Sanya Malhotra Biography – an Indian actress and “Dangal” Fame

Sanya Malhotra is an Indian actress who works in Hindi films. She began her career with supporting roles in the biographical sports film Dangal and the comedy Badhaai Ho, both of which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films.

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Real Name: Sanya Malhotra
Profession: Indian actress
Birthplace: Delhi, India
Famous for: Dangal
Age: 31

Sanya Malhotra (born 25 February 1992) is an Indian actress who works in Hindi films. She began her career with supporting roles in the biographical sports film Dangal (2016) and the comedy Badhaai Ho (2018), both of which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films.

Malhotra received nominations for the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for her roles in the drama Photograph (2019) and the black comedy Ludo (2020), and also received praise for starring in the streaming films Shakuntala Devi (2020), Pagglait (2021), Love Hostel (2022) and Kathal (2023).

Sanya Malhotra Biography
Sanya Malhotra Biography
Sanya Malhotra Biography
Born 25 February 1992 (age 31)

Delhi, India
Alma mater Gargi College
Occupation Actress
Years active 2016–present

Early life and background (Sanya Malhotra Biography)

Malhotra was born on 25 February 1992 in Delhi, India into a Punjabi Hindu family. 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.

Sanya Malhotra Biography
Sanya Malhotra Biography

Career (Sanya Malhotra Biography)

Early Work and Recognition (2016–2019)

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$250 million) worldwide. Anupama Chopra said in her review that Malhotra provides “strong support” to the story. Malhotra later choreographed the song “Sexy Baliye” for the Secret Superstar (2017), which featured Khan.

Two years later, Malhotra starred in Vishal Bhardwaj‘s drama Pataakha (2018) alongside newcomer Radhika Madan. Based on the short story Do Behnen by Charan Singh Pathik, it tells the story of two warring sisters in Rajasthan. 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. Critic Raja Sen found Malhotra to be a “fearless actress” and thought that she “plays this character with unhinged enthusiasm”. In the same year, she took on a supporting role in Amit Sharma’s critically and commercially successful comedy Badhaai Ho, starring Ayushmann Khurrana.

In 2019, Malhotra starred 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.

Streaming films (2020–present)

Malhotra’s two films of 2020—the biographical film Shakuntala Devi and the black comedy Ludo—were initially planned for theatrical release. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India, they were released directly on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix respectively. Shakuntala Devi, directed by Anu Menon, is about the mathematician of the same name and starred 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, featured her alongside an ensemble cast. India Todays Nairita Mukherjee took note of the “outstanding camaraderie” between Malhotra and her co-star Aditya Roy Kapur. For her performance in Ludo, she received another nomination for the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress.

Malhotra’s first two films of 2021 were released on Netflix. In the black comedy Pagglait, she starred as a young widow who discovers her late husband’s infidelity. Critic Anna M. M. Vetticad found her to be aptly cast in a subtle part. She received a Best Actress nomination at the Filmfare OTT Awards. Malhotra then starred alongside Abhimanyu Dassani as a newlywed in the romantic comedy Meenakshi Sundareshwar. The film received criticism for its stereotypical representation of Tamil people.

In 2022, she starred in the ZEE5 film Love Hostel, a thriller about honor killing, opposite Vikrant Massey. Sukanya Verma of Rediff wrote that both Massey and Malhotra “effortlessly convey the flavor of the world they inhabit”. Malhotra had a small role opposite Rajkummar Rao in the thriller HIT: The First Case, a remake of the Telugu film of the same name. The following year, she had a starring role as a small-town cop in pursuit of a missing jackfruit in the Netflix satirical film Kathal. Hindustan Times‘s Monika Rawal Kukreja was appreciative of her comic timing.

Malhotra will next feature in the action film Jawan, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Nayanthara, and in the biopic Sam Bahadur, starring Vicky Kaushal as Sam Manekshaw.

In the media (Sanya Malhotra Biography)

Tanisha Bhattacharya of Filmfare noted, “Malhotra has made a career out of seeking content-centric films. She has wowed the audience with her natural performance.” Shilpa Dubey of Femina stated, “Contradicting the cookie-cutter style big-screen debuts, her onset in Bollywood was a refreshing game-changer in Dangal.” Malhotra ranked 3rd in Rediff.coms “The 10 Best Actresses” list of 2021. She is an endorser for several brands and products including Fastrack and Shoppers Stop.

Sanya_Malhotra with her Family
Sanya Malhotra with her Family

Filmography (Sanya Malhotra Biography)

Denotes films that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Dangal Babita Kumari
2017 Secret Superstar Choreographer for song “Sexy Baliye”
2018 Pataakha Genda/Chhutki
Badhaai Ho Renee Sharma
2019 Photograph Miloni Shah
2020 Shakuntala Devi Anupama Banerjee
Ludo Shruti Choksi
2021 Pagglait Sandhya
Meenakshi Sundareshwar Meenakshi
2022 Love Hostel Jyoti Dilawar
HIT: The First Case Neha Mahta
2023 Kathal Mahima
Jawan † TBA Filming
Sam Bahadur † Silloo Manekshaw Completed


Year Awards Category Film Result
2018 Jackie Chan Action Movie Awards Best New Action Performer Dangal Won
2019 Screen Awards Best Actress (Critics) Pataakha Nominated
2020 Filmfare Awards Best Actress (Critics) Photograph Nominated
2021 Ludo Nominated
Filmfare OTT Awards Best Actress in a Web Original Film Pagglait Nominated
2022 International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Actress Nominated
Filmfare OTT Awards Best Actor in a Web Original Film (Female) Meenakshi Sundareshwar Nominated
Love Hostel Nominated

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