8 min read

Malavika Mohanan And Other Actresses Who Marked Successful Careers In Both – Bollywood And South Indian Cinema

ZEE5 Web Desk

March 15, 2021

8 min


These female artists went on to explore their craft in Bollywood as well as the south film industry. From Manisha Koirala to Malavika Mohanan, check out the list.

There was a time when every regional actor had a desire to be a part of the Hindi film industry. And many actors have risen to stardom through their ‘Big Bollywood Break’ as they call it. These actors made their acting debut through regional cinema but went on to be superstars in B-town. For instance, Aishwarya Rai’s debut was in Mani Ratnam’s best work to date – the 1997 Tamil film Iruvar. After which, the actor went on to become the leading star of Hindi Cinema. 

While Bollywood gives them fame and name, the regional cinema makes them explore new boundaries of the ‘art of performing’. And the south film industry is one of them. Apart from the interesting stories, the characters in regional content are substantial. And hence there have been many stars who made an impressive mark in the Hindi film industry and also went on to explore their craft in the southern cinema.

So, here’s taking a look at actors who ruled the south film industry as well as Bollywood.

Malavika Mohanan

Malavika Mohanan’s filmography will give you an insight into her range as an actor. Be it her Bollywood debut in Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds or her role in Rajinikanth’s Petta, all her roles were highly appreciated by her fans. 

Malavika’s recent release Master proves that she has mastered the skill of acting. Starring alongside two superstars i.e Thalapathy Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi, Malavika leaves a mark of her own on the audiences’ minds. The actor is known in Bollywood for her epic performance in Beyond The Clouds. Master’s Hindi dub version is slated to release on ZEE5 on March 15.

Manisha Koirala

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Manisha Koirala (@m_koirala)

After making an impressive Bollywood debut with Shubhash Ghai’s Saudagar, the actor became a popular name of the 90s. She made her Tamil film debut with the movie maestro Mani Ratnam’s 1995 project Bombay. Her performance was highly appreciated by the masses and critics. Also, Ratnam loved her performance so much that he cast her again in the 1998 film Dil Se alongside Shah Rukh Khan.

The actor became a prominent part of both the film industries. Her major Hindi hits were Gupt and Mann among others. Manisha was last seen in the 2019 film Sanju.

Tamannah Bhatia

Tamannah Bhatia is another big name who has worked in both Hindi and regional cinema. Unlike Manisha, she debuted in the Telugu film industry and then marked her presence in Bollywood. After starring in Ajay Devgn’s Himmatwala, she rose to prominence post her stint in pan India film, Baahubali.

Pooja Hegde

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Pooja Hegde (@hegdepooja)

Pooja Hegde first made headlines after winning the second runner-up at Miss Universe India 2010. She made her acting debut in Bollywood with Hrithik Roshan’s Mohenjo Daro and then ventured into regional cinema as well. One of her most-loved projects is the 2014 Telugu movie Oka Laila Kosam and Ala Vaikunthpurramulo starring Allu Arjun. 

The actor later starred in the box-office hit Housefull 4 and is currently waiting for her next release, Radhe Shyam starring Prabhas.


After starring in a few ‘not so known’ Malayalam movies, the actor took the Telugu and Tamil industry by storm with her acting performances. After establishing her name in the south film industry, Asin made her Bollywood debut with Ghajini alongside Aamir Khan. She went on to star in many hit movies including Ready, Housefull 2, etc.

Though the actor has remained away from the silver screens for a while now, she’s a prominent face in Bollywood and South cinema.

Kajal Aggarwal

Kajal Aggarwal, another South beauty who tried her luck in Bollywood. She marked her debut with Ajay Devgn’s Singham and will be next seen in Mumbai Saga with John Abraham. The actress is a popular name down South and an equally admirable one in B-town.

Sridevi, Rekha 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @jeetendra_fanclub_

While these are few new names, we also had veteran actresses like Sridevi and Rekha who successfully reigned over both these film industries.

Alia Bhatt


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Alia Bhatt ☀️ (@aliaabhatt)

Interestingly, among the newer ones, Alia Bhatt is all set to mark her debut in South cinema with SS Rajamouli’s next, RRR.

Kangana Ranaut

We also have Kangana Ranaut gearing up for the release of Thalaivi, a biopic based on the life of Tamil actress and politician, Jayalalitha.

Deepika Padukone


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Prabhas (@actorprabhas)

Not to forget, our very own Deepika Padukone, who marked her film debut in the South and then became Bollywood’s one of the most prominent faces. She’s also going to star in Prabhas’ next Pan India movie.

Sneha Ullal

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Sneha Ullal (@snehaullal)

After making her debut alongside Salman Khan in the 2005 film Lucky: No Time For Love, actor Sneha Ullal became a renowned name in the B-town. The actor later went on to appear in the Telugu film Ullasamga Utsahamga which became a box-office hit. Sneha continued her filmography with many notable Telugu films including King and Nenu Meeku Telusa. Sneha became one of the renowned actresses of Telugu cinema.

Monal Gajjar

After making her debut with the 2012 Malayalam film Dracula, Monal Gajjar signed five films including Tamil and Telugu. Vanavarayan Vallavarayan and Sigaram Thodu were a couple of her major Tamil hits. She has also played pivotal roles in many Gujarati films. Being an experienced actor in the regional film industry, Monal made her Bollywood debut recently alongside Pankaj Tripathi in the ZEE5  film Kaagaz. Her performance was appreciated by critics as well as the audience.

So, that was the list of few actors who have had a successful career in both Bollywood and the south film industry.

Meanwhile, stay tuned to ZEE5 for more interesting content and stories.

संबंधित विषय

Featured Videos

Featured Videos

More Loader