Since her acting debut as a child artist almost two decades ago, Nithya Menen has made a mark in South Indian cinema through several memorable performances, winning a number of prestigious accolades including the Nandi, Filmfare and SIIMA Awards along the way. Nithya`s filmography spans across Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu cinema, where she has essayed a diverse range of roles over the years; with movies like Kerala Cafe (2009), Ala Modalaindi
(2011), Ustad Hotel
(2012), Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde (2013), OK Kanmani
(2015) and Kotigobba 2
(2016) featuring some of her best roles.
Besides acting, Nithya has also ventured into playback singing, having lent her voice to over a dozen songs in various languages. Early Life
Born and brought up in a Malayali family in Bengaluru, Karnataka on 8th of April, 1988, Nithya studied journalism at the Manipal Institute of Communication. Upon completing her studies, she realized that the field of journalism wasn`t what it used to be and decided to take up filmmaking as a career in order to express her ideas better. She then enrolled for a course at the FTII, Pune for a course in cinematography. However, she met Nandini Reddy during her entrance examination, who convinced her to take up acting instead of direction.Acting Career
Much before making her mainstream cinema debut in 2006, Nithya was seen on the big screen cast alongside Tabu
in the Indian language movie Hanuman in 1998. She played the role of Tabu`s younger sister in the movie. After her stint as a child actor, Nithya made her debut as a lead actor and Kannada debut with Santosh Rai Patajhe`s movie 7 O`Clock. Soon after her Kannada debut, she made her Malayalam debut with National Film Award-winning director K. P. Kumaran`s off-beat 2008 release Aakasha Gopuram
, and was cast opposite Malayalam superstar Mohanlal
. Although the movie was a commercial failure and opened to mainly negative reviews, Nithya`s performance was well-received. The following year, she was seen in Kannada movie Josh
, where she had a supporting role for which she won a nomination at the Filmfare Awards South for the Best Supporting Actress.
The actor then made her Telugu debut with Nandini Reddy
`s romantic comedy Ala Modalaindi
, co-starring Nani
and Sneha Ullal
, in 2011. Despite very less promotions and publicity, the movie went on to become a success. Nithya`s performance not only won critical acclaim but also won her the Nandi Award for Best Actress and a Filmfare nomination for the Best Actress. Apart from acting in the movie, the actor also sang two songs for the soundtrack of the movie. She then played the character of a Chirakkal princess called Bala in Santosh Sivan
`s historical fiction Urumi
and was cast opposite Prabhudeva
. She appeared in other movies like Violin
, and Makaramanju
in the same year.
She then received the CineMAA Award for Best Actress (Jury) for her performance in the Telugu romance Ishq
in the year 2012, and also won the same nomination at the SIIMA Awards. Nithya was seen in the Malayalam adaptation of Shakespeare`s Hamlet titled Karmayogi. In her next Kannada movie Aidondla Aidu, she not only acted but also sang and choreographed a song for the movie. She was seen making a cameo in 2014`s highest grossing Malayalam movie Bangalore Days
, which stars Nazriya Nazim
, Nivin Pauly
, Dulquer Salmaan
, Fahadh Faasil
, Isha Talwar, and Parvathy Menon
. Nithya later played the role of a physically challenged girl in the Kannada film Mynaa
, which went to become a blockbuster hit and also won the Filmfare Award for Best Film - Kannada in 2014. She won her first Filmfare nomination for a Tamil film for her performance in the Mani Ratnam
-directed OK Kanmani, co-starring Dulquer Salmaan.
The actress continued her great run in 2016, and had central roles in blockbusters from three different languages: 24
(Tamil), Kotigobba 2 (Kannada) and Janatha Garage
(Telugu). The Kollywood blockbuster Mersal
(2017), the Telugu biographical drama NTR: Kathanayakudu
(2019) and the Bollywood movie Mission Mangal
(2019) are some of Nithya`s other notable film credits in recent times.