Prithviraj Sukumaran

  • Actor, Director, Producer, Narrator

Oct 16, 1982  in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Also Known as: Raju

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Prithviraj Sukumaran is an Indian actor, playback singer, and producer who predominantly works in the Malayalam film industry. Since making his debut in the 2002 Malayalam movie Nandanam, the actor has starred in more than 100 films across Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi languages.

Prithviraj was born to actors Sukumaran and Mallika Sukumaran in Thiruvananthpuram. He did his initial schooling at Chennai from the Shrine Vailankanni Senior Secondary School, and later from the St. Joseph`s Boys` School. After completing his schooling from the Sainik School, Kazhakoottam and Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram, Prithviraj headed to Australia to pursue a Bachelor`s degree in Information Technology, but dropped out following his acting debut in Malayalam cinema.

Prithiviraj married Supriya Menon, a BBC India reporter on April 25, 2011. They have a daughter together named Alankrita, who was born in 2014. Prithviraj`s elder brother Indrajith Sukumaran is also an actor and singer.

Acting was in his genes and while Prithviraj was still pursuing his degree in Australia, he was called for a screen-test by director Fazil for one of his movies. The 19-year-old Prithviraj auditioned for the role but for reasons undisclosed the project was shelved. However, Fazil then recommended him to director Ranjith. Subsequently, Prithviraj was cast in Nandanam (2002), which technically was his debut movie. However, the movie was preceded by Nakshathrakkannulla Rajakumaran Avanundoru Rajakumari (2002), which was a box office disaster.

The actor later went on to star in movies directed by Vinayan, Lohithadas, Bhadran, and Shyamprasad. Although immensely talented, Prithviraj`s movies did not reflect a positive outcome both in terms of box office performance and critical reception. Director Shyamprasad even stated that Prithviraj`s advantages are his talent and intelligence irrespective of his box office successes, and cast him in the lead role in his movie Akale (2004).

In 2005, Prithviraj made his Tamil film debut with the movie Kana Kandaen, and in the following year he appeared in the movie Parijatham (2006) opposite Saranya Bhagyaraj. The movie turned out to be a hit. In the same year, he became the youngest recipient of the Kerela State Award for Best Actor for his performance in the movie Vaasthavam (2006), directed by M. Padamakumar. He was next seen in movies such as Classmates (2006), Chocolate (2007), Thalappavu (2008), and Thirakkatha (2008). Of these, his nuanced performances as martyred Naxalite Joseph in Thalappavu and filmmaker Akbar Ahmed in Thirakkatha were especially appreciated.

In 2009, Prithviraj gave a commendable performance in the movie Puthiya Mukham directed by Diphan, which marked his ascendance to stardom. In the same year, he also appeared in the Tamil remake of his film Classmates. In 2010, Prithviraj essayed the role of a cop in Mani Ratnam`s Tamil movie Raavanan, and also appeared as one of the main characters in Vasantabalan`s mega budget Tamil movie Kaaviya Thalaivan. In the same year, he also made his Telugu debut with the movie Police Police.

After being immensely successful in South Indian cinema, Prithviraj made his Bollywood debut in the year 2012 with the movie Aiyya opposite Rani Mukerji. This was followed by the acclaimed drama Ayalum Njanum Thammil (2012), which featured a remarkably brilliant performance from the young actor as a troubled young doctor named Ravi Tharakan. Then came the watershed year, where Prithviraj essayed some of the most memorable characters of his career so far: J.C. Daniel in the biopic Celluloid (2013), inspector Antony Moses in the crime thriller Mumbai Police (2013) and Sam Alex in Jeethu Joseph`s Memories (2013). He also won the second Kerala State Film Award of his career in 2013, courtesy of Celluloid. However, the same wasn`t the case with the beginning of the year 2014. The actor`s first release London Bridge was a box office disaster. His next two releases - 7th Day and Sapthamashree Thaskarah - received positive reviews at the box office.

In 2015, the actor starred as Varun Blake in the Shyamaprasad`s movie Ivide. The media termed his performances as one of his career best acts. In the same year, the actor appeared in titular roles in the romantic drama Ennu Ninte Moideen (2015) and the comedy Amar Akbar Anthony (2015), both of which did phenomenally well at the box office. Of these, Ennu Ninte Moideen, which was based on a real life story, opened to near-universal critical acclaim with praise pouring in from all quarters for the performances of its lead actors.

Following a lacklustre 2016 where three of his four movies - James & Alice, Darwinte Parinamam and Oozham - failed to make an impression with the critics and the audience alike, Prithviraj registered a strong comeback in 2017 with the horror thriller Ezra, which set the cash registers ringing at the box office. This was followed by the socio-political drama Tiyaan, the thriller Adam Joan and the drama Vimaanam. Reviews for all the three movies ranged from mixed to positive, and they all fared reasonably well at the box office.

The romantic drama My Story was Prithviraj`s first release in 2018, where he was paired opposite Parvathy. The film was a major disappointment both in terms of critical reception and box office performance. Anjali Menon`s Koode, the crime-drama Ranam and sci-fi horror thriller Nine are among the actor`s other recent projects. He is also set to make his directorial debut with the Mohanlal starrer Lucifer (2019), and star in Blessy`s Aadujeevitham (2019), which is based on Benyamin`s award-winning novel of the same name. His 2020 release includes Ayyappanum Koshiyum.