Sanya Malhotra
Sanya Malhotra

Sanya Malhotra

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Sanya Malhotra (born 25 February 1992) is an Indian actress who works in Hindi films. After making her film debut with the role of Babita Kumari in the biographical sports film Dangal (2016), she starred in the comedy-drama Badhaai Ho (2018), both of which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films. She was nominated for the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for playing a student who befriends a street photographer in the drama Photograph (2019) and received praise for her supporting roles in the biopic Shakuntala Devi (2020) and the dark comedy crime film Ludo (2020).

Early life and background

Malhotra was born and raised in Delhi, India. She is a trained dancer in contemporary and ballet. After graduating from Gargi College, Malhotra participated in the dance reality show Dance India Dance and made it to the top 100. She moved to Mumbai, where she began appearing in auditions and began assisting camerapersons for television commercials. She was later contacted by the film casting director Mukesh Chhabra.

Career

Malhotra was selected for Nitesh Tiwari's biographical sports film Dangal along with Fatima Sana Shaikh, who was also relatively new. Before the film, she said that she did not know much about wrestling. She then watched several videos on wrestling and "how wrestlers move, walk, their body language" and also did the training. Both Malhotra and Sheikh went through five rounds of auditions, physical training and workshops with Tiwari and Aamir Khan. They were trained by coach and former wrestler Kripa Shankar Patel Bishnoi. Released in 2016, Dangal received critical acclaim and became the highest-grossing Indian film ever with earnings of more than ₹2,000 crore (US$270 million) worldwide. Anupama Chopra said in her review that Malhotra provides "strong support" to the story. Malhotra later turned choreographer with the song "Sexy Baliye" from Secret Superstar (2017), which featured Khan. Two years later, Malhotra returned through Vishal Bhardwaj's drama Pataakha with newcomer Radhika Madan. The film was released in theatres in September 2018. Based on the short story Do Behnen by Charan Singh Pathik, it revolved around two sisters in Rajasthan who are always in conflict with each other. The story was based on the wives of Pathik's brothers. To prepare for the film, both she and Madan met the real inspiration behind the characters to learn their nuances. The two stayed in Ronsi village near Jaipur and learned the Rajasthani dialect; they also got accustomed to milking buffaloes, thatching roofs, plastering the walls with dung and walking for long distances while balancing matkas full of water on their head and another around their waist. They also had to put on 10 kg of weight. Raja Sen in his review wrote that Malhotra "plays this character with unhinged enthusiasm" and "appears to be a fearless actress." Four weeks later, Amit Sharma's critically and commercially successful family comedy Badhaai Ho was released in October 2018, with Malhotra starring opposite Ayushmann Khurrana. In 2019, Malhotra appeared in Ritesh Batra's Photograph. The film follows a street photographer Rafi, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who tries to convince a student Miloni (Malhotra) to pose as his fiancée so that his grandmother stops pressuring him to get married. It was screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter featured her in their listing of "breakout talent" from the latter festival. Rahul Desai of Film Companion gave Photograph a positive review and wrote that Malhotra "becomes the dreamy-eyed participant that enables the film to embrace its quiet glances and gentle flights of fantasy." Malhotra was nominated for the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for the film.Malhotra's next three films—the 2020 biographical film Shakuntala Devi, the 2020 anthology film Ludo and the 2021 comedy Pagglait—were initially planned for theatrical release. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India, all three were decided to be directly streamed online instead, the first on Amazon Prime Video and the others on Netflix. Her first film of the year was Shakuntala Devi, directed by Anu Menon. The film is about the life of the mathematician of the same name and featured Vidya Balan in the titular role, with Malhotra portraying Devi's daughter Anupama. Mike McCahill of The Guardian found Malhotra to be "quietly affecting" in her part and commended her for holding her own opposite her co-star. Anurag Basu's anthology film, Ludo, that featured an ensemble cast of Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Pankaj Tripathi, was her other release that year. Pagglait, which also stars Sayani Gupta, Ashutosh Rana, Raghubir Yadav and Shruti Sharma, began streaming on Netflix on 26 March 2021.Malhotra's next film after Pagglait will be the rom-com Meenakshi Sundareshwar, a Netflix original film and her third consecutive film to be released there. Directed by newcomer Vivek Soni, which she will be seen opposite Abhimanyu Dassani. She is currently busy shooting for Love Hostel alongside Vikrant Massey and Bobby Deol.
Source: Wikipedia

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