6 min read

#BreakingTheBarriers: From Mamta Mohandas to Manju Warrier, these women truly broke societal barriers

ZEE5 Web Desk

March 7, 2021

6 min


From powerful roles to overcoming stereotypes, here are some of the actors who fought and broke the barriers set by society.

With International Women’s Day just around the corner, it is time that we take some time to celebrate our favourite women entertainers. While we have all enjoyed their gracious appearances on the big screen, little have we noticed about their journey to success. From facing heartbreaks to breaking stereotypes, many of our favourite stars have fought against a lot of things to find their way to the top. Here are some of the actors who fought and broke the barriers set by society.

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Manju Warrier

One of the finest and most famous actors, Manju Warrier is currently on a roll. However, it wasn’t always great for her as she underwent a bad marriage. Married to actor Dileep for 17 years, she went through with a divorce in 2015. Moreover, her divorce was mostly rumoured to be connected with her comeback to the industry. Manju, who got married in 1998 stopped acting a year later, to the disappointment of many. A decade and a half later, she made a comeback in 2014 and followed it with a bunch of films in the next year. Following the divorce, she faced a lot of heat from the public and media, who blamed her comeback to the industry for her failed marriage. However, the actress stood her ground and is now one of the top listed actors in the industry.

Manju Warrier in Aami
Manju Warrier in Aami (Source: ZEE5)

Surabhi Lakshmi

A victim of massive stereotyping, Surabhi Lakshmi, was overlooked for the longest time. Surabhi started off her career with a small role in 2005. She was consistent in doing supporting characters in the years to come. She was often sidelined for not meeting the beauty standards expected of a lead actress. The actor who found her haven in parallel films and plays broke the expectations of many. She won the National Award and Kerala State Award in 2017 for her stellar performance in Minnaminungu. Surabhi is now one of the top actors in the industry who can often be seen playing characters ranging from a college student to that of a grandmother. Surabhi found her ground simply based on her acting skill.

Also read: #BreakingTheBarriers: This Women’s Day, revisiting Crossroad and its portrayal of strong women

Mamta Mohandas

Mamta Mohandas probably has one of the most inspiring stories. Mamta, who made her debut in 2005 was making a name for herself when she was forced to be sidelined due to treatments of cancer. However, the actress fought all odds and made a powerful comeback and is currently on a roll with hit films one after the other. She now enjoys a huge fan following, but it wasn’t always the case. The young actress always advocated the idea of enjoying life to the full. Cornered by hate and controversies for anything she did or said, people were out there, pointing fingers at her fashion and character choices. Often termed as a Rockstar, Mamta never held back against any comments and was always vocal for her choices and decisions. The actress also went through a rough breakup. Currently, she is one of the biggest stars in the industry with a large fan following.

Mamta Mohandas in Carbon
Mamta Mohandas in Carbon (Source: ZEE5)


A talented actor in all ways, Lena often made headlines for being in controversies. She never held back when it came to picking roles she liked and was often seen playing some controversial characters. From playing a manipulative woman in Athiran to her role in Kanyaka Talkies which talked about a soft-porn theatre being converted into a church, her roles were as bold as they could get. However, Lena, who is known to be an advocate of leading a peaceful life, was always smiling back while standing her ground against the comments and trolls. She even turned some of them into her fans after she took on a new journey in life as she went bald and travelled across the country. Her solo expeditions were seen as a great act of boldness put forth by the actor.

Lena in Kanyaka Talkies
Lena in Kanyaka Talkies (Source: ZEE5)

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