Shriya Saran


Shriya Saran (Hindi: श्रिया / श्रेया सरन; born September 11, 1982), also known by the mononym Shriya, is an Indian film actress, model and host. She is noted for working in several of the regional industries of Indian cinema, appearing in several mainstream Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films. After her feature film debut in 2001 with Ishtam, she gained attention in 2002 by playing the role of Bhanu in the Telugu film Santhosham, her first commercial success. Subsequently, she appeared in several Telugu films with prominent actors, while also making in-roads in the Hindi film industry as well as the Tamil film industry.

After Shriya signed on to appear alongside Rajinikanth in 2007's Sivaji: The Boss, which became the highest grossing Tamil film of the time, she went on to sign several other notable films including Azhagiya Tamil Magan and Kanthaswamy in Tamil. This also led to roles in big budget Hindi films such as Mission Istanbul, and established her as one of the leading actresses in the South Indian film industry. Shriya also played the lead role in an American-Indian crossover film, The Other End of the Line.

Shriya has also featured as the brand ambassador for several stores across India appearing for prominent beauty and health products. Furthermore her work as a philanthropist, has seen her being attached to noted charity organistaions whilst she has recently pledged to open a spa for the visually challenged.


Early life and family

Shriya Saran was born in Dehradun to Pushpendra Saran and Neeraja Saran. Her father worked for Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and her mother was a Chemistry teacher in Delhi Public School. Saran completed her schooling from Delhi Public School, Haridwar and later studied at Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi[1] and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature. Saran was trained as a Kathak dancer during her youth; she was a student of Padma Shri Shovana Narayan. She has a brother Ahiroop who recently got married and lives in Mumbai.
Career
Early career (2001-2003)

While in her sophomore year at the LSR College in Delhi, Saran got her first opportunity to appear in front of the camera for a video shoot. Following her dance teacher's recommendation, she was given the chance to appear in the music video of Renoo Nathan's Thirakti Kyun Hawa. The video—shot at Banaras prompted Ramoji Films to offer her the lead role of Neha in their film Ishtam[11]. Even before the release of Ishtam, Saran signed four high-budget films including Santosham, Chennakeshava Reddy, Nuvve Nuvve and Tagore. Ishtam saw her receive positive reviews even though the film didn't fare well at the box office, and got her noticed by many Telugu producers and directors.

Her next release was Santosham (2002), co-starring Nagarjuna, Prabhu Deva and Gracy Singh. Saran gained her first award nomination for this film, the "CineMAA Award for Best Actor- Female".

In 2003, Saran made her debut Hindi film Tujhe Meri Kasam, starring debutants Ritesh Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza in the lead. The film garnered poor box office returns and failed to propel her career in Bollywood, after which she re-focused herself on South Indian films. She was cast to essay the lead role in the Telugu film Neeku Nenu Naaku Nuvvu opposite Uday Kiran. Collaborating with V. V. Vinayak again, she performed the lead role in his Tagore, a remake of the Tamil film Ramana. Tagore was highly successful.

Then she made her Tamil film debut in Enakku 20 Unakku 18, again alongside Tarun and Trisha Krishnan. The A. R. Rahman musical became a moderate success at the box-office, failing to gain her more projects in Tamil.

Ups and downs (2004-2007)

After a fairly quiet 2004, Saran had ten 2005 releases, nine of which were Telugu films. Balu ABCDEFG opposite Pawan Kalyan, an average grosser in India, was the first Telugu film to be released in South Africa after 40 years and received an overwhelming response. After her next four Telugu films were average at box office, her film Chatrapati opposite Prabhas, became one of the biggest hits in her career, earning her first nomination for the Filmfare Best Telugu Actress Award. Meanwhile, she made her comeback in Kollywood through the film Mazhai, a remake of the Telugu film Varsham. The movie didn't become successful, and her performance was not well received either. She also made a cameo appearance in the National Film Award-winning Bommalata.
Saran and Rajinikanth in Sivaji: The Boss

Her only 2006 release, other than special appearances, was the Tamil film Thiruvilayadal Arambam which became her first successful Tamil film. In 2007, she beat other top actresses for the much coveted role opposite Rajinikanth in S. Shankar's Sivaji: The Boss, which was the most expensive Indian film at that time.

Saran then made her comeback in Hindi with Awaarapan alongside Emraan Hashmi, which was the first joint production between India and Pakistan. For that performance she received a nomination for the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award.

Later that year she appeared in one more Tamil film, Azhagiya Tamil Magan opposite Vijay which turned out to be an average hit. She received mixed reviews by critics for her performance, but universal praise for her looks.

Recent work (2008-present)

In 2008, she made a special appearance in the Vadivelu-starrer Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan which turn out to be her only Tamil release of 2008. She then acted in the Hindi film Apoorva Lakhia's Mission Istanbul with Zayed Khan, Vivek Oberoi and Shabbir Ahluwalia. She played the character of Anjali Sagar which was inspired by the character of Romila Dutta played by Preity Zinta in the film Lakshya; a journalist who desires to have a child with her husband, which leads to their separation, since he is reluctant. Rediff and Bollywood Hungama critics said that her character was totally wasted and also had a weak characterization.

Saran then made her Hollywood debut in Ashok Amritraj's The Other End of the Line. She played the role of Priya Sethi who works as a telephone operator in an India Call Centre, while acting alongside Jesse Metcalfe, Anupham Kher and Tara Sharma. Shriya's performance was praised by critic, particularly her on-screen chemistry with Jesse Metcalfe

In 2009, she appeared in Tamil film Kanthaswamy, which was considered a moderate success, and gained her a nomination at the Vijay Awards, and win at the Mathrubhumi awards.

In 2010, Saran made her Malayalam debut with Pokkiri Raja in which she appeared opposite Mammootty and Prithviraj. The film created big hype among the audience in Kerala and was declared a super hit in the first week, breaking the record in Malayalam cinema by grossing over Indian rupee22,100,000 (US$ 501,670) in its first week of release surpassing Twenty:20. Saran herself was appreciated for her performance. She enacted her first lead role in a Telugu film after five years, in the successful action-comedy film Don Seenu opposite Ravi Teja.

Upcoming projects

Saran will be seen next in the Tamil film Chikku Bukku with Arya and Preetika Rao, directed by Manikandan, a former assistant to director Jeeva. In 2010, Saran also signed to work in Rowthiram with Jeeva for the first time. Saran will also star in Deepa Mehta's long delayed English project Midnight's Children, which is based on Salman Rushdie's highly acclaimed novel of the same name. Saran has also signed her second Malayalam project, Casanovva with Mohanlal, directed by Rosshan Andrrews, which is said to become the most expensive film in Malayalam cinema ever made. The movie was delayed heavily and friction between the cast was reported. In addition Sameera Reddy was said to have replaced Saran. In October 2010, the producer of the film announced that shooting would soon commence at Dubai with Saran among the cast of the film.

Sources reported that Saran is currently undergoing filming for Komagata Maru, opposite Akshay Kumar. The film will be directed by Deepa Mehta and will undergo long production, as the film is to release in 2014 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident.
Other work and events
Shriya Saran walks the ramp for Neeta Lulla at the India Bridal Week 2010.

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 finale of Maanada Mayilada season

Saran was also the first actress and the third celebrity after Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan to deliver a lecture to students at the Indian 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.

Saran started her modelling career by acting in Pond's Creams advertisement and Coca-Cola advertisement alongside Tamil actor Vijay which was directed by prominent director Rajiv Menon. She also starred in a Fair & Lovely creams advertisement during her early career. In 2007, she become the brand ambassador of Saravana Stores. She is now the brand ambassador of the Lux and Head & Shoulders. Saran was also signed as brand ambassador along with actor Saif Ali Khan for Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea. Saran also says no to soft drinks advertisements because she feels that soft drinks may harm child health. Controversy

Obscenity charges

On 11 January 2008, a Hindu organisation based in Chennai lodged a police complaint against Saran, objecting to the outfit worn by her during the 175th day celebration of her film, Sivaji: The Boss. In a complaint, the Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) alleged that Shriya's outfit had "offended Hindu culture". Shriya publicly apologised to Tamils and Hindus, saying it was a mistake, and that she had "great respect for the tradition and culture of Tamil Nadu [...] I was shooting for a Hindi film in Thanjavur. I came to the function directly from the shooting, [...] I was unaware of the repercussions because of the attire I wore during the function."
Philanthropy

Saran is well known for her charity work, and is a long time patron for the blind. In 2010, Saran announced that she has plans to open a spa for the visually challenged. Saran has said "When I studied in DPS Mathura Road in Delhi, there was a school for blind exactly opposite to our school. I used to go there every week and spend time seeing how these students played cricket and did other things normally. That is what inspired me to do something for these people".

Saran is a brand ambassador for the Naandi Foundation and Save A Child's Heart Foundation (SACH) alongside tennis player Sania Mirza which works for the benefit of poor children and for people affected by natural calamities. She also helps finance a Prevention of Aids foundation. In 2009, Saran joined hands with actor Surya Sivakumar and other eminent personalities to kick of 'The Joy of Giving Week' to encourage people from all walks of life to engage in acts of giving. Saran also regularly participates in carnivals and campaigns that associate with child benefits.[59] She is also known for her kindness towards animals and has associated with the Blue Cross of India.

Awards

Wins

* 2007 - South Scope Style Award - Best Tamil Actress for Sivaji: The Boss
* 2008 - Stardust Exciting New Face Award for Mission Istanbul
* 2009 - Amrita Mathrubhumi Award for Best Actress in Tamil for Kanthaswamy

Nominations

* 2002 - Viewer's Choice - Telugu Cine 'Maa' Awards Best Actress for Santhosham
* 2005 - Filmfare Best Telugu Actress Award for Chatrapathi
* 2007 - Filmfare Best Female Debut Award for Awaarapan
* 2007 - Stardust Award for Breakthrough Performance for Awaarapan
* 2007 - Vijay Award for Favourite Heroine for Sivaji: The Boss
* 2009 - Vijay Award for Favourite Heroine for Kanthaswamy

National honours and recognitions

* 2010 - TSR Lalitha Kala Parishath Awards for Contributions to Telugu Cinema
* 2010 - Featured in a poll conducted by Rediff about woman achievers in Indian entertainment, ranking her among the top actresses.

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