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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 29)[1]
Delhi, India
Alma materGargi College
Years active2016–present

Sanya Malhotra (born 25 February 1992) is an Indian actress who works in Hindi films. After making her film debut with the role of Babita Kumari in the biographical sports film Dangal (2016), she starred in the comedy-drama Badhaai Ho (2018), both of which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films. She was nominated for the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for playing a student who befriends a street photographer in the drama Photograph (2019) and received praise for her supporting roles in the biopic Shakuntala Devi (2020) and the dark comedy crime film Ludo (2020).

Early life and background

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]


Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh on the sets of Dangal

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$280 million) worldwide.[6][7] Anupama Chopra said in her review that Malhotra provides "strong support" to the story.[8] Malhotra later turned choreographer with the song "Sexy Baliye" from Secret Superstar (2017), which featured Khan.[9]

Malhotra at an event in 2019

Two years later, Malhotra returned through Vishal Bhardwaj's drama Pataakha with newcomer Radhika Madan. The film was released in theatres in September 2018.[10] Based on the short story Do Behnen by Charan Singh Pathik, it revolved around two sisters in Rajasthan who are always in conflict with each other.[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] Raja Sen in his review wrote that Malhotra "plays this character with unhinged enthusiasm" and "appears to be a fearless actress."[14] Four weeks later, Amit Sharma's critically and commercially successful family comedy Badhaai Ho was released in October 2018, with Malhotra starring opposite Ayushmann Khurrana.[15]

In 2019, Malhotra appeared 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]

Malhotra's next three films—the 2020 biographical film Shakuntala Devi, the 2020 anthology film Ludo and the 2021 comedy Pagglait—were initially planned for theatrical release. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India, all three were decided to be directly streamed online instead, the first on Amazon Prime Video and the others on Netflix. Her first film of the year was Shakuntala Devi, directed by Anu Menon. The film is about the life of the mathematician of the same name and featured 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, that featured an ensemble cast of Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Pankaj Tripathi, was her other release that year.[23] Pagglait, which also stars Sayani Gupta, Ashutosh Rana, Raghubir Yadav and Shruti Sharma, began streaming on Netflix on 26 March 2021.[24]

Malhotra's next film after Pagglait will be the rom-com Meenakshi Sundareshwar, a Netflix original film and her third consecutive film to be released there. Directed by newcomer Vivek Soni, which she will be seen opposite Abhimanyu Dassani.[25] She is currently busy shooting for Love Hostel alongside Vikrant Massey and Bobby Deol.[26]


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Role Notes
2016 Dangal Babita Kumari Debut Film
2017 Secret Superstar Choreographer for song "Sexy Baliye"
2018 Pataakha Genda "Chhutki" Kumari
Badhaai Ho Renee Sharma
2019 Photograph Miloni Shah
2020 Shakuntala Devi Anupama Banerji Amazon Prime Video film
Ludo Shruti Choksi Netflix film[27]
2021 Pagglait Sandhya Netflix film[28]
Meenakshi SundereshwarFilm has yet to be released Meenakshi Netflix film[29]
2022 Love HostelFilm has yet to be released TBA Completed[30]
Untitled Atlee filmFilm has yet to be released TBA Filming[31]
HitFilm has yet to be released TBA Filming[32]


Year Film Awards Category Result Ref.
2017 Dangal News 18 Movie Awards Best Debut (Female) Nominated [33]
2018 Jackie Chan Action Movie Awards Best New Action Performer Won [34]
2019 Pataakha Screen Awards Best Actress (Critics) Nominated [35]
2020 Photograph Filmfare Awards Best Actress (Critics) Nominated [36]
2021 Ludo Nominated [37]


  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". CNN-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.
  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. ^ "Sanya Malhotra starts shooting for Pagglait in Lucknow". India Today. 21 November 2019. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Sanya Malhotra, Abhimanyu Dassani star in Netflix's 'Meenakshi Sundareshwar'". The Hindu. 25 November 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ "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 27 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Pagglait': Sanya Malhotra shares BTS pictures from the sets as she starts shooting for the film". The Times of India. 20 November 2019. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  29. ^ Arya, Prachi (11 February 2021). "Sanya Malhotra wraps up 'Meenakshi Sundereshwar' shooting, shares celebratory pics". Republic World. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  30. ^ "Vikrant Massey, Sanya Malhotra and Bobby Deol wrap up Love Hostel shoot". India Today. 31 July 2021. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  31. ^ "Tamil director Atlee's next film with Shah Rukh Khan; Nayanthara all set to roll". Times of India. 3 September 2021. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  32. ^ "Rajkummar Rao and Sanya Malhotra starrer Hit-The First Case begins with a mahurat pooja ceremony". Bollywood Hungama. 12 September 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  33. ^ "News18 Movie Awards 2017". Network 18. Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  34. ^ "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.
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ "Sanya Malhotra- Critics Best Actor in Leading Role Female Nominee | Filmfare Awards". Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  37. ^ "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.

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