Samantha Ruth Prabhu is an Indian film actress and model who appears in Telugu and Tamil films. Born to Malayali and Telugu parents, Samantha was brought up in Chennai and pursued a career in modeling during her late teens. Despite signing up to Ravi Varman’s Moscowin Kavery in 2007, her first release happened to be the critically acclaimed 2010 Telugu romance film, Ye Maaya Chesave, directed by Gautham Menon. She has then later appeared in critically acclaimed and commercially successful telugu movies like Brindavanam and Dookudu.
Born on April 28, 1987 to a Malayali mother and a Telugu father, Samantha was brought up in Chennai, Tamil Nadu as the youngest child of the family to Prabhu and Ninette and two elder brothers Jonathan and David, whilst becoming fluent in the Tamil language. She was brought up speaking Tamil and English at home. As part of her education, Samantha completed her schooling from Holy Angels Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School, T. Nagar. She also has a degree in commerce at Stella Maris College, Chennai.
Despite signing up for three Tamil films in quick succession, Samantha’s first release was Indira Productions’ Gautham Menon directed romance film, Ye Maaya Chesave. The film, a simultaneous remake of the Tamil film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, created much anticipation prior to release, primarily due to the first-time-collaboration between Menon and composer A. R. Rahman. The actress was signed up for the project in mid August 2009 and completed schedules across India and the United States for the film which released in February 26, 2010. The film portrays Samantha as the lead character of Jessie, which was also the working title of the film; a Malayali Christian girl living in Hyderabad, whom the male protagonist, played by Naga Chaitanya falls in love with. Upon release, Samantha received very positive reviews for her portrayal, with the film also garnering much critical acclaim.Critics at Sify claimed that Samantha was the “scene-stealer” and her beauty “is alluring” adding that “she was the girl to watch out for”. Jeevi, from the Idlebrain reviews site, cited that “Samantha’s debut is one of the best heroine debuts in Telugu cinema” and that her “minute expressions she gave spoke volumes about her”, whilst labelling the film as a “classic”. Samantha, alongside her co-star, Naga Chaitanya, also appeared in a guest appearance in the Tamil version of the film. Both films emerged as grand successes in Tamil and Telugu respectively, propelling Samantha to sign bigger projects. She followed up her collaborations with Gautham Menon and A. R. Rahman by appearing in the music video for the World Classical Tamil Conference 2010 promotional song, Semmozhiyaana Tamizh Mozhiyaam, which Menon directed and Rahman composed.
Samantha’s next release was the Sathya Jyothi-produced romantic drama, Baana Kaathadi, opposite Adharvaa, which was actually the third Tamil film signed by her, but released first due to the delay of the other two projects. Following agreeing terms in early 2009, the film continued shoot for a year and after several postponements finally released in August 2010 to positive responses. In the film, Samantha plays a student of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), the first such role in Tamil cinema. Her next release, was Ravi Varman’s Moscowin Kavery, initially her very first acting assignment, which began in August 2007, with Samantha, then briefly known as Yasodha, joining the team later in the year. The film introduced a host of new actors, with music carried out by Thaman, then making his debut in music composing. In an interview, much prior to release in 2008, Ravi Varman mentioned that he had decided that Samantha would be the lead actress for his film within three minutes after viewing one of her commercial assignments. In the interview, he went on to describe her as an actress with “intelligence” and “potential”, whilst drawing comparisons with noted actress, Revathi. However, due to Ravi Varman’s date conflicts with his projects as a cinematographer, the film languished in development hell, eventually releasing in August 2010. The film gained unanimously poor reviews from critics, and specially Samantha’s performance was labelled as one of the worst ever possible. Samantha, during the making of the last three releases, had also signed up for the Narain starrer, Pookada Ravi in August 2008 to play the lead role of a modern girl. Despite the film continuing schedules at regular intervals, the film was stalled throughout 2009 and is unlikely to be released. Samantha went onto feature in Vamsi Paidipally’s Brindaavanam in which she had a supporting role alongside NTR Jr and Kajal Aggarwal. Her role of Indu was well received despite being shorter in screen time than her previous roles and the film became her second successful Telugu film.
In 2011, Samantha made a guest appearance as a mentally ill patient in Gautham Menon’s Nadunisi Naaygal for 48 seconds, before featuring in the big budget Telugu film, Dookudu, along side Mahesh Babu. The film opened to positive review with critics from CNN-IBN labelling the film as “a treat for Mahesh’s fans”, adding that Samantha “looks good in song sequences” The Times Of India also praised the film mentioning that “Samantha looks beautiful and has done a great job, though her role as Prashanthi isn’t too lengthy”. The film took the largest ever opening for a Telugu film and grossed 12.58 crores on the first day of its release, on it’s way to becoming the highest grossing Telugu film of the year. She is currently filming for S. S. Rajamouli’s live action project Eega. She has also signed for a new film to be directed by Vamsi Paidipally, co-starring Ram Charan Tej as well as for Gautham Menon’s trilingual project Neethaane En Ponvasantham playing the female lead in all three languages and shooting all scenes thrice with different co-actors. She is also doing Autonagar Surya with Naga Chaitanya under the direction of Deva Katta.
|2010||Ye Maaya Chesave||Jessie Thekekuttu||Telugu||Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South
Nandi Special Jury Award
|2010||Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa||Nandhini||Tamil||Guest appearance|
|2010||Baana Kaathadi||Priya||Tamil||Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Debut Actress|
|2010||Moscowin Kavery||Kaveri Thangavelu||Tamil|
|2011||Nadunissi Naaygal||Tamil||Guest appearance|
|2012||Neethaane En Ponvasantham||Nithya||Tamil||Filming|
|2012||Untitled Gautham Menon’s project||Hindi||Filming|
|2011||CineMAA Awards||CineMAA Award for Best Female Debut||Ye Maaya Chesave||Won|
|Filmfare Awards South||Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu||Nominated|
|Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South||Won|
|Nandi Awards||Nandi Special Jury Award||Won|
|TSR TV9 Film Awards||TSR TV9 Best Heroine Award||Won|
|Vijay Awards||Vijay Award for Best Debut Actress||Baana Kaathadi||Nominated|