Padmapriya Janakiraman, known by her stage name, Padmapriya, is a National Award winningfamous Indian film actress, model and classical Bharatanatyam dancer. She is best known for her work in the South Indian film industry having appeared in several movies in all 4 major languages in South India i.e. Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. She is also set to appear in Bengali and Hindi language films in 2017. Padmapriya debuted in 2003 with the Telugu film ‘Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmi’ and soon established herself as one of the most bankable actors in South India.
Padmapriya started her career in the industry after she won the title of ‘Miss Andhra Pradesh’ at the 2001 beauty pageant. She has since appeared in several critcally acclaimed and commercially successful Malayalam films such as ‘Karutha Pakshikal’, ‘Kaazhcha’, ‘Pazhassi Raja’ as well as Tamil-language films ‘Mirugam’ and ‘Thavamai Thavamirundhu’. She has been feliciated with 2 Kerala State Film Awards, 2 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and 2 Asianet Film Awards.
Early Life and Education
Padmapriya was born on 28 February 1983 in Delhi, India to Tamilian parents, Vijaya and Janakiraman. Her mother is a homemaker while her father served as a brigadier in the Indian Army. She was raised as a Hindu in a Tamil speaking family in Punjab in the North of India. She has one sibling, an elder brother.
Padmapriya studied at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Trimulgherry, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh and later attended Loyola Academy, Alwal, Secunderabad from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. She then enrolled into Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, Harihar to pursue an MBA degree. She also attended National Law School of India University and graduated with a PG Diploma in Environmental Law. Padmapriya also went to New York University and earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration
Padmapriya debuted in 2003 with the Telugu-language film ‘Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmi’ in which she played Vasanthi, a sexually exploited sister of a poor blind man. She soon started received offers from the Malayalam film industry, and appeared in the film ‘Kaazhcha’ portraying Lakshmi Madhavan, with superstar Mammootty as her co-star and won the Asianet Female Debut award. Padmapriya made her Tamil film debut in 2005 with the National Award winning drama ‘Thavamai Thavamirundhu’ alonside Cheran, portraying the role of college girl Sainaba Gopinathan. She earned great critical acclaim and even won a Filmfare Best Female Debut award.
Padmapriya’s next appearance was in the Malayalam blockbuster comedy ‘Rajamanikyam’, which became one of the biggest film of the year and the second highest grossing film in Malayalam cinema. In 2006, Padmapriya appeared in 6 films including ‘Vadakkumnathan’, ‘Pattiyal’, ‘Yes Your Honour’ and ‘Karutha Pakshikal’, all of which were highly successful. She recieved a Filmfare Best Actress Award for her work in ‘Karutha Pakshikal’. In the last decade, padmapriya has appeared in almost 40 films, winning awards for her work in films like ‘Mirugam’ in 2007, and ‘Pokkisham’ and ‘Pazhassi Raja’ in 2009. She is set to make her bollywood debut opposite Saif Ali Khan in his remake of the Jon Favreau’s Hollywood film ‘Chef’ and Bengali film debut with Orphan in 2017.
Padmapriya met Jasmine Shah while they were both students at New York University. The couple dated for a few years before tying the knot in November 2014. Shah is an Indian from Gujarat, currently based in Cambridge Massachusetts. He serves as the Policy Head for the South Asia division at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab which has its headquarters at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.