Meet actress with 63 films in 5 languages, top heroes don't work with her 'out of fear', grossed Rs 1350 crore last year

This actress has had a stellar career across five languages, winning a National Award, but isn't cast opposite top heroes

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Meet actress with 63 films in 5 languages, top heroes don't work with her 'out of fear', grossed Rs 1350 crore last year
Priyamani recently starred in Maidaan (Image: Instagram)


There are few actors in the Indian film world who routinely work in five different languages, and fewer still who find success across all these industries. One such rare case is this actress who started with Telugu films over 20 years ago, won a National Award for a Tamil film, did Malayalam, Kannada films over the years, and is now delivering blockbusters in Bollywood too, apart from being an OTT star. The catch is that despite such a successful career, she has never been cast opposite top male superstars.

The actress with 63 films in five languages

Priyamani began her film journey when she was barely out of school at the age of 18. Her first release was the Telugu film Evare Atagaadu in 2003. She attained mainstream fame when she won the National Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 2007 Tamil film Paruthiveeran. Her Bollywood debut was in a supporting role in Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, before working in the bilingual hit Rakta Charitra, and then getting noticed for the item song 1-2-3-4 with Shah Rukh Khan in Chennai Express. In 2019, she gained a new legion of fans with her role as Suchi opposite Manoj Bajpayee in the hit web series The Family Man.

Priyamani’s impressive record at the box office since 2023

Priyamani’s most prominent role in Hindi films came with her reunion with Shah Rukh in 2023’s highest-grosser Jawan. She was then seen in a supporting role in Mohanlal’s Neru, followed by a lead role in Telugu film Bhamakalapam 2. In 2024, she had a supporting role in the Bollywood sleeper hit Article 370. All in all, in the last one year, her films have earned over Rs 1300 crore at the box office, with three of her four films crossing the Rs 100-crore mark.


A post shared by Priya Mani Raj (@pillumani)

How Priyamani has never been cast opposite top heroes

Over the course of her career, Priyamani has worked with several top superstars, including Shah Rukh Khan, Mohanlal, Nagarjuna, Suriya, Dulquer Salmaan, Vikram, Abhishek Bachchan. But curiously, she has almost always played a supporting role with the bigger stars. Up until her most recent release – Maidaan (where she plays Ajay Devgn’s wife) – she was seen supporting superstars, instead of being paired opposite them.

When asked about this in a recent interview with Galatta Plus, the actress said, “I've also wondered as to why I've not been cast along with the A-listers. The male actors. I think it's a question that's still unanswered. I think it's a question which you'll have to ask the directors and the producers. Again, I'm not trying to find fault with anybody, but this is what I heard that a lot of people do not want me to be cast opposite them along with them or in that film because probably for the fact that 'I might eat them up'. This is the thing I've been hearing. I know it's not true, but I still don't know what the exact reason is. So, I wish somebody could answer this question for me as well. But, that's okay. Whatever is the reason, that's absolutely fine. I'm very happy and very content as in where I am.”

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