Shriya Saran

  • Actor

Sep 11, 1982  in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Also Known as: Shriya Pushpendra Saran

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Shriya Saran is an Indian film actress, presenter and model, who primarily works in Tamil and Telugu films. She has established herself as an actress, with language not proving to be a barrier by also appearing in several Tamil, Malayalam,Kannada, and Hindi movies. One of the rare North Indians to achieve stardom in the South Indian film industry, Shriya has received fame and critical acclaim for her performances in movies like Manam (2014), Sivaji: The Boss (2007), Midnight's Children (2012), The Other End of The Line (2008), Kanthaswamy (2009), and Drishyam (2015).

Early Life
Shriya Saran Bhatnagar was born in the Haridwar region of North India. Her father, Pushpendra Saran Bhatnagar, worked for BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), while her mother, Neeraja Saran Bhatnagar, worked as a Chemistry teacher in school. She also has an elder brother Abhiroop. The actress completed her schooling from Delhi Public School, Ranipur, in Haridwar, as well as from Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, in New Delhi. She later pursued her B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in Literature graduation course from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi.

As a kid, Shriya had shown tremendous interest in dancing, which led to her being trained in Kathak and Rajasthani folk dance by her mother. Later, she even got training in Kathak dance style from Shovana Narayan. She was a highly accomplished dancer and became an integral part in various dance teams during her college days.

Personal Life
Although being one of the most popular faces of the Indian film industry, Shriya is otherwise a quite private person. She usually refrains from speaking about her private life and denies any romantic link-ups as well.

Movie Career
Shriya Saran has had a glorious career in movies across different industries. She made her first cameo appearance in front of the camera through a music video 'Thirakti Kyun Hawa' by Renoo Nathan. This appearance was seen by Ramoji Films and enabled Shriya to breakthrough into movies. She bagged her first Telugu film Ishtam (2001), produced by Ramoji Rao, where she played the lead role. Even before the debut film released in 2001, Shriya had her kitty full with four more movies. However, It was with the movie Santosham (2002) where Shriya starred alongside actors like Nagarjuna and Prabhudeva, that she first enjoyed commercial success. She got recognised for her performance in this movie and even obtained a nomination for the CineMAA Award for Best Actor - Female. The movie went on to win Filmfare Best Film Award - Telugu, and the Nandi Award for Best Feature Film.

In 2003, she delivered another commercial hit with the Telugu movie Tagore, which had an impressive lineup of stars including Chiranjeevi,Prakash Raj, and Jyothika. The movie was critically acclaimed and even got a screening at the International Indian Film Academy Awards. The same year saw she make her debut in Bollywood, with the Hindi movie Tujhe Meri Kasam, where she played a supporting role alongside lead actors Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza.

Shriya also made her presence felt even in Tamil cinema by making her debut with Enakku 20 Unakku 18 (2003), alongside lead actors Tarun Kumar and Trisha Krishnan. She was also part of the Telugu version of the movie titled as Nee Manasu Naaku Telusu (2003).

With a career that began with Telugu films and spread across Hindi and Tamil movies, Shriya exhibited tremendous adaptability and multi-lingual skills to develop a huge fan following, especially in amongst the South Indian movie lovers. Most of her appearances have been in Telugu movies, with prominent one being in Chatrapathi (2005) opposite actor Prabhas for which she got her first nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award - Telugu. During this time, Shriya made several guest appearances in Telugu movies such as Bommalata (2005), Boss I Love You (2006), and Game (2006). She als performed special appearance item numbers in Telugu movies like Devadasu (2006), Tulasi (2007), and Munna (2007).

A major turning point of her career came through her lead role opposite the superstar Rajnikanth in the Tamil film Sivaji: The Boss (2007), which was the most expensive Indian film till 2007. Along with appreciation for her acting skills in the movie, the actress won her first award - South Scope Style Award for Best Tamil Actress. Following this, she started focusing on Tamil cinema and enjoyed commercial success with movies like Kanthaswamy (2009) opposite Vikram.

Shriya got another award - Amrita Mathrubhumi Award for Best Actress - for her performances in Kanthaswamy and Thoranai (2009) combined together. Another Tamil film for which she won an award - International Tamil Film Award for Best Actress was Rowthiram (2011), where she appeared in a romantic role opposite Jeeva.

Meanwhile, Shriya appeared in Hindi films as well and won her first Bollywood award - StarDust Exciting New Face - for the Hindi movie Mission Istanbul (2008). Besides this movie, she has made appearances in several Bollywood films such as Gali Gali Mei Chor Hai (2012),and Awarapan (2007). The actress has received appreciation for her first Hindi movie item song appearance for movie Zila Ghaziabad (2013) as well as for her intense role in the commercially successful Hindi film Drishyam (2015), where she starred opposite actor Ajay Devgn.

Shriya has also acted in Malayalam movies, with Pokkiri Raja being her debut release in 2010. She also starred opposite superstar Mohanlal in another Malayalam movie titled Casannova (2012). She has also acted in few Kannada films like Arasu (2007) and Chandra (2013)

However, one of her most impressive performance came through in the Telugu film Manam, (2014) for which Shriya received numerous awards including Best Supporting Actress SIIMA Award, Best Actress Santosham Film Award, and Best Actress TV9 TSR National Award.

Not just the Indian film industry, Shriya has explored international horizons as well and made her American cinema debut with the movie The Other End of the Line (2008), opposite actor Jesse Metcalfe. Her second appearance in an international movie was with the film Cooking with Stella (2009), that was even selected for the Toronto International Film Festival. Her third English project was Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children which got screened at various film festivals in Canada in 2012, before its official release in India, in 2013.

In 2016, Shriya was seen in just one film: a cameo appearance in the bilingual comedy-drama Thozha/Oopiri. The epic historical action drama Gautamiputra Satakarni (2017) was the actress' major project in 2017, where she essayed the role of queen Vashishtha Devi. Other significant acting credits in recent times include the Bollywood romantic crime drama Phamous (2018) and the Kollywood thriller Naragasooran (2019).