Meghana Raj

Meghana Sunder Raj (3 May 1990) is an Indian actress who primarily works in Malayalam and Kannada films along with a few Telugu and Tamil films. She made her acting debut in the 2009 Telugu film Bendu Apparao R.M.P.[1][2] She has won Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Iruvudellava Bittu, a 2018 Kannada film.[3]

Meghana Raj
Meghana Raj.jpg
Meghana at the IFFI, 2016
Born
Meghana Sunder Raj

(1990-05-03) 3 May 1990 (age 31)
Alma materChrist University
Years active2009–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 2018; died 2020)
Children1
Parents
RelativesDhruv Sarja (brother-in-law)
Arjun Sarja (uncle)
Aishwarya Arjun (sister-in-law)

Early lifeEdit

Meghana Raj was born on 3 May 1990 as the only daughter to film actors Sundar Raj and Pramila Joshai. Her father Sundar has acted in more than 180 films, predominantly in Kannada language,[4] while her mother Pramila Joshai is a noted Kannada film actress[5] and film producer.[2] She completed her schooling from Baldwin Girls' High School and holds Bachelor's degree in psychology at Christ University, Bangalore.[6]

Acting careerEdit

2009–11: Debut, breakthrough and setbackEdit

Meghana Raj debuted as a theatre artist, when she was a child, acting alongside her father Sunder Raj in the play Jokumaraswamy. During the audio launch function of the Tamil film Poi in February 2006, she was invited by its director K. Balachander to pursue an acting career, starring in one of his forthcoming films. Accepting his offer, she was given the lead female role in the Tamil film Krishnaleelai, a Balachander production, directed by Selvan.[7] However, despite continuing shooting throughout 2008, which was completed in early 2009, the film got stuck in production hell, and its release got delayed for various reasons.

Even before the release of that film, she commenced shooting for a Telugu film Bendu Apparao R.M.P, which would eventually be her first feature film release. She played the character of a school teacher in the comedy entertainer, starring Allari Naresh and Kamna Jethmalani as well, which released in October 2009 and went on to become highly successful at the box office.[8] She debuted in the Kannada films by enacting the female lead role in Punda, a remake of the 2007 Tamil film Polladhavan.[6] Meghana's next release was her debut Tamil film, the Boopathy Pandian-directed Kaadhal Solla Vandhen, while she also signed up her first Malayalam project, the horror film Yakshiyum Njanum under Vinayan's direction, which was released in August 2010.[9] Although the film was just an average grosser, its glamorous and sensual songs on Meghana was a hit among the youth and made her an instant favorite among the youth. During that time she also acted in two more projects, Nanda Nanditha, which is a remake of the 2008 Kannada film Nanda Loves Nanditha and the Tamil film Kalla Siripazhaga.

2011–13: Beautiful and commercial successEdit

After a series of flops for most of 2011 where she was seen repeatedly cast merely as a glamour actress, Meghana reverted to winning ways with the Malayalam film Beautiful which was released in the first week of December. The film was a success both commercially and critically and critics widely regarded it as one of the best Malayalam movies of 2011.[10] Meghana's portrayal of Anjali, a home nurse in the film won her very good reviews. Since getting noticed with Beautiful, Meghana got a lot of Malayalam films offers[11] and for a brief period of time was the most sought out actress in Malayalam.[12]

It was during this time when Meghana started to undergo a total physique revamp by going through a strict diet and exercise regime.[13] She made this decision partly because she was getting constantly ignored in Kannada films (her mother tongue) and the reason told was she was fat.[14]

Her 2012 Malayalam film Namukku Parkkan did a decent business at the box office. Subsequent films Mullamottum Munthiricharum, Banking Hours 10 to 4, Maad Dad, Madirasi and Red Wine failed to perform. However, her next film Memories opposite Prithviraj Sukumaran opened to overwhelmingly positive reviews and was a box office success.

2013–15: Second wind in Sandalwood and continuing successEdit

After a gap of almost four years, Meghana Raj returned to Kannada films in late 2013 with the successful film Raja Huli,[15] She followed it with another hit, Bahuparak; her performances in both films were well appreciated.[16] Meghana's next Kannada movie Aatagara was released in late August 2015 to both critical and commercial acclaim and thus achieving a hat-trick of hits in Sandalwood.[17] She is currently concentrating more on Kannada films as she has lot of offers from Sandalwood at the moment. Her next film Vamshodharaka got mixed to negative reviews and thus failed at the box office.

2016 onwards: Dull phase at the box officeEdit

 
Raj at the presentation of the film ‘Allama’, during the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2016), in Panaji, Goa on 26 November 2016, along with the cast of the film

Post 2016 Meghana Raj's releases such as Hallelooya, Lakshmana, Bhujanga and Allama all turned out to be non-performers at the box office. She has committed few more Kannada and Malayalam films as of now. Meghana was recently chosen to portray princess Bhanumati in the Kannada magnum opus Kurukshetra.[18]

Personal lifeEdit

After a 10-year relationship with fellow Kannada actor Chiranjeevi Sarja, Meghana got engaged to him on 22 October 2017.[19] They got married on 2 May 2018.[20] Sarja died on 7 June 2020 from cardiac arrest when they were expecting their first child.[21][22][23] Their son was born on 22 October 2020.[24][25][26]

FilmographyEdit

Year Film Role Language Notes
2009 Bendu Apparao R.M.P Gayatri Telugu
2010 Punda Megha Kannada Suvarna Film Award for Best Debut Actress in Kannada
Kaadhal Solla Vandhen Sandhya Panchacharam Tamil
Yakshiyum Njanum Aathira Malayalam
2011 August 15 Lakshmi Malayalam
Raghuvinte Swantham Rasiya Rasiya Malayalam
Uyarthiru 420 Iyal Tamil
Pachuvum Kovalanum Sukanya Malayalam
Beautiful Anjali/Annie Malayalam The Kochi Times Film Award for Promising Newcomer [27]
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Malayalam
Ponnu Kondoru Aalroopam Malayalam
2012 Nanda Nanditha Nandhitha Tamil
Telugu
Achante Aanmakkal Meera Malayalam
Namukku Parkkan Renuka Malayalam
Mullamottum Munthiricharum Suchitra Malayalam
Banking Hours 10 to 4 Revathy Malayalam
Lucky Janaki Telugu
Poppins Malayalam
Madirasi Maya Malayalam
2013 Maad Dad Annamma Malayalam
Red Wine Ann Mary Malayalam
Up & Down - Mukalil Oralundu Deepa Malayalam
Memories Teena Malayalam
Good Bad & Ugly Kavya Malayalam
Raja Huli Kaveri Kannada
2014 Bahuparak Sneha / Preethi Kannada
100 Degree Celsius Revathy Malayalam Also playback singer for song "Pacha Manja"
The Dolphins Mridula Malayalam
2015 Aatagara Sakshi Kannada
Vamshodharaka Kannada
2016 Hallelooya Dr. Meera Menon Malayalam
Lakshmana Anjali Kannada [28]
Bhujanga Rachana Kannada
2017 Allama Maya Kannada
Zebra Varakal Hanna Malayalam
Noorondu Nenapu Shruthi Aras Kannada
Jindaa Kannada
2018 MMCH Megha Kannada
Iruvudellava Bittu Poorvi Kannada Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress[3]
Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Kannada
Nominated – Filmibeat Award for Best Actress – Kannada
2019 Onti Paaru Kannada
Kurukshetra Bhanumati Kannada
2021 Selfie Mummy Google Daddy  TBA Kannada Post-production
Buddhivanta 2  TBA Kannada Filming

As singerEdit

Year Song Film Language Notes
2014 Simple Preeti Bahuparak Kannada Co -sang with Srinagar Kitty
2014 Pacha Manja 100 Degree Celsius Malayalam
2019 What a Beautifullu Hudugi Sinnga Kannada Co-sang with Naveen Sajju
2020 Allondhu Neeli Bhanu Shivarjuna Kannada Co-sang with Sanjith Hegde

Awards and nominationsEdit

Public imageEdit

Meghana's official Facebook page has received more than 2.5 million likes.[29] She was ranked No.19 in the Kochi Times 'Most desirable Woman 2015' poll.[30] Meghana Raj was also ranked No.10 in the Bangalore Times 'Most desirable Women 2015' poll.[31]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Prescription for laughter" Archived 9 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine. The Hindu. 3 July 2009.
  2. ^ a b ""Meghana Raj excited about Punda"". Oneindia.in. 10 September 2009. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Karnataka State Film Awards 2018: Raghavendra Rajkumar and Meghana Raj bag top honours; check out all winners". Bangalore Mirror. Archived from the original on 25 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  4. ^ "The New Indian Express". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Pramila Joshai Filmography". Chiloka.com. 2017. Archived from the original on 22 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Meghana Raj arrives – Kannada Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 11 June 2009. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  7. ^ Super Admin (19 June 2009). "Sundar Raj's daughter debuting in Kannada". Entertainment.oneindia.in. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Bendu Appa Rao RMP is a hit – Teluguc inema trade report". Idlebrain.com. 21 October 2009. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  9. ^ "The New Indian Express". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  10. ^ "'Beautiful' is a milestone in Malayalam cinema". rediff.com. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Meghana Raj blasts her way to the top of Mollywood". Oneindia. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  12. ^ Sreekumar, Priya (21 December 2011). "Beautiful time of Meghana Raj's life". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 9 January 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  13. ^ "I am obsessed with workouts". Indiatimes.com. TOI. Archived from the original on 18 December 2018.
  14. ^ "I am Slim give me opportunity". Supergoodmovies.com. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016.
  15. ^ Yash’s ‘Raja Huli’ Takes Box Office by Storm Archived 4 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Ibtimes.co.in (2013-11-30). Retrieved on 2016-03-30.
  16. ^ Meghana Raj gets into the skin of a dancer for a period film Archived 5 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Sify.com. Retrieved on 2016-03-30.
  17. ^ Updated, Veena N. (2015-08-28) 'Aatagara' Movie Review: A Promising And Striking Thriller! Archived 2 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Filmibeat. Retrieved on 2016-03-30.
  18. ^ Meghana Raj roped in for Kurukshetra Archived 28 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine. www.newindianexpress.com (2017-11-25). Retrieved on 2017-11-27.
  19. ^ "Chiranjeevi and Meghana Raj got engaged". Deccan Herald. 22 October 2017. Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Kannada Actors Meghana Raj And Chiranjeevi Sarja Get Married". NDTV. 3 May 2018. Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  21. ^ "Kannada actor Chiranjeevi Sarja passes away at 39". oneindia.com. 7 June 2020. Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  22. ^ Bharadwaj, Aditya (7 June 2020). "Kannada actor Chiranjeevi Sarja passes away at 39". Archived from the original on 8 June 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020 – via www.thehindu.com.
  23. ^ "Chiranjeevi Sarja and Meghana Raj were eagerly awaiting an addition to their family when tragedy struck". OnManorama. Archived from the original on 18 August 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  24. ^ "Happy Memories: Chiranjeevi Sarja's Love Story With Wife Meghna Raj In Pictures". thehansindia. Archived from the original on 8 June 2020. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  25. ^ "Chirranjeevi Sarja's wife Meghana Raj blessed with baby boy". Indian Express.
  26. ^ "Meghana Raj and son test positive for coronavirus". Indian Express.
  27. ^ a b "The Kochi Times Film Awards 2011". 23 June 2012. Archived from the original on 23 June 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  28. ^ "Ravichandran and Anoop's Lakshmana first look poster – Photos". International Business Times, India Edition. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Meghana Raj Official Facebook". Archived from the original on 16 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Kochi Times most desirable woman 2015". Times of India. Archived from the original on 30 April 2016.
  31. ^ "Bangalore Times Most Desirable Women 2015". Archived from the original on 20 July 2018.

External linksEdit