Jyothika Saravanan (née Sadanah; born 18 October 1977) is an Indian actress who predominantly appears in Tamil films. She also acted in some Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi films. She won three Filmfare Awards, three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, four Dinakaran Awards, International Tamil Film Awards and other awards and nominations. She is also a recipient of the Kalaimamani Award. She has been ranked among the best actresses of South India by The Times of India.She debuted in Bollywood in the Hindi film Doli Saja Ke Rakhna (1997), directed by Priyadarshan. She starred in her first Tamil film Vaali (1999) and her first Telugu film Tagore (2003), opposite Chiranjeevi. She received her first Filmfare Awards for Vaali (1999) as Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South. She was awarded the Filmfare Best Tamil Actress Award for Kushi (2000) A string of successful films followed and gained prominence for her performances in Kushi (2000), Perazhagan (2004), Chandramukhi (2005) and Mozhi, (2007).
Jyothika left the industry at the peak of her career marrying Tamil actor Suriya on 11 September 2006, after being engaged in a relationship for several years, and with whom she was paired in seven films. She made a comeback in the film 36 Vayadhinile (2015) where her performance was given strong reviews and she received Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress – South for the movie.
After the success of 36 Vayadhinile, she appeared in a series of Woman centric movies like Magalir Mattum (2017), Naachiyaar (2018), Kaatrin Mozhi (2018), Raatchasi (2019), Ponmagal Vandhal (2020) and also played lead female role in Mani Ratnam's multi-starrer Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (2018).
Early and personal life
Jyothika was born to a Punjabi father and a Maharashtrian mother. Her father is Chander Sadanah, a film producer and her mother is Seema Sadanah. Actress Nagma is her half-sister.
She completed her schooling in Learner's Academy, Mumbai. She later majored in Psychology at the Mithibai College in Mumbai. She also has a sister Roshini (born Radhika) and a brother Suraj, who is working as an assistant director for Priyadarshan.
Jyothika married actor Suriya on 11 September 2006, with whom she was paired in seven films; Poovellam Kettuppar, Uyirile Kalanthathu, Kaakha Kaakha, Perazhagan, Maayavi, June R and Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. The couple has two children, daughter Diya (born 10 August 2007) and son Dev (born 7 June 2010).
She made her acting debut in the Hindi film Doli Saja Ke Rakhna, directed by Priyadarshan, but it did not do well commercially. In a 2000 interview with India Today, Priyadarshan said that he "lapsed into depression" after the film flopped.Her first role was in Vaali (1999), for which she won Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South. and Dinakaran Best Female Debut. Later that year, she starred in Poovellam Kettuppar, in which she played the love interest of the protagonist, portrayed by her future husband Suriya. The success of the film Kushi became a turning point in her career. A string of successful films followed between 2000 and 2002, among them Mugavaree, Dum Dum Dum and Snegithiye. Her characters had equal importance as the hero. She also acted with Kamal Haasan during this period, in the comedy film Thenali. She was awarded the Filmfare Best Tamil Actress Award for her role in Kushi. Her role in Rhythm though small, has been widely appreciated. After the success of Kushi, she was signed to play the female lead in Friends, opposite Vijay, but she was replaced by Devayani. She collaborated with Mani Ratnam for the first time by appearing in his production house Madras Talkies' romantic comedy Dumm Dumm Dumm, alongside Madhavan. The film won positive acclaim and became a success not only in Tamil Nadu, but also in Andhra with its dubbed version. She also made an appearance in the Kannada film industry opposite Upendra in Nagarahavu. She had a dual role in this film. Later, she appeared in the Tamil thriller film Snegithiye, directed by Priyadarshan, made in Tamil and Malayalam.
In 2003, she starred in Dhool with Vikram, Kaakha Kaakha with Suriya, Thirumalai with Vijay, all of which did well at the box office, Kaakha Kaakha, in particular, being one of the biggest hits of her career. She was listed amongst the Best Actress nominees in Filmfare Awards South for her roles in Dhool and Kaakha Kaakha. She got International Tamil Film Awards Special Jury For Best Actress. Dhool, Kaakha Kaakha and Thirumalai were amongst the top 10 films of the year and The Hindu wrote that she was "virtually the undisputed queen of Kollywood". Actor Vikram referred to her as Lady Kamal Haasan due to her dedication in acting. In 2004, she acted in a double role in the critically acclaimed Perazhagan, opposite Suriya. She won Tamil Nadu State Best Actress Award for the film. In 2005, she acted in Manmadhan, opposite Silambarasan. She also performed the lead female role in the Telugu film Tagore, opposite Chiranjeevi, which was screened at the International Indian Film Academy Awards, and was a commercial success.Her most successful film in Tamil was Chandramukhi (2005), in which she played the title role. She acted along with Rajinikanth for the first time. She won accolades for her performance in Chandramukhi including a Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and Filmfare Awards Nomination. She was also offered a chance to act with Mohanlal in Udayon, directed by Bhadran, but she could not do it due to busy schedules in Tamil. Her first release in 2006 was Saravana, opposite Silambarasan after Manmadhan. Her role in June R was noticed before the release of the film. Jyothika's performance is fine tuned and emotionally engaged.[according to whom?] She has underplayed her emotions beautifully. Her films in 2006 include Vettaiyadu Villaiyadu, a crime-thriller film written and directed by Gautham Menon and Sillunu Oru Kaadhal, opposite Suriya.
Her last films were Gautham Menon's Pachaikili Muthucharam and the critically acclaimed Mozhi, both in 2007. Her roles in these two films, as a negative character in the former (which she played for the first time) and as a deaf and mute in the latter earned her widespread appreciation. Among these, Mozhi won her acclaim. Her performance took her very close to winning the National Film Award for Best Actress. However, she lost the award by a narrow margin at the end. In Pachaikili Muthucharam she had a crucial role and pulled off a memorable performance. Her Malayalam films Raakilipattu and Seetha Kalyanam were released in 2007 and 2009 respectively after languishing in development hell for years. Jyothika later made a comeback through television adverts. In 2008, she appeared in a short film Herova? Zerova?. The film was written and produced by her father-in-law Sivakumar and also starred Vijay, R. Madhavan and Suriya.
Jyothika made her comeback to Tamil Cinema with 36 Vayadhinile, a remake of the hit Malayalam film How Old Are You?. Jyothika received critical acclaim for her performance in the film as a middle-aged housewife who sets out to stand on her own. She was awarded the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress at the 63rd Filmfare Awards South. She also received Behindwoods Gold Medals For best Actress and Best Movie Award along with Suriya and also got many nominations for best actress. The film went on to become a commercial success at the box office. In the audio release of 36 Vayadhinile, and also at the successful release of the film Jyothika she credited Suriya, her husband, and some of her close friends as the major motivation for her comeback.
Later in February 2016, director Bramma approached Jyothika to play the leading role in a "female-centric" script he had written and impressed by the offer, her husband Suriya agreed to finance the film. Jyothika subsequently participated in a series of workshops to get ready for her role in the film for twenty days. The movie is titled Magalir Mattum, written and directed by Bramma, in his second venture after Kuttram Kadithal (2015). It also features Saranya, Urvashi, Bhanupriya, Nassar and Livingston playing pivotal roles. Produced by Suriya, the venture began production in July 2016. She was also signed by Sri Thenandal Films for another project titled Mersal together in September 2016, opposite Vijay, directed by Atlee. A few days after the shoot began, Jyothika opted out of the project and the makers signed Nithya Menen to replace her. No official announcement is made so far about the replacement. In late February, Suriya confirmed Jyothika's new project, Naachiyaar by sharing the first look posters of the film. She received several accolades for her performance in Naachiyar as Rough and Riveting Cop. Deccan chronicle addressed her as "Lady Singham". As per behindwoods Jyothika is fantastic, as she masterfully plays the role of a menacing, short-tempered and a bold cop, with a gracious heart. Following the immense success of the film and Jyothika's big fan following in the Telugu speaking states The film Naachiyar has been dubbed into Telugu by the title 'Jhansi'.
Jyothika agreed to portray a leading female role in Mani Ratnam's project titled Chekka Chivantha Vaanam in early September 2017, and confirmed her participation to the media while promoting Magalir Mattum (2017). She had earlier appeared in Mani Ratnam's production venture Dumm Dumm Dumm (2001), but stated her excitement at being selected in a film to be directed by him.In 2018, she appeared as the lead role of Chitra, a housewife to Arvind Swamy's character in Mani Ratnam's film Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. The first look was released on 21 August. The film has a worldwide release on 27 September 2018.She was next seen as a housewife struggling to find her own identity in Kaatrin Mozhi, the Tamil remake of Vidya Balan's Tumhari Sulu. The project, which officially went on the floors on 4 June, was directed by Radha Mohan and marked his reunion with Jyothika after the critically acclaimed Mozhi.After the success of Kaatrin Mozhi, Jyothika signed three films, Raatchasi, produced by Dream Warrior Pictures in which she plays a school teacher; Jackpot, in which she appears as a cop co-starring Revathi under 2D Entertainment and Thambi, a Jeethu Joseph film along with Karthi.
She won several accloades for her performance in Raatchasi including Behindwoods Gold Medal Award for Best Actor Lead Role (Female), Edison Award for Best Actress, and the JFW award 2020 for the best Actress in - Women Centric Film.
Jyothika's first Telugu entry as the lead female role was in the Telugu film Tagore, opposite Chiranjeevi, in which she played his wife. The film was screened at the International Indian Film Academy Awards, and was a commercial success. She acted along with Nagarjuna Akkineni in Mass, directed by debutant Raghava Lawrence. The film was dubbed into Tamil with the title Veeran, which also became a blockbuster and Hindi as Meri Jung–One Man Army.
Her last film in Telugu was Shock, opposite to Ravi Teja. It was produced by Ram Gopal Varma. She was considered to act in the Telugu film Stalin, opposite Chiranjeevi. She was selected as the lead actress opposite Nagarjuna in Sri Ramadasu and Venkatsh in Lakshmi, but refused the offers due to her marriage preparations. She was asked to act along with Venkatesh again in Adavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule. Jyothika opted out after signing the contract due to her wedding arrangements and it later came to the hands of Trisha Krishnan.Her film Mozhi was released in Telugu under the title Maataranai Mounamidi, which won critical accolades for her performance and was a commercial success.After an impressive comeback, she was approached by director Venu Sri Ram and producer Dil Raju for a strong character in the film Middle Class Abbayi starring Nani, Sai Pallavi and Bhumika Chawla. Chawla replaced her later.Boyapati Srinu was considered Jyothika in Jai Simha opposite to Nandamuri Balakrishna, but later K. S. Ravikumar replaced Boyapati and Jyothika's role went to Nayanthara.
Her latest film Thambi along with Karthi was dubbed into Telugu as Donga.
Jyothika has endorsed several brands such as Idhayam oil and Paragon footwear in the early 2000s. She was also the brand ambassador for RmKV silk sarees and Wardrobe Hub in Chennai. Later, she appeared in adverts for Aircel and Nescafé along with her husband Suriya. She has also endorsed Comfort, Saravana Stores and Santoor Soap.Jyotika has been announced as the Zee Tamil channel's first-ever Brand Ambassador, who features in the channel's extensive multi-media campaign as its voice. The unveil and launch happened on the iconic stage of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Seniors with the entire family of stars from Zee Tamil in a grand ceremony celebrating the channels new look & feel and brand proposition.Jyothika along with actor Vivek have been appointed as ambassador for plastic free Tamil Nadu campaign by the State government under the leadership of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.