Amala Paul (born October 26, 1991) is an Indian actress best known for her roles in Tamil, Malayalam, and Telugu films. She made her acting debut in the Malayalam-language film Neelathamara as a supporting actress, and she later rose to prominence as the title character in Mynaa.
Career s2009–2010: Early in one's career
Lal Jose offered her a supporting role in his film Neelathamara after she finished her studies (2009). Despite its success, the film did not garner any additional offers, as she had anticipated. She pursued roles in Tamil films, eventually signing on to play the lead in the low-budget comedy film Vikadakavi, which was delayed and eventually became her sixth release, while also signing on to play the lead in another low-budget film Veerasekaran (2010). The film, her first Tamil release, was panned by critics and went completely unnoticed, while Paul's role was labelled as "minimal," and she later stated that she regretted doing the film and that many of her scenes were cut. Paul went on to play Sundari, who has an illicit relationship with her father-in-law, in Samy's controversial Sindhu Samaveli (2010). She was approached after the majority of her next release, Mynaa, was completed, and signed on for Sindhu Samaveli before hearing the entire story, claiming that she was shocked but not upset by the controversial scenes she later heard. The film's director had previously received criticism for depicting illicit romances as well as assaulting his previous lead actress in a film, but Paul downplayed the issue, claiming that she had no problem with the director. When it was released, the film received mixed reviews, with some critics refusing to give it a rating because they were disgusted by the plot. Paul claimed she received death threats from anonymous callers and was publicly chastised by women in a Chennai cinema hall.
Paul's next film, Prabhu Solomon's romantic drama Mynaa (2010), established her as an established actress in the industry. Prior to its release, the film was highly anticipated, with noted distributors Udhayanidhi Stalin and Kalpathi S. Aghoram purchasing the rights after being impressed with it. Mynaa, the village belle, was played by Paul. The film was a box office success. Paul won the Vijay Award for Best Debut Actress, and she was nominated for Best Actress at both the Filmfare and the Vijay Awards.
Experimentation and success from 2011 to 2019.
Following the success of the Tamil film Mynaa, Paul was dubbed the "new top star of 2011" after signing on to several prominent projects. Her first release in 2011 was in a supporting role in the Malayalam drama film Ithu Nammude Katha, a remake of the successful Tamil film Naadodigal, and her second was supposed to be her debut in Tamil films, the coming-of-age story of five friends Vikadakavi, which opened to limited screens. Both films opened to limited screens due to the moderate budget of the projects, with her performance in the latter being described as "full of potential". She went on to sign three big budget films with established production houses, with her next release being the drama Deiva Thirumagal, directed by Vijay and starring her opposite Vikram and alongside Anushka. Her portrayal of school correspondent Shwetha Rajendran won critical acclaim, with a reviewer citing that her "expressive eyes help her leave a mark in a small but important role", whilst another critic claimed that she "acquits herself well". Her final 2011 release was Ram Gopal Varma's Bejawada, which marked her debut in Telugu films.
Paul made his 2012 debut in Lingusamy's Vettai, alongside Arya, Madhavan, and Sameera Reddy. The film opened to critical and commercial acclaim with The New York Times claiming that the film "entertains without breaking any new ground, though it can also surprise". Paul won mixed feedback for her performance, while the critic from Sify mentioned that she "is lovely to look at and her feisty performance proves that a star is born". She "struts, pouts, and hams to the hilt," according to Rediff.com's Pavithra Srinivasan. On the Valentine's Day weekend of 2012, the actress had three films released, with Balaji Mohan's bilingual Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi / Love Failure becoming a critical and commercial success. The film, which was made in Tamil and Telugu, starred her alongside Siddharth and portrayed her as a college girl named Parvathi, who demonstrated her romantic abilities. About the Tamil version, a reviewer from The Hindu wrote: "Amala Paul, after coming across as convincing in her last few movies, looks finally set as a leading lady", while another critic labelled that she "comes across as natural" and "it is a pleasure to see her in a role and costumes that suit her age as compared to her recent movies". The Telugu version of the film was described as "refreshing," with the lead pair's on-screen chemistry "sparkling," according to Rediff.com. The romantic thriller Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal, in which she played Charulatha, a modern girl based in Bangalore, was also released on the same day. The film won mixed reviews, though the lead pair's on-screen chemistry was praised by critics, while another reviewer noted that "Amala renders an effortless act". She made a memorable appearance in Dr. Biju's Akasathinte Niram, her first art-house film. At the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival, the film was screened in the competition section for the Golden Goblet Award. She co-starred in the film Run Baby Run with veteran Malayalam actor Mohanlal, playing a senior news channel editor. The film was a huge commercial success, and her performance and chemistry with Mohanlal were both praised.
Paul had her first commercial success in Telugu cinema in 2013. Her first film, Naayak, directed by V. V. Vinayak and starring Ram Charan, was one of the year's biggest critical and commercial successes. Puri Jagannadh's romantic comedy Iddarammayilatho, in which she co-starred with Allu Arjun, was her next film. The Hindu's Sangeetha Devi Dundroo commented: "Amala Paul manages to play a character who straddles the line between naive and ridiculous. We wish we had seen more of her." Another reviewer, The Times of India's Sasidhar AS, commented: "Amala Paul's characterisation is delightful, and she plays Komali so convincingly that you'll wonder who else could have done the role better. She was an excellent choice for the role of a traditional Telugu girl." She later appeared as a police officer opposite Vijay in A. L. Vijay's action comedy Thalaivaa. Her year ended with the Malayalam film Oru Indian Pranayakadha. The film was a box office success in Kerala, and she won several awards for her role as Irene, including the SIIMA Award for Best Actress - Malayalam for two years in a row.
Her first release in 2014 was Samuthirakani's Nimirndhu Nil, in which she co-starred with Jayam Ravi and was simultaneously shot in Telugu as Janda Pai Kapiraju, in which Nani reprised her role as Jayam Ravi. Her next film, Velaiilla Pattadhari, starring Dhanush, was a box office success in Tamil Nadu, and her performance was praised.
Paul played the titular role in Rajesh Pillai's Mili in 2015. She later appeared in Lailaa O Lailaa. She signed on for four Malayalam films in 2016: 2 Penkuttikal, Shajahanum Pareekuttiyum, Ore Mukham, and Thoppil Joppan, but dropped the latter two due to conflicting schedules. Amala also played the mother of a 15-year-old in the Tamil film Amma Kanakku. She made her Kannada debut opposite Sudeep in the film Hebbuli. Hebbuli was a huge box office success in Karnataka. Later, she co-starred with Jayaram in the Malayalam film Achayans, which was released in May 2017 and was a box office success. Later in 2017, she had two Tamil releases, Velaiilla Pattadhari 2 and Thiruttu Payale 2, both of which did well at the box office. Amala had signed on to play lead roles in Malayalam films Zam Zam and Kayamkulam Kochunni, but she later opted out of both because she had signed on to play lead roles in Tamil films such as Bhaskar Oru Rascal (2018), Ratsasan (2018), and Aadai (2018). (2019).
She appeared in an anthology film with Kutty Story and Pitta Kathalu in 2021. Kudi Yedamaithe in Telegu, Ranjish Hi Sahi in Hindi, and Victim: Who is Next? in Tamil are her upcoming web series. Cadaver (2022), an investigative thriller, was released on Disney+ Hotstar on August 12th.
Paul was born in a Christian family to Paul Varghese (d. 2017) and Annice Paul in Ernakulam, Kerala. Following Amala's entry into the film industry, her brother Abijith Paul also appeared in films. She took a sabbatical after graduating from Nirmala Higher Secondary School Aluva to pursue a career in films, but has since enrolled at St. Teresa's College in Kochi to pursue a B.A. degree in English. Her father was adamantly opposed to Amala pursuing an acting career, but he was forced to accept her decision because her brother strongly supported her ambition. She later claimed that she was born with a talent for the performing arts, revealing that her mother was a singer and her father was involved in college theatre.
On the insistence of director Samy, Paul changed her on-screen name to Anakha, citing that another actress, Amala, had already made her name popular. She reverted to her birth name after the failure of her 2011 film Sindhu Samaveli, believing that the replacement had brought her bad luck.
Paul was romantically linked to director A. L. Vijay as early as 2011, when she was working on Deiva Thirumagal, but the pair denied dating. She married Vijay on June 7, 2014, at Aluva in Kochi. On June 12, 2014, the couple married at Mayor Ramanathan Chettiar Hall in Chennai. Amala and Vijay divorced in 2016 due to disagreements between her and her in-laws about her acting career. In 2017, they divorced.
Paul was arrested in January 2018 for tax evasion. An investigation by the crime branch revealed that she had registered her luxury car in Puducherry using forged documents. The case was later closed due to jurisdictional issues.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|Sindhu Samaveli||Sundari||Credited As Anakha|
|2011||Ithu Nammude Katha||Aishwarya||Malayalam|
|Deiva Thirumagal||Shwetha Rajendran|
|Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi / Love Failure||Parvathi||Tamil/Telugu||Bilingual Film in Tamil & Telugu|
|Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal||Charulatha (Charu / Latha)||Tamil|
|Akasathinte Niram||Young lady||Malayalam|
|Run Baby Run||Renuka|
|Thalaivaa||ACP Meera Narayanan||Tamil|
|Oru Indian Pranayakadha||Irene Gardner||Malayalam|
|Velaiilla Pattadhari||Dr. Shalini|
|Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam||Herself||Extended Cameo Appearance|
|Iyobinte Pusthakam||Dancer||Malayalam||Cameo Appearance|
|Janda Pai Kapiraju||Indumathi||Telugu|
|Lailaa O Lailaa||Anjali Menon (Lailaa)||Malayalam|
|Amma Kanakku||Shanti Gopal||Tamil|
|Velaiilla Pattadhari 2||Dr. Shalini Raghuvaran||Tamil|
|Thiruttu Payale 2||Agalya Selvam|
|2018||Bhaskar Oru Rascal||Anu|
|Ratsasan||Vijaya Lakshmi (Viji)|
|2019||Aadai||Kamini / Sudhanthira Kodi|
|2021||Kutty Story||Mrinalini||Anthology Film; Segment: Edhirpaara Mutham|
|Pitta Kathalu||Meera||Telugu||Anthology Film; Segment: Meera|
|2022||Cadaver||Dr. Badhra Thangavel||Tamil||Also producer|
|Bholaa||TBA||Hindi||Special appearance; Filming|
|TBA||Adho Andha Paravai Pola||TBA||Tamil||Delayed|
|2021||Kudi Yedamaithe||CI Durga Goud||Telugu||Aha|
|2022||Ranjish Hi Sahi||Amna Parvez||Hindi||Voot||Hindi Debut Series|
|Victim: Who is Next?||Anjana||Tamil||SonyLIV|
|2011||Amrita-FEFKA Film Awards||Best Actress -Tamil||Mynaa||Won|
|Edison Awards||Best Debut Actress||Won|
|Tamil Nadu State Film Awards||Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress||Won|
|MGR-Sivaji Awards||Best New Actress||Won|
|Vijay Awards||Best Debutant Actress||Won|
|2012||Jaya Awards||Youth Female Icon of the Year||Deiva Thirumagal||Won|
|1st South Indian International Movie Awards||Rising Female Star of South Indian cinema||–||Won|
|2013||2nd South Indian International Movie Awards||Best Actress – Malayalam||Run Baby Run||Won|
|2014||Vanitha Film Awards||Most Popular Actress||Oru Indian Pranayakadha||Won|
|Asianet Film Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|3rd South Indian International Movie Awards||Best Actress – Malayalam||Won|
|Amrita Film Awards||Best Actor (Female)||Won|
|2015||Vijay Awards||Best Actress||Velaiilla Pattadhari||Won|
|The Times of India||Most Desirable Married Women of Kollywood||Won|
|Asiavision Awards||Outstanding performer of the year – Female||Mili||Won|
|2016||11th Ramu Karyat Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|Filmfare Awards South||Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress – Malayalam||Won|
|2019||Behindwoods Gold Medal||Behindwoods Gold Medal For Best Actress Critics – Tamil||Aadai||Won|
|Critics Choice Movie Awards - Tamil||Best Actress in a Leading Role||Won|
|Tamil Cinema Journalist Dailies Association Awards||Won|
|Full Name||Amala Paul Varghese|
|Famous Role||"Mynaa" in Tamil film 'Mynaa' (2010)|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 163 cm|
in meters- 1.63 m
in Feet Inches- 5’ 4”
|Weight (approx.)||in Kilograms- 50 kg|
in Pounds- 110 lbs
|Figure Measurements (approx.)||34-26-35|
|Date of Birth||26 October 1991|
|Age (as of 2022)||31 Years|
|Birthplace||Ernakulam, Kerala, India|
|Hometown||Kochi, Kerala, India|
|School||Nirmala Higher Seconday School Aluva, Kerala|
|College||St. Teresa's College, Kochi, Kerala|
|Education Qualifications||Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communicative English|
|Debut||Film: Neelathamara (Malayalam, 2009)|
Veerasekaran (Tamil, 2010)
Bejawada (Telugu, 2011)
|Family||Father- Paul Varghese|
Mother- Annice Paul (Singer)
Brother- Abijith Paul (Actor)
|Hobbies||Dancing, Reading, Cooking|
|Actors||Brad Pitt, Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan|
|Films||Bollywood: Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983), Masoom (1983)|
Hollywood: The Godfather (1972)
|Boys, Affairs and More|
|Marriage Date||12 June 2014|
|Husband||A. L. Vijay (Film Director, 2014-2016)|