Shriya Saran can be termed as a Pan-Indian actress because, along with movies in the South, she did quite a few Bollywood movies also and is a well-known name across the country. Shriya Saran is a famous actress in Indian cinema who works in Telegu, Tamil, and Hindi movies. She was born as Shriya Saran Bhatnagar on 11 September 1982 in Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh. Her father Pushpendra Saran Bhatnagar was doing a job at Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and her mother Neeraja Saran Bhatnagar was a chemistry teacher. Shriya did her schooling at Delhi Public School, Ranipur in Haridwar, and Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, New Delhi. She has a brother Abhiroop who lives in Mumbai. While growing up, her family lived in the small town of the BHEL colony in Haridwar. After completing her schooling she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature. from Lady Shri Ram College under Delhi University.
Shriya is a trained dancer and her mother taught her Kathak and Rajasthani folk dance, and afterward, she was trained by Shovana Narayan in Kathak-style dance. She took part in various dance teams in college alongside her teacher. Her career in the entertainment industry started when she was featured in the music video of Renoo Nathan’s “Thirakti Kyun Hawa”. The team of Ramoji Rao saw the video and got quite inspired by Shiriya’s performance and she got her lead role in the Telegu movie Ishtam. While shooting for the movie, she signed four more Telugu movies and among those, the movie Nuvle Nuvle became a success and even won Nandi Award for Best Feature Film and Filmfare Best Film Award (Telugu).
She made her Bollywood debut in 2003 with the movie Tujhe Meri Kasam, starring debutants Ritesh Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza in leading roles. After Tujhe Meri Kasam, she did a Telegu movie Tagore which also featured Chiranjivi and Jyothikha. In the same year, she did her first Tamil movie in Enakku 20 Unakku 18, alongside Tarun and Trisha Krishnan, which was simultaneously shot in Telugu as Nee Manasu Naaku Telugu, in which she played the role of a football coach. It was made in Telegu also and even though she featured in three different languages movies that year, eight out of her ten films till then were in Telegu. She had ten 2005 releases, nine of which were Telugu films, the most notable for her being Chatrapathi. There she appeared opposite Prabhas and got her first nomination for the Filmfare Best Telugu Actress Award. Her next Tamil movie was Shivaji:The Boss in 2007, where she acted with superstar Rajnikanth. The movie was directed by S. Shankar and was a blockbuster. Its dubbed Hindi version also did pretty well. Her second Bollywood movie was Awarapan with Emraan Hashmi in 2007 which did average business at the box office but got lots of critical acclaims.
She is one of the very few actresses who did movies in various languages. She even worked in an English movie titled ‘The Other End of the Line’ which was an American-Indian co-production. Her next movies were Kanthaswamy in Tamil in 2009 and her first Malayalam movie Pokkiri which was released in 2009, both movies were hits and they cemented her as a bankable actress in the South Indian film industry.
In 2012, she worked in Midnight Children which was a British-Canadian movie based on the book of the same name authored by Salman Rushdie. Her most famous movie in Bollywood is Drishyam with Ajay Devgn in 2015 which was a remake of a Malayalam movie of the same name and it was a big hit with getting critical acclaim. She is going to the part of its sequel also with the same cast. Her last appearance on the big screen was in the movie RRR in a cameo.
She is involved in philanthropic activities also and volunteered for many charitable organizations. In 2011, she launched a spa solely for people with visual impairments. Apart from movies, she is a brand ambassador for brands that endorses beauty and health products Pond’s Cream, Coke, Fair, Lovely, etc. She also had been the brand ambassador for the Celebrity Cricket League for her first two seasons.