobby Deol wrap up Love Hostel shoot". India Today. 31 July 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  46. ^ PTI (18 April 2022). "Rajkummar Rao-Sanya Malhotra starrer 'HIT- The First Case' wraps production". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  47. ^ "Sanya Malhotra concludes filming for Netflix movie 'Kathal'". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  48. ^ "Dangal girls Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra win action award in China". Mid-Day. 23 July 2018. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  49. ^ Morani, Aly; Morani, Karim; Morani, Mohomed; Nadiadwala, Mazhar; Soorma, Neelam (31 December 2018). "A Star-studded Night". Star Screen Awards. Star Plus. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  50. ^ "Sanya Malhotra- Critics Best Actor in Leading Role Female Nominee | Filmfare Awards". Filmfare. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  51. ^ "Vimal Elaichi Filmfare Awards 2021: Sanya Malhotra is "grateful and excited" as she gets nominated in the Best Actress (Critics) category for 'Ludo'". The Times of India. 26 March 2021. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  52. ^ "IIFA 2022 Nominations: Shershaah takes the lead with 12 Nominations, Ludo and 83 emerge as strong contenders; check out the complete list". Bollywood Hungama. 1 April 2022. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  53. ^ "Filmfare OTT Awards 2022". Retrieved 4 December 2022.

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