Shriya Saran (pronounced born 11 September 1982),also known by the mononym Shriya, is an Indian film actress, model and presenter. She has acted in Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi language films, as well as a few films in English, Malayalam and Kannada.
Saran was born in Dehradun and spent most of her childhood in Haridwar. In 2001, her dance master gave her the opportunity to appear in Renoo Nathan’s debut music video “Thirakti Kyun Hawa”, which brought Saran to the attention of many Indian filmmakers. Although Saran aspired to become a well-known dancer, she was rather offered a leading role.
Thus, Saran made her film debut in 2001 with the Telugu film Ishtam, and had her first commercial success with Santhosham (2002). She subsequently appeared in several more Telugu films, while making in-roads in the Hindi and Tamil film industries. In 2007, Saran starred in Sivaji, the highest-grossing Tamil film at that time. She also gained critical acclaim for her role in the 2007 Bollywood film Awarapan. In 2008, Saran played the lead role in her first English film, the American-Indian co-production The Other End of the Line.
Her following projects included popular films such as Kanthaswamy (2009) in Tamil, and Pokkiri Raja (2010) in Malayalam, her roles in which established her as one of the leading actresses in the South Indian film industries. In 2012, she was cast in the British-Canadian film Midnight’s Children under the direction of Deepa Mehta, based on Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name, for which she received international critical acclaim.
She achieved further commercial success by starring in films such as Pavitra (2013) andChandra (2013). In 2014, Shriya Saran starred in the critically acclaimed Telugu film Manam, which she received accolades for her performance.In addition to her work in films, Saran has been the brand ambassador for several brands across India, endorsing beauty and health products.
Among other philanthropic activities, she has volunteered for a number of charity organizations, and in 2011 she opened a spa employing exclusively visually challenged people. She also was the brand ambassador Celebrity Cricket League for its two first seasons. In 2003, Saran hosted the 50th Filmfare South Award with actor R. Madhavan.She was a part of Tamil director Mani Ratnam’s stage show,
Netru, Indru, Naalai, an event which sought to raise funds for “The Banyan”, a voluntary organisation which rehabilitates homeless women with mental illness in Chennai. She was one of the guests alongside actor Surya Sivakumar at the season 3 finale of TV dance show Maanada Mayilada.
Saran was the first actress, and the third celebrity after Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan to deliver a lecture to students at theIndian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on 12 February 2010. She said that, “The Indian media and entertainment industry is the fastest growing sector at present, so considering this IIM Ahmedabad had started a new program CFI – Contemporary Film Industry – A Business Perspective.
I was there to give a lecture to 2nd year students of CFI and did a lot of research for the lecture for nearly five days.” She held a lecture on marketing and branding of a film.In 2011, she gave a lecture to students at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Madras on the history of films, and films as a medium of cultural exchange.
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