Shriya Saran: the Tollywood star who has stolen hearts from India to Russia

shriya saran

Shriya Saran is an Indian actress and model, who is mostly known for her work in South Indian films. One among the top actresses of Tollywood who has also managed to carve a niche in mainstream Bollywood, Shriya Saran is a diva, a glam enthusiast, a stupendous actress and a empathetic human being all in one.

Shriya Saran biography

Born to Pushpendra Saran Bhatnagar and Neeraja Saran Bhatnagar in Haridwar in India, Shriya Saran’s date of birth is 11th September, 1982. Shriya’s father worked as a civil engineer for Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and a young Shriya spent most of her early life in a small colony at the foothills of the Shivalik range. Saran also has an elder brother Abhiroop who works with an advertising firm, FCB Ulka in Mumbai and is married to Aarti.

Shriya Saran completed her schooling from Delhi Public School where her mother was a chemistry teacher. She later completed her graduation in literature from the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi.

An accomplished dancer, Shriya Saran has been passionate about dance since the time she was a child. Shriya’s first dance guru was her mother from whom she learnt Kathak and Rajasthani folk dance. Later, Shriya and her family relocated to Delhi where she learned Kathak further under eminent Kathak exponent Shovana Narayan.

Is Shriya Saran married?

Shriya Saran is a self proclaimed die hard romantic and confesses that all her life she has had crushes on her co actors. She was also romantically linked to many of the actors, yet Shriya has always wanted a man who would look at her more than at the mirror.

On 12 March 2018, Shriya Saran married her Russian boyfriend Andrei Koscheev at her Lokhandwala residence in what happened to be her second wedding. A tennis player, Andrei Koscheev and Shriya Saran had been dating for quite some time though she had never made her love life public.

But while Saran’s marriage with Koscheev was a very private affair with Manoj Bajpayee and Shabana Azmi the only celebrities in attendance, the relationship was very much official. In stark contrast to her rumoured first marriage with long time boyfriend Rajiv Mallu about which not much information is available, Saran’s present relationship is much more publicised.

A Russian national, Andrei Koscheev is a national level tennis player, apart from being an entrepreneur and a food enthusiast, much like his wife Shriya Saran. Koscheev has also been the recipient of the Best Young Entrepreneur Award in 2015 after he launched a chain of restaurants that serves organic food. With dishes named after celebrities and a generous contribution towards charity, Koscheev, with also a diploma in general management seems to utilise his degree to good measure.

Koscheev is also a motivational speaker and holds a degree from the Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden.

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Shriya Saran career

With a deep love for classical Indian dance forms, it was quite natural that Shriya Saran aspired to be a dancer. However, destiny had other plans for her as while pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree from LSR, Shriya got recommended for a video shoot.

In 2001, while Shriya was still in her second year at college, she shot for the music video of Renoo Nathan’s “Thirakti Kyun Hawa”. Thereafter, there was no looking back for a young Shriya Saran as her debut video managed to capture the attention of a leading production house.

Consequently, Shriya received an offer from Ramoji Films to play the lead role of Neha in the film Ishtam. Thereafter it was a raining of roles for Saran as she got signed up for four more films even before Ishtam was released.

While Ishtam marked Shriya Saran’s debut in Telugu movies, her 2002 movie Santosham co starring Nagarjuna, Prabhu Devaand Gracy Singh brought her commercial success. Santosham hapened to be quite a special film for Saran, as it earned her a nomination for the CineMAA Award for Best Actor- Female apart from being Filmfare’s Best Telugu Film that year.

Shriya Saran made her Bollywood debut soon after. In 2003, Shriya played a supporting role in Tujhe Meri Kasam, that also marked the debut of Bollywood stars Ritesh Deshmukh and Genlia D’Souza.

2003 might in fact be the breakthrough year for Shriya Saran as she also made her debut in Tamil films with Enakku 20 Unakku 18 which, interestingly was simultaneously shot in Telugu as Nee Manasu Naaku Telusu.

Shriya Saran’s most remarkable movies of her career include Nuvve Nuvve (2002), Chennakesava Reddy(2002), Tagore (2003), Nenunnanu (2004), Chatrapathi (2005) for which she received her maiden Filmfare nomination for the Best Telugu Actress Award.

Shriya Saran also appeared as one of the only three characters of the 2005 film Mogudu Pellam O Dongodu and made a guest appearence in the National Award winning children’s film Bommalata. In 2007 Shriya Saran starred as the female lead in Sivaji: The Boss, the most expensive Indian film and the highest grossing Tamil film of that time. Sivaji has to be amongst the most crucial projects of Shriya Saran’s career as apart from earning her an elevated standing in the South Indian film industry, Shriya also earned a South Scope Style Award for Best Award and was also nominated for the Vijay Awards.

2007 also marked Saran’s comeback in the Hindi film industry with an India- Pakistan joint production Awarapan. Though an uncredited remake of a South Korean movie A Bittersweet Life, the film was critically acclaimed and both the leads Shriya Saran and Emraan Hashmi were lauded for their performances.

Saran also performed in a number of item numbers, including in the films Devadasu, Munna, and Tulasi.

2008 proved to be yet another remarkable year for Shriya Saran. With Ashok Amritraj’s The Other End of the Line, Saran made her debut in American cinema alongside Anupam Kher, Jesse Metcalfe and Tara Sharma. As a telephone operator in an Indian call centre, Shriya Saran was brilliant in her enactment of Priya Sethi in the film that touched hearts with its tagline of “Two countries. Two cultures. One chance at love.”

In 2009, Shriya Saran had, in her own words, her best role yet in the commercially successfully Tamil film Kanthaswamy, alongside Vikram. Along with a nomination at the Vijay Awards. Kanthaswamy also bagged Shriya the Amrita Mathrubhumi Award for Best Actress along with Saran’s other film Thoranai.

Another 2009 film, Cooking with Stella saw Shriya make a special appearance in the English language movie. Saran subsequently attended the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, where the film was screened.

In 2010, Shriya Saran made her foray into Malayalam cinema with Pokkiri Raja. With a record breaking opening, this film also cemented Saran’s position in another of the southern film industries.

Saran claimed the Best Actress Award in 2011 at the International Tamil Film Awards for the otherwise poorly reviewed Tamil film Rowthiram.

Deepa Mehta’s long delayed English project Midnight’s Children based on Salman Rushdie’s highly acclaimed novel also had Shriya Saran as one among the cast. Filmed under the working title of Winds of Change, the film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival in 2012. The film also earned nominations in eight categories including one for Best Picture at the 1st Canadian Screen Awards, claiming two awards.

The same year Shriya Saran also featured in Tha Tha Thamara, a popular song from the Telugu remake of the Bollywood romantic- comedy blockbuster Deewana Mastana.

In 2013, Shriya Saran appeared in her first item song in a Bollywood movie. A political action thriller film, Zila Ghaziabad saw Saran in a rather sensuous dance performance in the much popular song Chhamiya No 1.

Gopala Gopala, a Telugu remake of the popular Bollywood film Oh My God was Saran’s first release of 2015. This year also marked her biggest Bollywood success with Drishyam. Co starring Ajay Devgn and Tabu, Drishyam was a Hindi remake of the Malayali film of the same name. A critically acclaimed movie, though shrouded in controversy, Drishyam put Shriya Saran further on the Bollywood stage.

In mid-January 2016, Saran made special appearances in a commercially successful comedy drama film series, namely Oopiri and Thozha. In her 2017 release Gautamiputra Satakarni which was a critical as well a commercial success, Shriya shared screen space with the legendary Hema Malini. 2018 had Shriya starring in a romantic crime drama film in Hindi. Titled Phamous, the film had other acclaimed actors like Jimmy Sheirgill, Kay Kay Menon,[1] Pankaj Tripathi, Jackie Shroff and Mahie Gill in leading roles. Saran also made a special appearance in the song “Chitram Bhale Vichitram” for N.T.R: Kathanayakudu, one of the most awaited releases of 2019.

Shriya Saran other ventures

Apart from being an actress who has been asserting her prowess for more than a decade and a half now, Shriya Saran is also a model and a presenter.

Saran’s modelling career began with by a Pond’s Creams commercial. She went on to do ads for Coca Cola, Fair & Lovely, Parachute Jasmine Hair Oil, Kalyan Sarees, and now is also the ambassador of several reputed brands. As the brand ambassador of big names like Pantene Shampoo, Saravana Stores, Lux, Head & Shoulders, Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea and also the Karnataka Milk Federation, Saran has kept her promotions going. In 2011, Saran along with Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu was appointed as the promotional model for McVitie’s by United Biscuits and alongside Kareena Kapoor Khan was also appointed the brand ambassador for Colgate Active Salt Healthy White toothpaste in 2013.

Shriya Saran had also been the co host of the 50th Filmfare South Award alongside actor R. Madhavan in 2003. In 2007, Shriya launched the first issue of Galatta Cinema, a magazine on the cover of which she has featured many times. The next year she was featured in, and appeared on the cover of the June issue of Maxim India and returned to do a photo shoot for the same magazine in 2012. Saran has also been the cover girl for magazines like Jade and South Scope.

Apart from her glamour however, Shriya Saran is also a remarkable woman in many respects. The third celebrity after Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan to deliver a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on 12 February 2010, Saran also gave a lecture on the history of films, and films as a medium of cultural exchange in 2011 at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Madras.

Also the brand ambassador of the Celebrity Cricket League for its two initial seasons, Shriya Saran is a sports enthusiast and is actively associated with the glamourous avatar of cricket in India. Saran has also performed in the fourth season opening ceremony of the Indian Premier League.

Shriya Saran philanthropy

A celebrity with a definite leaning towards philanthropy, Shriya Saran is well knoen for her charity work. As someone who has been pooling her pocket money ever since she was a child to be given to a blind school, Shriya has been used to sharing time and resources with the lesser privileged since ever.

Be it being the brand ambassador for social organisations like the Naandi Foundation and the Save A Child’s Heart Foundation, one of the financial aiders of the Prevention of Aids Foundation and The Banyan (a voluntary organisation which rehabilitates homeless women with mental illness in Chennai), Shriya Saran is one of those personalities who recognizes her privilege as a star of the masses and utilizes it to ensure maximum benefit for the society.

Along with other eminent personalities, Saran in 2009 was actively engaged in the promotion of ‘The Joy of Giving Week’, encouraging people from all walks of life to engage in acts of giving. Saran is also a vocal supporter of children’s welfare and animal welfare causes. She is also associated with the Blue Cross of India, an NGO called World Vision that aims at finding deprived kids a home, and works with Apollo’s RDF to raise funds for destitute children.

As a personal endeavour towards promoting philanthropy, Shriya Saran opened the Shree Spa in Mumbai in 2011. The spa is unique in that it employs only the visually challenged people in a first of its kind venture and adequately reflects Saran’s dedication in making the world a better place for all people.

Shriya Saran Instagram

As a mainstream celebrity who has made her presence felt in diverse regionalities through the Indian film industry, Shriya Saran enjoys a deep seated presence in social media. Her Instagram profile boasts of over 2 million followers and with her huge legion of fans and regular posts, Saran has emerged to be one of the most widely followed celebrities on social media platforms.

A socially responsible diva if there was ever one. Shriya Saran for sure.