Urmila Mahanta

  • Actor

Born in Assam, India

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Having studied at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, Urmila Mahanta is an Indian television and film actor, who has also appeared in short films, plays, and TVCs. She made her acting debut with the critically acclaimed Tamil crime-thriller Vazhakku Enn 18/9 in 2012, and also starred in its Bengali remake Chirodini Tumi Je Amar 2, marking her Bengali movie debut, in 2014.

Early Life
Born to Giridhar Mahanta and his wife Ramala Mahanta in Sonapur, Assam, Urmila completed her schooling in Sonapur before graduating from Dimoria College in Khetri, Kamrup. She has three siblings, Jutika, Munmi, and Munindra Mahanta. Even as a child, she was always involved in school plays, for which she won many awards. She then moved to Mumbai after her graduation and went on to study at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.

Acting Career
Given her keen interest in theater and plays, Urmila was a part of various plays as a child for which she won numerous awards. She was seen in television serials like Murder and Tejimola, and also starred in TVCs for products like Nescafe, Sulekha.com, and Vim. It was her work in the critically acclaimed short film Aaliya that won her recognition. The short film went on to win the Special Critic Award at the 2012 Mumbai International Film Festival.

She was spotted by one of the crew members of director Balaji Sakthivel at the International Film Festival of India in Goa. Along with the others chosen to play a part in the director’s movie, Urmila managed to impress and outshine the rest, helping her bag the role of Jyothi in the crime-thriller Vazhakku Enn 18/9 opposite Sri. The movie went on to become a critically acclaimed movie with Urmila’s performance winning her SIIMA Awards nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting and Best Female Debutante, and a Vijay Award for Best Debut Actress. Following the success of her debut movie, Urmila was roped in for Dilip K. Mukharia’s comedy Pareshaanpur, which would have marked the actor’s Bollywood debut. However, due to its delayed release, Manjhi - The Mountain Man marked her Bollywood debut co-starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte. She played the role of Lauki in the biographic drama movie based on the life of a man who carved a path using only a hammer and chisel. The movie won wide critical appreciation and it fared well at the box office.

After the success of Manjhi – The Mountain Man, the actress starred alongside Ameet Dawar, Shakti Kapoor, Asrani, Shakti Mohan and Pitobash in the comedy movie Pareshaanpur directed by the debutant director Dilip Keshav Mukharaiya. The actress started her campaign in 2016 with an Assamese film, Kothanodi – The river of Fables and subsequently in the same year went onto star in several Assamese films Antareen, Epah Phulil Epah Saril and Bokul.

The actress’ next major release was the Hindi-language action drama film Akira directed by AR Murugadoss. The film, which was the remake of the Tamil film Mouna Garu features Sonakshi Sinha in the titular role with Konkona Sen Sharma, Anurag Kashyap and Amit Sadh in pivotal roles. Although, the film received mixed critical reviews but emerged to be a box office hit. Her 2017 releases include Purab ki Awaz, an Indian historical drama directed by Chandra Mudoi and Antareen directed by Monjul Baruah.