Prithviraj Sukumaran

Prithviraj Sukumaran (/pr̩it̪ʰʋiɾaːd͡ʒ/; born 16 October 1982) is an Indian actor, director, producer and playback singer primarily active in Malayalam cinema.[1] He has also featured in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu films, adding to over a 100 films involving diverse genres and variety of roles.[2] Prithviraj's accolades include a National Film Award, three Kerala State Film Awards, a Tamil Nadu State Film Award, seven SIIMA Awards and a South Filmfare Award.[3]

Prithviraj Sukumaran
Prithviraj in 2012
Born (1982-10-16) 16 October 1982 (age 41)
Alma materUniversity of Tasmania
  • Actor
  • director
  • producer
  • playback singer
Years active2002–present
OrganizationPrithviraj Productions
Supriya Menon
(m. 2011)
FamilySee Sukumaran family

Prithviraj made his acting debut with the 2002 hit film Nandanam (2002).[4] After a career downturn, he made a comeback with Classmates (2006), the highest-grossing Malayalam film of the year, and became the youngest recipient of Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for Vaasthavam (2006). He then played a musician in the Tamil romantic comedy Mozhi (2007) and ventured into playback singing with Puthiya Mukham (2009) before earning his second Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for the medical drama Ayalum Njanum Thammil and biographical film Celluloid (both 2010).[5]

In 2010, Prithviraj joined the production house August Cinema. He co-produced and headlined Urumi and Indian Rupee (both 2011); the latter won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam and Kerala State Film Award for Best Film.[6] He won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Villain for Kaaviya Thalaivan (2014) and had further success with Ennu Ninte Moideen (2015) and Ezra (2017). After leaving August Cinema in 2017, he launched Prithviraj Productions independently that firstly backed 9 (2019). Prithviraj made his directorial debut with Lucifer (2019), the highest-grossing Malayalam film at that point. He has since achieved critical and commercial success with Driving License (2019), Ayyappanum Koshiyum (2020), Jana Gana Mana (2022), Kaduva (2022) and The Goat Life (2024) and played a pivotal role in the Telugu action film Salaar (2023).

Early life, family and education


Prithviraj Sukumaran was born on 16 October, 1982[7] to the actors Sukumaran and Mallika Sukumaran[8] at Thiruvananthapuram.[9]

His family was settled in Tamil Nadu at the time, where he attended Shrine Vailankanni Senior Secondary School in T. Nagar, Chennai, and St. Joseph's Boys School, Coonoor.[10] When the family moved to Kerala, he attended the NSS Public School, Perunthanni.[11] He then moved to St. Mary's Residential Central School, Poojappura where he acted in plays and skits for the school's Annual Day Celebrations. He completed his education at Sainik School, Kazhakootam and Bhavan's Senior Secondary School, Kodunganoor. He also participated and won several debates and elocution competitions while in school.[4][12] Prithviraj won the title of "Mr LA Fest" in the Annual Inter-School arts festival hosted by Loyola School, Thiruvananthapuram in successive years and is the only person to date to win that title twice.[13]

After school, he studied for a bachelor's degree in Information Technology at the University of Tasmania in Australia. During this time, he auditioned for film director Ranjith and won the lead role in the film Nandanam.[4] It was film director Fazil who introduced him to Ranjith.[4] His elder brother Indrajith Sukumaran and sister-in-law Poornima Indrajith are also film actors.



Debut and career struggles (2002–2008)


In 2001, Prithviraj underwent a screen-test by director Fazil for one of his projects. Even though that project never materialised, Fazil recommended him to director Ranjith, who was planning his second directorial, Nandanam (2002), Prithviraj underwent screen-test for the role and got selected. Though Nandanam was the first film that Prithviraj acted in, it was released after Nakshathrakkannulla Rajakumaran Avanundoru Rajakumari and Stop Violence. Prithviraj then appeared in films directed by Lohithadas, Vinayan, Kamal and Bhadran. Shyamaprasad, who cast him in lead role in his film Akale, said that Prithvi's advantages are his talent and intelligence irrespective of his box office successes.[14]

Prithviraj in 2005

In 2005, Prithviraj Sukumaran debuted in Tamil through Kana Kandaen.[15] In 2006, Prithviraj co-starred with actor Bhagyaraj's daughter Saranya Bhagyaraj in Parijatham. It has been acclaimed as a hit and gave the actor a turning point in his Tamil film career.[16]

In 2006, he played the role of Sub Inspector Solomon Joseph in Vargam, then appeared in Vaasthavam, for which he received the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor.[17] He was the youngest actor to win the award.[18] The same year he starred in Lal Jose's Classmates. In 2007, he starred in Chocolate, directed by Shafi.[19] In 2007, Prithviraj co-starred in Mozhi. He also starred in Satham Podathey and Kannamoochi Yenada in the same year.

In 2008, he starred in Thalappavu, (directed by Madhupal) and Thirakkatha (directed by Ranjith), playing pivotal characters in both. One of the reviews of Thalappavu describes it as the coming-of-age film for prithviraj describing the "spartan dignity" he brought to his portrayal of the Naxalite Joseph.[20] The Sify review of Thirakkatha describes it as a "genuine attempt that keeps the viewer engaged until the end".[21] Both Thalappavu and Thirakkatha shared the award for the best film in the Film Critics Award for 2008. He also made a special appearance in Anjali Menon's Manjadikuru. In 2008, Prithviraj starred in Vellithirai, the Tamil remake of Udayananu Tharam. Rediff described his performance: "Prithviraj ... makes the best of his assets – his expressive eyes, which glint in fury, soften with love, or brim over with frustrated tears."[22]

Established actor (2009–2012)


In 2009, the success of Prithviraj Sukumaran's Puthiya Mukham (directed by Diphan) lead to him being called a "Superstar".[23][24] His other releases in 2009 were Robin Hood (directed by Joshy) and the anthology film Kerala Cafe. In 2010, Sukumaran's notable films were Pokkiri Raja and Anwar, directed by Amal Neerad. He played a cop in Mani Ratnam's Raavanan in 2010 with Vikram playing the main protagonist and his performance was critically acclaimed.[25] Prithviraj Sukumaran debuted in Telugu through Police Police, which was released in 2010.

In 2011, Prithviraj produced his first film, the multilingual Urumi. Other releases in Malayalam include City of God, Manikyakallu, Veettilekkulla Vazhi and Indian Rupee. Reviewers praised Prithviraj Sukumaran for his performance in Indian Rupee, the critic at, who described it as his "career best performance".[26] In 2012, his major releases were Hero, Molly Aunty Rocks! and Ayalum Njanum Thammil, along with cameo roles in Aakashathinte Niram and Manjadikuru.

Prithviraj debuted in Bollywood through Aiyyaa, directed by Sachin Kundalkar. Aiyyaa, which was jointly produced by Anurag Kashyap and Viacom 18[27] released on 12 October 2012.

Critical acclaim and further success (2013–2018)

Prithviraj in 2012, at an event for Aiyyaa.

In 2013, Prithviraj had three releases Celluloid, Mumbai Police and Memories, all of which were critical and commercial successes. He portrayed J.C. Daniel in Celluloid, for which he won his second Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor.[5] His second hindi film Aurangzeb, directed by Athul Sabharwal,[28] released on 17 May 2013. His performance was highly praised.

In 2014, Prithviraj's first major release was London Bridge, which failed at box office; followed by 7th Day, which turned out to become a commercial success. He also did a cameo role in Munnariyippu. His third release of the year, Sapthamashree Thaskaraha was praised by critics and audiences alike. Prithviraj played one of the main characters in director Vasanthabalan's big budget period film Kaaviya Thalaivan, in which he co-stars with Siddharth.

His first release of 2015 was Picket 43. His second movie of 2015 was Shyamaprasad's Ivide. Prithviraj was widely praised for his acting in the movie. Varun Blake (Prithviraj's character in Ivide) is considered to be one of his best performances till the date. He next appeared in Lijo Jose Pellissery's Double Barrel, which was appreciated for its novelty. His most successful film of the year was Ennu Ninte Moideen, which narrated the tragic love tale of Kanchanamala and Moideen that happened in the 1960s in Mukkam, a riverside village in Kerala. The film opened to critical acclaim, with several critics regarding it as one of the greatest romance films made in Malayalam.[29][30] His role as Moideen in the film is regarded as one of the best in his career.[31] His next releases Amar Akbar Anthony and Anarkali became a major commercial success at the box office, thus completing a hat-trick of hits ending the year.

Prithviraj with his mother Mallika Sukumaran and niece Prarthana Indrajith at an event in 2009

Prithviraj had four releases in 2016, debuting with Paavada, a family drama in which he played a drunkard. It met with a positive response and was a commercial success, grossing 16.34 crore from Kerala box office and ran for 100 days in theatres. His following releases Darvinte Parinamam and James & Alice met with mixed reviews, the former told the story of an ordinary man dealing with a local goon and the latter was a family drama that discussed the matter of life and death. His last release, Oozham, an action thriller directed by Jeethu Joseph was a commercial success, earning 15.25 crore in 25 days. He played a demolition expert.[32] In 2017, he starred in the horror film Ezra, which became one of the highest-grossing Malayalam films of the year, grossing 50 crore worldwide, with 33 crore from Kerala box office.[33] He continued the year with Tiyaan, Adam Joan and Vimaanam. Both Tiyaan and Vimaanam were moderate box office hits. Adam Joan collected around 20 crores at the box office and emerging as a superhit. His third hindi film was Naam Shabana in 2017, in which he played the antagonist.[34]

His first release of 2018 was Roshini Dinakar's romantic drama My Story, a commercial failure at the box office. His next two releases were Anjali Menon's drama Koode and Nirmal Sahadev's crime drama Ranam. Koode received critical acclaim and was a commercial success, while Ranam met with positive critical response but performed moderately at the box office. In 2018, Prithviraj launched his independent production house, Prithviraj Productions. In 2019, he produced and starred in the science fiction film 9. The film received critical praise for its novelty, actors' performance, direction and cinematography. It was a box office hit.[35]

Lucifer and beyond (2019–present)


Prithviraj made his directorial debut in 2019 with Lucifer, starring Mohanlal. The film became the highest-grossing Malayalam film ever.[36] He then starred in Driving License (2019), Ayyappanum Koshiyum (2020), Jana Gana Mana (2022), Kaduva (2022) and Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire (2023), all of which emerged as box office successes. However, Brother's Day, Kaapa, and Gold failed at the box office.



Besides, Prithviraj has had many of his Malayalam films dubbed into Telugu such as Sivapuram in 2006, which was the dubbing of Ananthabhadram and ATM in 2010, which was the dubbing of Robin Hood. The dubbed version of Urumi released in August 2011.

Personal life


Prithviraj married BBC India reporter Supriya Menon on 25 April 2011 in a private ceremony held in Palakkad.[37][38] They have a daughter, born in 2014. His family resides in Thevara, Kochi.[39]

Other ventures


Prithviraj Productions is an Indian film production and distribution company based in Kochi, established in 2017 by Prithviraj and his wife Supriya Menon. Since then, it has produced and distributed over 10 films.[40][41]

Year Film Director Production Distribution Language Notes Ref.
2019 9 Jenuse Mohamed Yes Malayalam [42]
Petta Karthik Subbaraj Yes Tamil [43]
Bigil Atlee Yes [44]
Driving Licence Lal Jr. Yes Malayalam [45]
2021 Master Lokesh Kanagaraj Yes Tamil [46]
Kuruthi Manu Warrier Yes Malayalam [47]
Doctor Nelson Dilipkumar Yes Tamil [48]
83 Kabir Khan Yes Hindi
2022 Bro Daddy Prithviraj Sukumaran Malayalam Project Design [49]
KGF: Chapter 2 Prashanth Neel Yes Kannada Distributed Malayalam version [50]
Jana Gana Mana Dijo Jose Antony Yes Malayalam [51]
777 Charlie Kiranraj K. Yes Kannada Distributed Malayalam version [52][53]
Kaduva Shaji Kailas Yes Malayalam [54]
Kantara Rishab Shetty Yes Kannada Distributed Malayalam version [55]
Kumari Nirmal Sahadev Yes Malayalam [56]
Gold Alphonse Puthren Yes [57]
2023 Selfiee Raj Mehta Yes Hindi remake of Driving Licence [58][59][60]
Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire Prashanth Neel Yes Telugu Distributed Malayalam version [61]
2024 The Goat Life Blessy Yes Malayalam [62]
Guruvayoor Ambalanadayil Vipin Das Yes [63]



Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Ref
2011 National Film Awards Best Feature Film in Malayalam Indian Rupee
2006 Kerala State Film Awards Best Actor Vaasthavam [64]
2011 Best Film Indian Rupee (Shared with Santhosh Sivan & Shaji Nadeshan)
2012 Best Actor Celluloid

Ayalum Njanum Thammil

2013 Filmfare Awards South Critics Award for Best Actor – South Celluloid [65]
2003 Kerala Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor Meerayude Dukhavum Muthuvinte Swapnavum
2011 Special Jury Award (Actor) Urumi
Indian Rupee
2015 Best Actor Ennu Ninte Moideen
2019 Special Jury Award (Director) Lucifer
2020 Best Actor Ayyappanum Koshiyum
2014 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Best Villain Kaaviya Thalaivan [66]


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