Nithya Menen (Malayalam: നിത്യ മേനോന് ) is an Indian film actress, who works mainly in the Malayalam film industry. She has also acted inTelugu, Tamil and Kannada films and tried playback singing.
Nithya Menen was born in Goa into a Malayali family and studied journalism at the Manipal Institute of Communication. Her father's family is from Calicut and her mother's is from Palakkad. She once said in an interview that she never wished to become an actress but a journalist as she was "an idealist",but felt journalism was "not what it used to be". She then decided to become a filmmaker as she could express her ideas "better through films", and enrolled for a course in cinematography at the FTI Pune. During the entrance examination, she met Nandini Reddy, who "brainwashed" and convinced her to take up acting. Nandini Reddy would later turn director and sign Nithya for the lead female role in her first project.
Nithya Menen appeared first on screen as a child artiste when she was ten in the Indian English language film, Hanuman (1998), playing the younger sister to Tabu's character. The 2008 off-beat film Aakasha Gopuram, directed by National Film Award-winning director K. P. Kumaran, marked her debut in a leading role, in which she was paired with Mohanlal. She was in the midst of her 12th class exams when she was offered the role, after Mohanlal had spotted her on the front cover of a tourism magazine. Her performance was well received, with critics writing that she shows "sparkle in her debut venture" and "makes her entry in an impressive role", though the film, based on the Norwegian play The Master Builder, got mixed reviews and was a financial failure. She next made her Kannada debut with the film Josh. She essayed a supporting role in the film, which received rave reviews, and became a commercial success as well, with her performance garnering her a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category at the 57th Filmfare Awards South.
In 2011, her first release was Nandini Reddy's romantic comedy Ala Modalaindi, which was Nithya's maiden Telugu venture as well. The film opened to favorable reviews by critics and turned out to become a sleeper hit, while Nithya received critical praise for her performance. Idlebrain's Jeevi in his review cited that she "epitomized Nitya character with her fabulous performance", "looks beautiful in all kinds of dresses" and was "the best debut in recent years of Telugu cinema after Samantha in YMC", while another critic wrote that she was a "charming find" and "...quite theGenelia replacement that our cinema so badly needs right now." She eventually won the Nandi Award for Best Actress for her performance. Further more, she also sang two songs for the soundtrack album of the film, tuned by Kalyani Malik. Nandini Reddy, later, went on to describe Nithya as "the discovery of the decade". Following Ala Modalaindi, she starred in Santosh Sivan's historical fiction Urumi as part of an ensemble cast. She portrayed a Chirakkal princess named Bala, playing the love interest of Prabhu Deva's character, which gained positive remarks, with a Sify review claiming that she "looks pretty and is a scene stealer". Nithya quoted that much of her character was based on "Santosh's perception of who I am", with Sivan stating that he had written that role for her and that only she could play it. She next appeared in ad-filmmaker Jayendra's bilingual venture 180/Nootrenbadhu, made and released in Tamil and Telugu, in which she played a photo journalist named Vidhya. She described the character as "bubbly, full of life, nosey, wide-eyed and innocent in life" and to be similar to herself. Later the year, she was seen in Sibi Malayil's Violin in Malayalam and the Gautham Menon-produced Veppam in Tamil.
She is currently working on half-a-dozen projects; Karmayogi, a Malayalam adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet is in post-production stages, while she is currently shooting for the Telugu romance film Ishq with Nitin Reddy and Aidondla Aidu in Kannada, for which she had sung and also choreographed one of the songs, titled "Payasa". She has signed on two Malayalam projects, T. K. Rajeev Kumar's Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty, in which she portrays a village woman whose daily life is filmed and broadcast as a reality show for a month, and Usthad Hotel to be directed by Anwar Rasheed.
As child artiste
|2005||Seven O' Clock||Anu||Kannada|
|2008||Akasha Gopuram||Hilda Varghese||Malayalam|
|2009||Josh||Meera||Kannada||Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Kannada|
|Kerala Cafe||Nithya||Malayalam||(segment Happy Journey)|
|2011||Ala Modalaindi||Nithya||Telugu||Nandi Award for Best Actress|
|Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty||Manjula Ayyapan||Malayalam|
|Poppins||Malayalam||Pre - Production|
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