Sadhaf Mohammed Syed

  • Actor, Director

Feb 17, 1984  in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India

Also Known as: Sadha, Sada, Sadaf Mohammed Syed, Sadhaf, Sadaf Mohmad Sayed

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Sadaf Mohammed Sayed, popularly known as Sadha, made a sensational debut in the Telugu film industry in 2002 with the movie Jayam. Winning the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her very first movie, Sadha went on to appear in several Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Hindi language films. Her performance in the 2005 Tamil movie Anniyan earned her the Filmfare Award Best Actress nomination. She made her Bollywood debut with the movie Love Khichdi in 2009 and has appeared in the movies Click (2010) and Dil Toh Deewana Hai (2016).

Early Life
Sadha was born in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India, in a Marathi Muslim family. Her father is a doctor while her mother is a bank executive. After completing her schooling from the Sacred Hearts Convent School (Ratnagiri), she moved to Mumbai. This turned out to be a turning point for Sadha as soon after she was offered a role by director Teja. Pursuing a degree in IT, she was also enrolled at the SNDT College of Engineering. The actress is also a trained Kathak dancer.

Movie Career
Sadha’s decision to move to Mumbai turned out to be pivotal in her career as she was soon cast in the Telugu movie Jayam (2002) - a teenage love story directed by Teja. Jayam went on to become one of the biggest critical and commercial hits of the year. Sadha, who was just 18 at the time, became an overnight star for her performance as Sujatha and won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. The following year, the film was also remade in Tamil titled the same - Jayam (2003) - and, alike its Telugu version, the movie was received positively by the Tamil audience. After the success of Jayam, the actress found moderate success with her next few movies viz. Praanam (2003), Naaga (2003), and Donga Dongadi (2004).

In 2004, she starred in the Tamil action comedy Aethiree alongside Madhavan, Rahman, Kanika and Vivek. The movie directed by K.S. Ravikumar opened to positive reviews from the critics and was successful at the box office. In the same year, Sadha made her Kannada debut with the movie Monalisa directed by Indrajit Lankesh. The actress replicated her success from her Telugu debut as the movie was declared to be a blockbuster at the Kannada box office and it also won the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Film. Her next prominent role came with the Tamil movie Anniyan (2005), a psychological thriller directed by S. Shankar, wherein she portrayed the character of Nandini, the love interest of the protagonist Ambi (portrayed by Vikram). The role of Nandini was first offered to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, however, as the actress could not give dates to the director, Sadha was offered the role. The actress took up the role citing it to be a ‘once in a lifetime experience’ and went on to be nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her performance. However, post the success of Anniyan the actress refused several similar roles lest she would be typecasted and commented: "I am now looking for roles where my creative potential is tapped. I don't want to be part of such cinema where all one has to do is dance around trees”.

A couple of years later, in 2007, Sadha made a special appearance in the Malayalam movie Janmam and was also cast alongside Vinay Rai and Tanisha Mukherjee in the Tamil romantic musical Unnale Unnale. Essaying the role of Jhansi, a reserved, hypocritical, and a caring young woman, she earned her third Filmfare nomination for Best Actress. After the success of Anniyan, Sadha hadn’t delivered a single hit and received negative reviews for her role. However, her role of Jhansi turned out to be one of the most important roles of her career and revived her in the industry. Her other release of the year, Classmates (2007), although was a commercial failure, received critical acclaim. Two years later Sadha made her Bollywood debut with the movie Love Khichdi essaying the role of Sandhya Iyengar. The film was moderately successful at the box office, however, Sadha was soon offered another Hindi movie titled Click (2010), which is a remake of the hit horror movie Shutter (2004). Directed by Sangeeth Sivan, the movie was a box office disaster. Following which the actress was seen in several average grosser movies including Malikarjuna (2011), Aarakshaka (2012), and Mythri (2012).

In 2014, Sadha only made special appearances in two films - Kelvi and Yamaleela 2. In the 2015 Tamil-language spy-comedy movie Eli, she essayed the role of Julie. The following year, she appeared in only her third Hindi movie titled Dil Toh Deewana Hai (2016) directed by Raj Bundela.