Born Diana Mariam Kurian
November 18, 1984 (age 26)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Other names Nayan, Diana
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 2003 - present
Diana Mariam Kurian (born 18 November 1984), best known by her stage name Nayantara (Malayalam: നയന് താര), is an Indian film actress. She made her acting debut in 2003 in the Malayalam film Manassinakkare. She debuted in Tamil cinema with Ayya (2004) and in Telugu cinema with Lakshmi (2005), following which she starred alongside popular lead actors. Following several commercial successes such as Chandramukhi (2005), Ghajini (2005) and Billa (2007), she had established herself as one of the leading actresses in Tamil cinema.
1 Early life
3 Personal life
7 External links
Nayantara was born in Bangalore, Karnataka to Malayali parents, Kurian Kodiyattu and Omana Kurian. Her brother, Lenu, who is nine years elder to her, lives in Dubai. As her father was an Indian Air Force official, she studied in various parts of India, mainly in North India. A Jacobite by birth, she did her schooling in Chennai, Jamnagar, Gujarat and Delhi. Following his retirement, they settled in Kerala, where she continued her college studies, at the Kendriya Vidyalaya schools in Kerala. In Tiruvalla, she studied at Balikamadom Girls Higher Secondary School and then attended Marthoma College for her bachelor's degree in English Literature.
Nayantara was spotted, while she was still in college, by director Sathyan Anthikkad, who cast her opposite Jayaram in the 2003 Malayalam film Manassinakkare. Later, she co-starred alongside Mohanlal in Natturajavu and in Fazil's Vismayathumbathu. She was also cast with Mammootty in Thaskaraveeran and Raapakal.
She subsequently started appearing in Tamil and Telugu films. In 2005, she was cast opposite Sarath Kumar in Hari's Ayya, debuting in the Tamil film industry, and followed it up with Chandramukhi. The comedy horror film, in which she starred alongside Rajinikanth, became one of the most successful Tamil films in history, running for over 800 days in theatres, eventually turning Nayantara into one of the most-sought after actresses in Tamil. Later that year her third Tamil film, A. R. Murugadoss' Ghajini, in which she played a secondary female character, again was a commercially highly successful venture. However, she later disclosed that appearing Ghajini was a big mistake and the "worst decision" she ever took. She then made her debut in Telugu, starring in the film Lakshmi, following which she performed in Boss, alongside Venkatesh and Nagarjuna respectively. She regained her star billing in Kollywood acting opposite Ajith Kumar in the Vishnuvardhan-directed Billa. The gangster film, a remake of the same-titled 1980 Tamil film, went on to become a blockbuster success at the box office, while Nayantara received many accolades for her performance as Sasha.
In 2008 she had five releases, four of which were in Tamil. Her first release, the family entertainer Yaaradi Nee Mohini was one of the highest grossing Tamil films of the year, besides receiving seven nominations at the 56th Filmfare Awards South, including a Best Actress nomination for Nayantara for her portrayal of Keerthi. Her subsequent releases, however, Kuselan opposite Rajnikanth, Sathyam opposite Vishal and Villu opposite Vijay, were all unsuccessful, while Aegan became an average grosser. Her only successful release in 2009 was Aadhavan with Surya which released in October 2009, and become one of the few successes of 2009.
In 2010, all her releases, which featured her in the lead female role turned out to be commercial successes. She delivered five super hit films in the four Southern languages - Bodyguard (Malayalam), Adurs and Simha (Telugu), Boss Engira Bhaskaran (Tamil) and Super (Kannada). She won the Asianet Film Awards Best Actress in a leading role for her phenomenal performance in Bodyguard. The latter three, in particular, were exceptionally successful, with Simha becoming one of the highest-grossing Telugu films of the year and Boss Engira Bhaskaran releasing to highly positive reviews and becoming a blockbuster. Upendra's Super, which marked her debut into the Kannada film industry opened to rave reviews, while her performance was also praised by critics. She also starred in Shyamaprasad's critically acclaimed Malayalam film Elektra. Her performance was well appreciated by critics when it was screened at the International Film Festival of India. The film was also screened at the Dubai International Film Festival.
While shooting for her Tamil film Vallavan, she was romantically linked with the film's director and co-actor Silambarasan Rajendar, which she, however, denied. During the making and after the release of her film Villu, reports suggested that she was in a relationship with its director Prabhu Deva, with some sources even claiming that both had married secretly in June 2009. She had tattooed his name on her wrist, and began appearing with him in public, while keeping silence and refusing to comment about the issue, neither denying nor confirming the relationship. In September 2010 then, Prabhu Deva openly confessed his love for Nayantara and further stated that he would marry her soon. The issue soon gained media attention and turned into a controversy, since Prabhu Deva was already married and not divorced yet, with his wife Ramalath, unwilling to agree for a divorce, filing a petition at the family court, seeking directions against her husband and Nayantara from marrying, attending functions together and receiving awards as husband and wife and requesting a reunion with him. Furthermore, Ramalath threatened to go on hunger strike, if Prabhu Deva married Nayantara, while several women's organizations also conducted protests against Nayantara for "bringing disrepute to Tamil culture", burning an effigy of her.
Year Film Role Language Other notes
2003 Manassinakkare Gauri Malayalam Winner, Asianet Award for Best Female New Face of the Year
2004 Vismayathumbathu Reetha Mathews Malayalam
Natturajavu Katrina Malayalam
2005 Ayya Selvi Tamil
Chandramukhi Durga Tamil
Thaskara Veeran Thankamani Malayalam
Rappakal Gauri Malayalam
Ghajini Chitra Tamil
Sivakasi Nayanthara Tamil Special appearance in the song "Kodambakkam Area"
2006 Kalvanin Kadhali Haritha Tamil
Lakshmi Nandhini Telugu
Boss Anuradha Telugu
Vallavan Swapna Tamil
Thalaimagan Meghala Tamil
E Jyothi Tamil
2007 Yogi Nandini Telugu
Dubai Seenu Madhumathi Telugu
Sivaji: The Boss Tamil Special appearance in song "Balleilakka"
Tulasi Vasundhara Ram Telugu
Billa Sasha Tamil Winner, Vijay Award for Favourite Heroine,
Nominated, Filmfare Best Tamil Actress Award
2008 Yaaradi Nee Mohini Keerthi Tamil Winner, Vijay Award for Favourite Heroine
Nominated, Filmfare Best Tamil Actress Award
Kuselan Nayanthara Tamil
Sathyam Deivalakshmi Tamil
Aegan Mallika Tamil
Twenty:20 Diana Malayalam Special appearance in the song "He Dil Deewana"
2009 Villu Janavi Tamil
Anjaneyulu Anjali Telugu
Aadhavan Thara Tamil Nominated, Vijay Award for Favourite Heroine
2010 Adurs Chandrakala Telugu
Bodyguard Ammu Ashokan Malayalam Winner, Asianet Award for Best Actress
Goa Village girl Tamil Guest appearance
Simha Gayatri Telugu
Boss Engira Bhaskaran Chandrika Tamil
Super Indira Kannada
Elektra Elektra Alexander Malayalam
2011 Sri Rama Rajyam Seetha Telugu Filming
2003 - Asianet Award for Best Female New Face of the Year - Manassinakkare
2007 - Vijay Award for Favourite Heroine - Billa
2007 - Tamil Best Music Award for Best Stylish Heroine - Billa
2008 - Vijay Award for Favourite Heroine - Yaaradi Nee Mohini
2010 - Close-Up Super Jodi Award
2010 - Asianet Award for Best Actress - Bodyguard[27