Padmapriya Janakiraman


Padmapriya in 2008
Born Padmapriya Janakiraman
(1980-02-28) 28 February 1980
Delhi, India
Other names Padma Priya, Priya
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 2004–present
Spouse(s) Jasmine Shah

Padmapriya JanakiramanInitial system, simply credited as Padmapriya, is an Indian film actress and model. A classical bharatanatyam dancer,[1] Padmapriya made her acting debut in the Telugu-language film Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmi (2003), following which she appeared in a number of Malayalam and Tamil-language films alongside leading actors. In a span of 5 years, she has appeared in nearly 30 films in Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi[1] and has received several major South Indian awards. She is probably best known for her critically acclaimed performances in the Malayalam-language films Kaazhcha, Karutha Pakshikal, Pazhassi Raja and the Tamil-language films Thavamai Thavamirundhu and Mirugam.

Early life

Padmapriya was born in Delhi to Tamil parents Janakiraman, a brigadier in the Indian Army, and Vijaya and brought up in Punjab.[1][2]

She did her schooling at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Trimulgherry, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh[1] and studied at Loyola Academy, Alwal, Secunderabad, from which she graduated with a B. Com degree.[3] Later, she pursued an MBA degree in finance at Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, Harihar. She was then working for GE Capital as a risk consultant in Bangalore and Gurgaon.[2] After GE she was with Symphony in Bangalore. During her free-time, she ventured into modelling, which would later pave her way to the film business and acting. She has also won Miss Andhra Pradesh in 2001.[1] While studying in 12th class in Andhra Pradesh, Padmapriya did a music album.[4]

She also holds a PG Diploma in Environmental Law from National Law School of India University and Masters in Public Administration from New York University.[5]


Padmapriya made her acting debut in the 2003 Telugu film Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmi, a remake of the Tamil film Kasi, which itself was a remake of the Malayalam film Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum. She played the role of a sexually exploited poor sister of a blind man in the film. Padmapriya says, she accepted this offer "for the sake of friendship".[4] This made possible her entry into the Malayalam film industry in the same year, starring in the film Kaazhcha alongside superstar Mammootty. For her portrayal of a mother of a young girl, who struggles to accommodate another child, a victim of the Gujarat earthquake, she received rave reviews and the Asianet Award for Best Female New Face of the Year.[6]

In 2005, she acted in her first Tamil-language film, Thavamai Thavamirundhu, a drama that dealt with familial bond, depicting a father-son relationship, in which she was paired opposite actor-director Cheran. She played a simple college girl in the film, which garnered highly positive reviews and won several awards at major Indian award ceremonies, including a National Film Award (for Best Film on Family Welfare). Padmapriya herself was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Debut Actress for her critically acclaimed performance.[7] She next starred in the Malayalam film Rajamanikyam again alongside Mammootty. The comedy film, featuring also Rahman and Sindhu Menon, was a universal blockbuster, becoming the most popular film of the year, Padmapriya's highest-grossing film till date and even the highest-grosser in the history of Malayalam cinema, after Twenty:20.[8]

In 2006, she appeared in 6 films. Her first release that year was Vadakkum Nathan, which Padmapriya considers as her debut film, citing: "I started taking this career seriously with that movie".[4] She next starred in the Tamil film Pattiyal, in which she portrayed a salesgirl at a garment company. The Vishnuvardhan-directed gangster film, in which she shared screen space with Arya, Bharath and Pooja Umashankar, was a commercial and critical success, becoming one of the highest-grossing Tamil films of the year. Later that year, she acted in the Malayalam-language film Karutha Pakshikal and Yes Your Honour, which both were well appreciated by critics. Padmapriya's performance in both the films received positive reviews, particularly her portrayal as Poongodi, a street beggar, in the former fetched her rave accloades and earned her several awards including a Filmfare Best Actress Award.[9][10]

In 2007, she had 7 releases, the first being Anchil Oraal Arjunan. Next she starred in Veeralipattu and Satham Podathey, a Tamil film. The latter was a psychological thriller directed by Vasanth, where she enacted the role of a helpless wife, who gets kidnapped by her former husband, whom she had divorced due to his alcohol addiction.

Following Satham Podathey, she appeared in the films Naalu Pennungal in Malayalam, directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Mirugam in Tamil, directed by Samy. In Naalu Pennungal, which fetched its director the National Film Award for Best Direction, she played the role of a street prostitute, whilst in Mirugam, she played a tomboyish wife to a ruffian, who behaves like an animal, for which she won the Tamil Nadu State Film Special Award for Best Actress.[11]

Currently she is working on half-a-dozen films, which include her Hindi debut venture Striker opposite Siddharth Narayan,[12] her Kannada debut film Thamassu alongside Shivrajkumar,[13] a cowboy-based film Irumbukkottai Murattu Singam in Tamil,[12] Kutty Shranku with Mammootty once again in Malayalam. In 2010, she enacted the role of a bar owner in Striker, following which she appear as a human rights activist in Thamassu and as an army officer's daughter in Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam. She played a vital role in Naayika, winning critical praise for her performance.[14] NDTV wrote that her "beauty and acting skills helped in portraying the role to perfection and 'young Gracy' ends as the saving 'grace' of the film".She has acted in some advertisements[15]

She was also a participant of Nalaiya iyakkunar season 5 in Kalaignar TV. Her short films received positive responses even though she didn't become the title winner.

Personal life

Padmapriya got married to Jasmine, who is from Gujarat and works as the Policy Head for South Asia at Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, headquartered in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on November 12, 2014 at Mumbai.[16] She had met him while both were pursuing their Master's from Columbia and New York University.[17]


Year Film Role Language Notes
2004 Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmi Vasanthi Telugu
Kaazhcha Lakshmi Madhavan Malayalam Asianet Award for Best Female New Face of the Year
Amrutham Sainaba Gopinathan Malayalam
2005 Thavamai Thavamirundhu Vasanthi Ramalingam Tamil Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South
Rajamanikyam Malli Malayalam
2006 Vadakkumnathan Meera Malayalam Asianet Award for Best Actress also for Karutha Pakshikal
Pattiyal Saroja Tamil
Ashwaroodan Sitalakshmi Malayalam
Bhargava Charitham Moonam Khandam Sophia Malayalam
Karutha Pakshikal Poongodi Malayalam Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam
Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Actress also for Yes Your Honour
Asianet Award for Best Actress also for Vadakkum Nathan
Yes Your Honour Maya Ravishankar Malayalam Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Actress also for Karutha Pakshikal
2007 Anchil Oral Arjunan Pavithra Malalyalam
Veeralipattu Pooja Malayalam
Satham Podathey Bhanumathi Tamil
Paradesi Usha Malayalam
Naalu Pennungal Kunnipennu Malayalam
Time Susan Mary Thomas Malayalam
Mirugam Azhagama Ayyanar Tamil Tamil Nadu State Film Special Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Actress
2008 Pachamarathanalil Anu Sachidanandan Malayalam Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam
My Mother's Laptop Payal Malayalam
2009 Bharya Swantham Suhruthu Sreelakshmi Vallabhan Malayalam
Pokkisham Nadira Tamil Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil
Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Actress
Katha Parayum Theruvoram Neeraja Malayalam
Kana Kanmani Maya Roy Malayalam
Pazhassi Raja Neeli Malayalam Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Malayalam
Bhoomi Malayalam Fousia Malayalam
2010 Striker Madhu Hindi
Irumbukkottai Murattu Singam Pappali Tamil
Andari Banduvaya Paddu Telugu
Thamassu Dr. Shanthi Kannada
Kutty Srank Revamma Malayalam
2011 Aidondla Aidu Kannada
Seniors Indhu Malayalam
Snehaveedu Sunanda Malayalam
Naayika Gracy Malayalam
2012 Aparajita Tumi Kuhu Bengali
Cobra Sherly Malayalam
Manjadikuru Roja Malayalam
Bachelor Party Item dancer Malayalam Cameo appearance
No. 66 Madhura Bus Soorya Padmam Malayalam
Ivan Megharoopan Ammini Malayalam
Poppins Kantha Malayalam
2013 Maad Dad Dr. Rasiya Malayalam
Papilio Buddha Collector Malayalam
Ladies and Gentleman Jyothy Malayalam
Thanga Meenkal Evita Tamil
2014 Brahman Tamil Cameo appearance
Iyobinte Pustakam Rahel Malayalam
2017 Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum Siva Ranjani Tamil Delayed
The Orphan TBA Bengali Filming
Chef TBA Hindi Filming
TiyaanTBAMalayalam Post production
Crossroad TBA Malayalam Filming

Awards and nominations

National Film Award

Filmfare Awards South

Kerala State Film Awards
Asianet Film Awards
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Multi-faceted artiste". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  2. 1 2 "Padmapriya – "I have a soft corner for Siddharth"". Behindwoods. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  3. "Padma Priya". Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  4. 1 2 3 Padmapriya: An Army Kid Turned Actor – Trivandrum News. (6 January 2012). Retrieved on 31 March 2012.
  6. Life Kochi : Kazhcha bags Asianet award for best film. The Hindu (19 March 2005). Retrieved on 31 March 2012.
  7. "'Anniyan' sweeps Filmfare Awards!". Sify. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  8. "Malayalam cinema ready for Vishu". Rediff. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  9. Pretty Padmapriya is back. Retrieved on 31 March 2012.
  10. 'What's the harm in using your body' – Times Of India. (27 August 2007). Retrieved on 31 March 2012.
  11. Tamilnadu state awards (2007, 2008) announced!. (29 September 2009). Retrieved on 31 March 2012.
  12. 1 2 Vijayakumar, Sindhu (12 April 2009). "I'm stuck in period films: Padmapriya". Times of India. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  13. "Shivrajkumar & Padmapriya in Thamassu". Sify. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  14. I follow my instinct: Padmapriya – Times Of India. (3 January 2012). Retrieved on 31 March 2012.
  15. Movie review: Malayalam film Nayika. Retrieved on 31 March 2012.
  16. "Actress Padmapriya gets married". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  17. "Southern actress Padmapriya gets hitched". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  18. "National Film Awards for 3 Idiots, Big B". NDTV Movies. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
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