Nayanthara is among the handful of reigning women stars in south Indian film industries, and Kollywood in particular, who enjoy the same level of idolatry as high-grossing male stars.

A striking scene from Netrikann (2021) that depicts the film’s lead Nayanthara delivering a strong punchline against victim-shaming and sexism was perhaps the first of its kind in Tamil cinema.

In a light-hearted sequence from Soodhu Kavvum (2013), protagonist Pagalavan (Bobby Simha), shown as an ardent fan of actor Nayanthara, gets in trouble for installing a statue for her.

What is common between both the scenes is the fact that Nayanthara is perhaps the only reigning woman star in Kollywood who enjoys the same level of idolatry as high-grossing male stars, both on and off-screen.

The latest announcement about her wedding with her fiance, filmmaker Vignesh Shivan, is a case in point. It was only a matter of a few hours before scores of fans took to social media to rejoice and celebrate the wedding announcement.

In a career spanning close to 20 years, Nayanthara has made a mark with her unique filmography – a blend of commercial and content-driven films revolving around the female lead.

Nayanthara was only 18 when she bagged her debut project in 2003 – Sathyan Anthikad’s Malayalam film Manassinakkare – when working as a model.

She has shared in several interviews that she wanted to become a chartered accountant, and it was only after signing a few films that she realised that she wanted to take up acting as her long-term career.

The long list of films includes Ayya (2005), Chandramukhi (2005), Vallavan (2006) , Lakshmi (2006) , Boss (2006) , Villu ( 2009) and Super (2010), co-starring actors Sarathkumar, Rajinikanth, Silambarasan, Venkatesh Daggubati, Nagarjuna Akkineni,

Following a series of hits and misses at the box-office and a rumoured break-up with then boyfriend, actor-filmmaker Prabhu Deva, Nayanthara took a 11-month hiatus from work towards the end of 2011.

It was perhaps the calm before the storm, for it set the stage for her to return to the Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil film industries with a bang, picking roles that would eventually lead her to becoming the ‘Lady Superstar’.