Image Credit: Twitter/NayantharaU

Nayanthara, an iconic figure in Indian cinema, has embarked on a remarkable journey spanning two decades. Her current role opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the highly anticipated Bollywood film “Jawan” is a testament to her enduring success. However, Nayanthara’s path to stardom has been far from a fairytale.

Born as Diana Mariam Kurian, Nayanthara began her career as a part-time model, catching the discerning eye of veteran Malayalam director Sathyan Anthikkad. Her debut in “Manassinakkare” was nothing short of a phenomenon, with the film’s extraordinary run of over 200 days in theaters. Despite this auspicious start, Nayanthara decided to chart a more diverse and challenging course.

While she continued to make her mark in Malayalam cinema with notable roles in films like Fazil’s “Vismayathumbathu” (2004), Shaji Kailas’s “Natturajavu” (2004), Pramod Pappan’s “Thaskara Veeran” (2005), and “Rappakal” (2005) alongside legendary actors like Mohanlal and Mammootty, she eventually transitioned to the Tamil and Telugu film industries. The reasons for this shift were multifaceted, including better pay and the allure of larger film projects. Rumors of being targeted by a superstar in the industry also played a role in her decision.

In the fiercely competitive and male-dominated film landscape, Nayanthara set out to secure her position as a star. Her choice of roles, often alongside established actors, propelled her to stardom. Movies like “Chandramukhi” (2005) opposite Rajinikanth and “Tulasi” (2007) with Venkatesh showcased her versatility and charisma. “Billa” (2007) marked a significant turning point in her career, with her portrayal of the alluring Sasha, complete with a bikini scene that generated considerable buzz.

Despite her early emphasis on glamour, Nayanthara defied expectations with roles that required emotional depth. In “Yaaradi Nee Mohini” (2008), she portrayed a short-tempered woman grappling with matters of the heart. As the years progressed, Nayanthara proved that her talent extended far beyond her captivating appearance.

The pivotal year of 2010 saw her Kannada debut with Upendra’s blockbuster “Super” and successes across various South Indian languages. However, 2011 proved to be a quieter period professionally as personal challenges loomed. Her planned marriage to actor and director Prabhu Deva, amidst a highly publicized divorce, became a topic of scrutiny. Nevertheless, Nayanthara’s resilience shone through, allowing her to stage a triumphant return to cinema.

Roles in movies like “Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum” (2012) and “Raja Rani” (2013) showcased her acting prowess. “Raja Rani,” in particular, struck a chord with audiences as Nayanthara portrayed the complex character of Regina, earning both acclaim and affection.

The “Lady Superstar” of South Indian cinema further solidified her position by taking on solo lead roles, breaking the mold of male-dominated narratives. Her participation in “Aramm” (2017) exemplified that “woman-centric” cinema could also be mainstream. Nayanthara’s versatility was evident in her diverse range of projects, from thrillers to emotional dramas.

While Nayanthara’s career has reached dazzling heights, her influence in advocating for other women in the industry has sparked mixed reactions. Her journey, however, serves as an enduring inspiration to women actors striving for recognition and success in an industry traditionally skewed in favor of men.

In a realm where women in their mid-30s were often relegated to secondary roles, Nayanthara’s unwavering presence and triumphant ascent speak volumes about her determination and resilience. Her journey echoes the spirit of a dedicated soldier, tirelessly forging her path on the frontlines of Indian cinema.


Re-reported from the article originally published in Money Control

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Nayanthara: A Trailblazing Journey in Indian Cinema

Image Credit: Twitter/NayantharaU

Nayanthara, an iconic figure in Indian cinema, has embarked on a remarkable journey spanning two decades. Her current role opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the highly anticipated Bollywood film “Jawan” is a testament to her enduring success. However, Nayanthara’s path to stardom has been far from a fairytale.

Born as Diana Mariam Kurian, Nayanthara began her career as a part-time model, catching the discerning eye of veteran Malayalam director Sathyan Anthikkad. Her debut in “Manassinakkare” was nothing short of a phenomenon, with the film’s extraordinary run of over 200 days in theaters. Despite this auspicious start, Nayanthara decided to chart a more diverse and challenging course.

While she continued to make her mark in Malayalam cinema with notable roles in films like Fazil’s “Vismayathumbathu” (2004), Shaji Kailas’s “Natturajavu” (2004), Pramod Pappan’s “Thaskara Veeran” (2005), and “Rappakal” (2005) alongside legendary actors like Mohanlal and Mammootty, she eventually transitioned to the Tamil and Telugu film industries. The reasons for this shift were multifaceted, including better pay and the allure of larger film projects. Rumors of being targeted by a superstar in the industry also played a role in her decision.

In the fiercely competitive and male-dominated film landscape, Nayanthara set out to secure her position as a star. Her choice of roles, often alongside established actors, propelled her to stardom. Movies like “Chandramukhi” (2005) opposite Rajinikanth and “Tulasi” (2007) with Venkatesh showcased her versatility and charisma. “Billa” (2007) marked a significant turning point in her career, with her portrayal of the alluring Sasha, complete with a bikini scene that generated considerable buzz.

Despite her early emphasis on glamour, Nayanthara defied expectations with roles that required emotional depth. In “Yaaradi Nee Mohini” (2008), she portrayed a short-tempered woman grappling with matters of the heart. As the years progressed, Nayanthara proved that her talent extended far beyond her captivating appearance.

The pivotal year of 2010 saw her Kannada debut with Upendra’s blockbuster “Super” and successes across various South Indian languages. However, 2011 proved to be a quieter period professionally as personal challenges loomed. Her planned marriage to actor and director Prabhu Deva, amidst a highly publicized divorce, became a topic of scrutiny. Nevertheless, Nayanthara’s resilience shone through, allowing her to stage a triumphant return to cinema.

Roles in movies like “Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum” (2012) and “Raja Rani” (2013) showcased her acting prowess. “Raja Rani,” in particular, struck a chord with audiences as Nayanthara portrayed the complex character of Regina, earning both acclaim and affection.

The “Lady Superstar” of South Indian cinema further solidified her position by taking on solo lead roles, breaking the mold of male-dominated narratives. Her participation in “Aramm” (2017) exemplified that “woman-centric” cinema could also be mainstream. Nayanthara’s versatility was evident in her diverse range of projects, from thrillers to emotional dramas.

While Nayanthara’s career has reached dazzling heights, her influence in advocating for other women in the industry has sparked mixed reactions. Her journey, however, serves as an enduring inspiration to women actors striving for recognition and success in an industry traditionally skewed in favor of men.

In a realm where women in their mid-30s were often relegated to secondary roles, Nayanthara’s unwavering presence and triumphant ascent speak volumes about her determination and resilience. Her journey echoes the spirit of a dedicated soldier, tirelessly forging her path on the frontlines of Indian cinema.


Re-reported from the article originally published in Money Control