Tamannaah Bhatia (born 21 December 1989) known simply as Tamannaah, is an Indian actress who predominantly appears in Tamil and Telugu films. She has also appeared in several Hindi films. In addition to acting, she also participates in stage shows and is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products.
In 2005, she made her acting debut at the age of 15 in the Bollywood film, Chand Sa Roshan Chehra and appeared in the Abhijeet Sawant album song “Lafzon main” from the album Aapka Abhijeet, which was also released in 2005, before working in Telugu cinema and Tamil cinema. In the same year, Tamannaah made her Telugu film debut in Sri, and the next year she appeared in her first Tamil movie, Kedi. In 2007, she starred in two college-life-based drama films, Happy Days in Telugu and Kalloori in Tamil.
Her projects include the successful Tamil films Ayan (2009), Paiyaa (2010), Siruthai (2011), Veeram (2014), Dharma Durai (2016), Devi (2016), Sketch (2018) and her Telugu films include 100% Love (2011). Other films include Racha (2012), Thadaka (2013), Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), Bengal Tiger (2015), Oopiri (2016) and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017). She thus established herself as one of the leading contemporary actresses in Telugu cinema and Tamil cinema. She is one of the highest paid actresses in South Indian cinema. She has acted nearly 60 films in three different languages.
She is the first actress from India who was nominated at Saturn Awards for Best Supporting Actress. She also received the “Dayawati Modi” Award in 2017. She also received an honorary doctorate from CIAC, in association with KEISIE International University, South Korea for her contributions to Indian cinema.
Tamannaah Bhatia was born on 21 December 1989 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, to Santhosh and Rajani Bhatia. She has an elder brother, Anand. Her father is a diamond merchant. She is of Sindhi descent. She did her schooling in Maneckji Cooper Education Trust School, Mumbai. She later changed her screen name for numerological reasons, varying it slightly to Tamannaah. She has been working since the age of 13, when she was spotted at her school’s annual day function and offered a lead role, which she took up, and then also became a part of Mumbai’s Prithvi Theatre for a year. She also appeared in Abhijeet Sawant’s album song “Lafzo Mein” from the album Aapka Abhijeet, which was released in 2005.
2005–2008: Debut and breakthrough
Tamannaah in October 2008 at Chennai before the release of Padikkadavan
In 2005, at the age of 15, she played the female lead in Chand Sa Roshan Chehra, which was a commercial failure at the box office. The same year, she made her debut in Telugu cinema with Sri and in Tamil cinema with Kedi in 2006. IndiaGlitz in its review called Tamannaah the “real scene-stealer” and stated that she “walks away with all honors”, adding that her characters have shades of the characters played by Vijayashanti in Mannan (1992) and Ramya Krishnan in Padayappa (1999).
Her first release of 2007 was Shakti Chidambaram’s Viyabari, in which she played the role of a journalist who wants to write an article about a successful entrepreneur played by S. J. Suryah. The film opened to negative reviews and flopped at the box office, but Tamannaah received praise for her performance. She got her breakthrough with Sekhar Kammula’s Happy Days and Balaji Sakthivel’s Kalloori, both of which featured Tamannaah as a college student. She won critical acclaim for her performances in both films. The commercial success of Happy Days and Kalloori established her career as an actress in both Telugu and Tamil films. Her performance in the latter earned her a nomination at the 56th Filmfare Awards South in the Best Tamil Actress category.
Her first release of 2008 was the Telugu film Kalidasu, directed by debutante G. Ravicharan Reddy. She was paired with debutante Sushanth, the grandson of actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao. Upon release, the film opened to moderate reviews and critics felt that she looked good and very romantic, but had less scope to perform. The film was an average grosser at the box office. She later made a cameo appearance in the Telugu film Ready, followed by another cameo appearance in the Telugu – Tamil bilingual Ninna Nedu Repu, titled Netru Indru Naalai in Tamil.
2009–2010: Critical acclaim
Tamannaah’s first release of 2009 was the Tamil film Padikkadavan, directed by Suraj and co-starring Dhanush, which was named after Rajinikanth’s 1985 film of the same name. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but Tamannaah’s performance in a limited role won praise. Padikkadavan however, became a commercial success. Her next release was the Telugu film Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam, directed by Kishore Kumar Pardasany, co-starring Siddharth. The film received positive reviews from critics and she received critical acclaim for her performance, earning a nomination at the 57th Filmfare Awards South in the Best Telugu Actress category. The film, however, was an average grosser at the box office. Her next release, K. V. Anand’s Ayan, co-starring Suriya, became the only major commercially successful Tamil film of the year. She later appeared in Gandhi Krishna’s Ananda Thandavam, which was based on the novel Pirivom Santhippom serialised by Sujatha Rangarajan. She was paired with Siddharth Venugopal in the film, marking the latter’s debut. The film opened to negative reviews, and was her only commercial failure in 2009. However, Tamannaah’s performance was critically acclaimed. Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff.com stated that Tamannaah’s “would-be innocence when she’s playing up to Sidharth, and slight cunning when she chooses Radhakrishnan is perfect” adding that she brought her character Madhumitha “to life, an alluring mix of child and woman; irritating, sly, yet arousing your sympathy in the climax”.
Tamannaah later appeared in R. Kannan’s Kanden Kadhalai, the official remake of Jab We Met (2007), co-starring Bharath. Her voice was dubbed by playback singer Chinmayi. Kanden Kadhalai opened to decent feedback from critics and Tamannaah’s performance won praise from them. A reviewer from Sify stated: “Funny and full of life, it is Tamannaah who is the heart and soul of this love story. She has come up with a live wire performance and the magic of the film lies in her performance”, adding that no actress in Tamil cinema could play that role better than her though she did not look like a Thevar girl hailing from Theni. Her performance in the film earned her a nomination at the 57th Filmfare Awards South in the Best Tamil Actress category, making her the only actress to earn two nominations in two different languages at that event. She also won the South Scope award for the same. During this phase, she was established as an undisputed top actress in Tamil cinema.
Tamannaah’s first release of 2010 was N. Linguswamy’s Paiyaa, co-starring Karthi, which was a Tamil road movie. The film opened to positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success. She earned a nomination each at the 58th Filmfare Awards South and 5th Vijay Awards in the Best Tamil Actress category. Her other two releases of 2010 were S. P. Rajkumar’s Sura, co-starring Vijay and M. Raja’s Thillalangadi, co-starring Jayam Ravi, the former being Vijay’s 50th film as an actor and the latter being the official remake of Surender Reddy’s Kick (2009). Both the films flopped at the box office.
2011–2012: Breakthrough into Tollywood
Tamannaah’s first release of 2011 was Siva’s Siruthai, co-starring Karthi, which was the official remake of S. S. Rajamouli’s Vikramarkudu (2006). Her character was received poorly by critics, with Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff.com citing that she offered “little more than arm-candy”. The film, however, was commercially successful. She followed it with a cameo appearance in the song “Aga Naga” from K. V. Anand’s Ko.
She made her comeback to Telugu cinema after a two-year gap in the same year with Sukumar’s 100% Love, co-starring Naga Chaitanya, in which she played the role of a village girl visiting her cousin’s house in Hyderabad for pursuing higher education. She won praise for her performance from the critics. A reviewer from IndiaGlitz stated that Tamannaah “stole the show in the film” and “doesn’t over act or underplay her role anywhere”. The reviewer added that she “is drop dead gorgeous and steals your heart with her beauty” and “wins on two counts-one is her endearing action and two is her insanely adorable looks”. The film became one of the biggest commercial successful Telugu films of 2011. She earned a nomination each at the 59th Filmfare Awards South and 1st South Indian International Movie Awards in the Best Telugu Actress category. She also won the Best Actor Female awards at CineMAA Awards 2012 and The Hyderabad Times Film Awards 2011. Her next release of 2011 was V. V. Vinayak’s Badrinath, co-starring Allu Arjun. Her looks in the film became debatable considering her girl-next-door looks sported in her previous films. The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Suresh Kavirayani of The Times of India felt that Tamannaah was “energetic, but there was unnecessary skin show even in scenes that didn’t seem to require it”. However, the film became a notable success at the box office. She earned a nomination at the CineMAA Awards 2012 in the Best Actor Female category.
She played the role of a village girl in Hari’s Venghai, co-starring Dhanush, whom she called a “subtle and underplayed” character. Both the film and her performance opened to mixed reviews from critics, with Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff.com stating that Tamannaah “appears neatly attired in classy dresses but suddenly takes to wearing skimpy clothes that display her midriff” and looks “so dazzlingly white that you want to reach for your sun-glasses”. Her next release Oosaravelli, co-starring N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and directed by Surender Reddy, opened to mixed reviews from critics, and was a commercial failure.
Tamannaah starred in four Telugu films in 2012, the first one being Sampath Nandi’s Racha, co-starring Ram Charan, in which she played the role of a rich girl living in a protected world whose character’s layers are revealed as the film progresses. Upon release, Tamannaah received praise from the critics with Sify’s reviewer calling her the film’s “major asset”, and Karthik Pasupulate of The Times of India stating that she “does the needful” and “does add more than glamour value to the film”. The film was declared a major commercial success by the end of its 50-day run. She earned a nomination each at 60th Filmfare Awards South and CineMAA Awards 2013 in the Best Actor Female category.
Her next release, A. Karunakaran’s Endukante… Premanta!, co-starring Ram, opened to negative reviews and was a commercial failure. However, critics praised hers and Ram’s performance in the film, with Y. Sunita Chowdary of The Hindu stating that they have “done their best to bring some semblance of reality to this fantasy”, and Radhika Rajamani of Rediff.com calling them the film’s “heart and soul”. Her third release, Raghava Lawrence’s Rebel, co-starring Prabhas, in which she played a hip hop dance teacher, opened to mixed reviews and was a commercial failure and escalation of budget was cited as one of the primary reasons. Her last release of 2012 was Puri Jagannadh’s Cameraman Gangatho Rambabu, co-starring Pawan Kalyan, in which she played the role of a tomboyish media cameraman. The film was one of the biggest commercial successful Telugu films of 2012.
2013–2014: Re-entry into Bollywood and Kollywood
Tamannaah’s first release of 2013 was Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala, co-starring Ajay Devgan, which was the remake of the 1983 Hindi film of the same name, where she reprises the role of Sridevi from the original. Khan chose her considering her popularity in the South Indian cinema and the film marked her comeback to Hindi cinema. The film opened to negative reviews from critics, who felt that she matched Sridevi in terms of glamour, but failed in terms of acting skills which they termed as “below average”. Himmatwala became a commercial failure at the box office.
Her other release of 2013 was Kishore Kumar Pardasany’s Tadakha, co-starring Naga Chaitanya, Sunil and Andrea Jeremiah, the official Telugu remake of N. Lingusamy’s Vettai, where she reprises the role played by Amala Paul in the original. The film opened to moderate reviews from critics, and was commercially successful. She earned a nomination at the 3rd South Indian International Movie Awards in the Best Actor Female category.
She made her comeback to Tamil cinema in 2014 after a sabbatical of three years with Siva’s Veeram, co-starring Ajith Kumar. She said in an interview that she was in talks for a lot of Tamil films and would be signing a few soon. Veeram received positive reviews from critics, and became one of the highest grossing Tamil films of 2014. She again collaborated with Sajid Khan for the film Humshakals as one of the female leads. The film co-starred Saif Ali Khan, Ram Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta. The film received poor reviews from critics, and flopped at the box office.
She performed her first item number in V. V. Vinayak’s Alludu Seenu, featuring Bellamkonda Sreenivas and Samantha Ruth Prabhu in the lead roles which she accepted to do upon Vinayak’s request after walking out of the film initially due to changes in its script. That song, titled “Labbar Bomma”, was well received by the audience.
In her next release, Entertainment, directed by Sajid-Farhad, co-starring Akshay Kumar, she played the role of a television actress. While the film was a semi-hit at the box office, Tamannaah received a nomination at the 7th Golden Kela Awards in the worst actress category. Her last release of 2014 was Srinu Vaitla’s Aagadu, co-starring Mahesh Babu, in which she played the role of a village belle owning a chain of sweet shops. The film opened to mixed reviews and was a commercial failure at the box office.
2015–2016: Roles in commercial and women-centric films
She later made a cameo appearance as herself in Jagadish’s Nannbenda, starring Udhayanidhi Stalin and Nayantara. She also dubbed her own voice for the same. In July 2015, the first part of S. S. Rajamouli’s two-part multilingual fictional epic film Baahubali, co-starring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati and Anushka Shetty, was released. She played the role of Avanthika, a Warrior Princess of an unspecified era. For her role, she had to lose five to six kilos of weight and also, special care was taken regarding the looks, costumes and jewelry of her character. The film received positive reviews from critics and Tamannaah was praised for her performance. The movie collected around ₹650 crore (US$91 million) and eventually became the top grosser of Telugu cinema and third highest grossing Indian film.
Her next release was M. Rajesh’s Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga, co-starring Arya, N. Santhanam and Bhanu, in which she would showcase her own jewelry designs from Wite & Gold. The film received negative reviews from the critics. Later, she made a cameo appearance in the bilingual film Size Zero, which features Arya, Anushka Shetty and Sonal Chauhan in the lead roles.
Her last release of 2015 was Sampath Nandi’s Bengal Tiger, co-starring Ravi Teja for the first time. She was praised for her looks in the film. It opened to mixed reviews, but was commercially successful at the box office by grossing ₹40.5 crore (US$5.6 million) globally and also became the 8th highest grossing Telugu film of the year. Tamannaah expressed her happiness over the success of the film and said “Without Ravi Teja sir I can’t imagine this film as only he could justify the character”.
She performed her second item number in Bhimaneni Srinivasa Rao’s Speedunnodu, featuring Bellamkonda Sreenivas and Sonarika Bhadoria in the lead roles, which released in February 2016. She charged half of her remuneration to appear in that song, titled “Bachelor Babu”, which was made on a budget of ₹2.25 crore (US$310,000). Her next release was Vamsi’s Oopiri, which is a remake of The Intouchables (2011), co-starring Akkineni Nagarjuna and Karthi, being filmed in Telugu and Tamil simultaneously. The film opened to positive reviews.
Her next release was the Tamil film Dharma Durai, In which she played a doctor and she also appeared in the film without makeup and it opened to positive reviews. The film also ran successfully in box office. Her next release was a Short Film – Ranveer Ching Returns with Ranveer Singh, directed by Rohit Shetty and it received positive reviews from critics. In October 2016, Tamannah released her third item number in the Telugu-Kannada bilingual film Jaguar. Her next release was female oriented trilingual (Tamil—Telugu—Hindi) film Devi. For the first time, she appeared in double role in full length and in her first horror film in three different languages and it also opened to positive reviews. She has also been praised for her acting in the film and the film collected ₹100 crore (US$14 million) at box office, in three languages. and her last release in 2016 was Kaththi Sandai, co-starring Vishal. It opened to mixed reviews from critics and became commercial failure.
2017: Return to Telugu films
Her first release in 2015 was Baahubali: The Beginning. In this film, Tamannaah plays a role of Avanthika, a member of a rebel group who wants to rescue Devasena from an evil Bhallaladeva and finally got married with Shivudu / Mahendra Baahubali and become a Queen of Mahishmati Kingdom. The film received highly positive reviews from critics and collected ₹114 crore (US$16 million) in its first day itself all over India and eventually this was the first Indian film collecting more than ₹100 crore (US$14 million) in its first day. It became the first Indian film to get a worldwide gross of more than ₹500 crore (US$70 million) in all languages in just three days. It became the highest grosser Of all time in India in all languages in five days, grossing ₹565 crore (US$79 million). It became the highest grossing Indian film ever, with a worldwide gross of ₹800 crore (US$110 million) in all languages in just six days, surpassing PK’s worldwide gross of ₹742 crore (US$100 million). Baahubali 2 became the highest grossing Indian film ever with worldwide gross of approx. ₹900 crore (US$130 million) in all languages in just seven days, surpassing PK worldwide gross of ₹792 crore. On the 9th day, Baahubali 2 became the first Indian film ever to collect ₹1,000 crore (US$140 million). Her next release in Tamil was Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan also known as AAA, is an Indian two-part Tamil-Language action comedy film with Silambarasan for the first time. The film opened to mixed reviews and commercial failure. Her next release was fourth item song in Jai Lava Kusa’s “Swing Zara”, along with N. T. Rama Rao Jr, directed by K. S. Ravindra.
2018–present: Back to back multilingual films and female orientation films
Her first release in 2018 was Vikram’s Sketch, directed by Vijay Chander on Pongal day along with Thaanaa Serndha Koottam and Gulaebaghavali. Sketch opened to mixed reviews from critics and audiences. Tamannaah was praised for her performance as she played the role as Amuthavali, a south Indian Brahmin girl in the film. Her next release was the Marathi film Aa Bb Kk. It opened to positive reviews and became a commercial success. Her next release was the Telugu film Naa… Nuvve, in which she was paired opposite Nandamuri Kalyan Ram for the first time. It opened to mixed reviews and was a commercial failure. However, Tamannaah’s performance was highly praised by the reviewers and audiences. She completed the remake of Nayanthara’s yet-to-release film Kolaiyuthir Kaalam under the direction of Chakri Toleti, titled as Khamoshi in Hindi and also her next untitled Telugu film opposite Sundeep Kishan, directed by Kunal Kohli. In mid-September, she signed an official Queen remake in Telugu, titled as That Is Mahalakshmi, which was initially directed by Neelakanta Reddy. Due to creative differences between actress and director, Reddy was later replaced by Prasanth Varma. Tamannaah also completed another Tamil film under direction of Seenu Ramasamy, Kanne Kalaimaane, with Udhayanidhi Stalin. She appeared in her next Telugu film Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy with megastar Chiranjeevi. In mid-2018, she signed another Telugu multistarrer, F2 – Fun and Frustration, with Daggubati Venkatesh. In Aug 2018, she signed her fifth item number in Kannada film KGF along with Yash.
Tamannaah also has experience as a model appearing in various television commercials. She is endorsing popular brands like Celkon Mobiles, Fanta and Chandrika Ayurvedic soap. She is also the brand ambassador of the Salem based jewelry shop AVR and Khazana Jewellery. Before entering the film industry, she also acted in Tamil advertisements like Shakthi Masala, Power Soap and Sun Direct. She also worked with Virat Kohli for an ad shoot of Celkon Mobile.
In 2014, she posed in a PETA advertisement, encouraging consumers to purchase cosmetics that have not been tested on animals. In March 2015, she also signed as a brand ambassador for channel Zee Telugu.
On 31 March 2015, Tamannaah launched a retail jewelry business which is named Wite-n-Gold having malls at Mumbai and Bangalore. The website was started on 20 April 2015 marking the festival Akshaya Tritiya. She was also Creative head for her jewelry brand.
In January 2016 she also became the brand ambassador of the Government of India’s campaign Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, an initiative of FOGSI.
She reportedly charged Rs 50 lakhs for a 10 minute performance during the opening of IPL 2018 where she performed on four songs from four different languages of Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi.