Nithya Menen is an Indian Film Actress and playback singer from Bangalore, Karnataka. She has acted in Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, and Tamil.
Nithya Menen was born in Bangalore, Karnataka and studied Journalism at the Manipal Institute of Communication. 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 FTII 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.
Menen appeared first on screen as a child artist when she was ten in the Indian English language film, ‘The Monkey Who Knew Too Much’ (1998), playing the younger sister to Tabu’s character. In 2006, she started her acting career as a lead actor with the Kannada film ‘7 O’ Clock’ directed by Kannada’s top cinematographer Santosh Rai Pataje. The 2008 off-beat film ‘Aakasha Gopuram’, directed by National Film Award-winning director K. P. Kumaran, marked her Malayalam debut, 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, Stark World Kerala. 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 a come back into Kannada films with the super hit film ‘Josh’. She played 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 favourable reviews by critics and turned out to become a sleeper hit, while Nithya received critical praise for her performance. 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.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.
Her first 2012 release was the Telugu romance film ‘Ishq’ with Nitin Reddy.She acted in ‘Karmayogi’, a Malayalam adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For the Kannada film ‘Aidondla Aidu’ she had sung and also choreographed one of the songs, titled “Payasa”. She was seen in two Malayalam projects, T. K. Rajeev Kumar’s ‘Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty’, in which she portrayed a village woman whose daily life is filmed and broadcast as a reality show for a month, and ‘Ustad Hotel’ directed by Anwar Rasheed.
In 2013, she starred in three Telugu films, ‘Okkadine’, ‘Jabardasth’ and ‘Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde’ and one Kannada movie ‘Mynaa’. She played a character with two shades in ‘Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde’ and she dubbed for her as well as for the character of her co-star Isha Talwar. In 2014, she made a cameo in the Malayalam movie ‘Bangalore Days’, which became the highest grosser of that year. She has paired up with Sharwanand for the 2015 Telugu movie ‘Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju’. She did a minor role in the film S/O Satyamurthy, directed by Trivikram’. She appeared opposite Dulquer Salmaan in two films in 2015, ‘100 Days of Love’, a romantic Malayalam film and ‘OK Kanmani’, bilingual film directed by Mani Ratnam’.
Nithya Menen recent movies are ‘Rajadhi Raja’, ‘Okka Ammayi Thappa’, ‘Mudinja Ivana Pudi’, ‘Kotigobba 2’, ‘Janatha Garage’, ‘Iru Mugan’, ‘Appavin Meesai’.