Birthday Special: These films speak volumes about Sai Pallavi’s versatility as an actor

Her bewitching smile makes the audience smile along and her intense performance makes them feel her on-screen emotions.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published May 09, 2024 | 1:38 PMUpdatedMay 09, 2024 | 8:28 PM

Sai Pallavi birthday

Sai Pallavi has worked in Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam films. Since her debut in Premam in 2015, the actor — also popular for her terrific dancing skills — has been a sensation across the industries.

The “Malar Miss” character in Alphonse Puthren’s directorial made Sai Pallavi a moviegoer’s crush.

Her bewitching smile makes the audience smile along and her intense performance makes them feel her on-screen emotions.

Sai Pallavi doesn’t like wearing makeup on screen and is a rare celebrity who attends public events without makeup.

The actor even turned down a fairness cream ad that offered her a remuneration worth ₹2 crore.

Interestingly, her younger sister Pooja Kannan is an actor, too.

Born in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Sai Pallavi completed her medical studies at the Tbilisi State Medical University, Georgia in 2016.

Before taking up a full-fledged role in Premam, she played a small character in Kasthuri Maan (2005) and appeared in an uncredited role in Dhaam Dhoom (2008).

Sai Pallavi acted in around 17 films in a career spanning nine years.

As Sai Pallavi turns a year older on Thursday, 9 May, let’s check out the memorable roles portrayed by the immensely talented performer.


Sai Pallavi in Premam

Sai Pallavi in ‘Premam’. (X)

Sai Pallavi’s appearance as Malar Miss opposite Nivin Pauly, in Premam (2015) was a turning point in her career.

Her character of a teacher, on whom her students have a crush, raised eyebrows. Senior directors like Kamal criticised Alphonse Puthren’s directorial for the same.

Nevertheless, Premam became a blockbuster with youth and family audiences welcoming it with open hearts.

The makers approached Sai Pallavi while she was pursuing medicine. She shot for the film during her vacation.

The actor bagged several awards for her performance in the film. She won the Filmfare Awards South 2015 for the Best Female Debut in Malayalam, the South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) 2015 for the Best Female Debut in Malayalam, and the Vanitha Film Awards 2016 for the Best Newcomer–Actress.


Sai Pallavi’s second venture, Kali (2016), starred her opposite Dulquer Salmaan. She played his wife in the film.

The couple faces some issues from anti-social elements during their travel at night in their car. How does the husband-wife duo overcomes the situation forms the crux of the story.

Sai Pallavi and Dulquer delivered amazing performances in Kali.

All the songs were hit. The movie was a super hit and Sai Pallavi earned her a nomination for the Filmfare Awards South 2016 for Best Actress in Malayalam.

Also Read: Sanjay Dutt comes on board for Rajamouli–Mahesh Babu’s film


Sai Pallavi in Fidaa

Sai Pallavi in ‘Fidaa’. (X)

Fidaa (2017) marked Sai Pallavi’s debut in the Telugu film industry. We must say that her acting journey in Telugu cinema began on a remarkable note.

Her role as Bhanumati in Fidaa drew a wide appreciation.

Indeed, Sai Pallavi was the show stealer in the movie, though Varun Tej made a mark with his acting skills.

Sai Pallavi shone in the emotional scenes in this romantic comedy directed by Shekhar Kammula. Thanks to the film, she became a household name in the two Telugu states.

Her dance moves in “Vacchinde Mella Mellaga Vacchinde” song from Fidaa made her the heartthrob of Telugu youths.

She won the Filmfare Award South 2018 for Best Actress in Telugu for her performance in the flick.


Director Vivek’s Athiran (2019) featured Sai Pallavi as an autistic person, who gets trained in Kalari Payattu.

The character played a key role in the career of the actor. She was paired opposite Fahadh Faasil in this psychological thriller.

Diya & Maari 2

Sai Pallavi made her debut in Tamil with a major role in Diya (2018), directed by Vijay.

Diya was simultaneously made in Telugu.

The film didn’t receive a good reception though it tried to spread a message on abortion.

Sai Pallavi also played an important character in Dhanush’s Maari 2 (2018).

The “Rowdy Baby” song and the dance moves of the lead pair are still popular.

Also Read: Some interesting facts about Vijay Deverakonda

Paava Kadhaigal

Sai Pallavi in Paava Kadhaigal

Sai Pallavi in ‘Paava Kadhaigal’. (X)

Sai Pallavi grabbed a prominent role in the short film Oor Iravu from the Tamil anthology Paava Kadhaigal (2020). It was released on Netflix.

The movie is about honour killings. It features Prakash Raj as Sai Pallavi’s father, who doesn’t hesitate to kill his daughter.

Sai Pallavi’s powerful performance as Sumathi became an asset for the short film.

Shyam Singha Roy

Shyam Singha Roy (2022) featured Sai Pallavi as a devadasi.

In the flick, she delivered a spellbinding performance along with Telugu co-actor Nani.

The scene where Sai Pallavi emotionally breaks down after being physically assaulted by the temple priest is truly heartrending and exemplifies her acting prowess.

Sai Pallavi won the Filmfare Critics Award 2022 for Best Actress in Telugu for her role in Shyam Singha Roy and the Filmfare Award South 2022 for Best Actress in Telugu for her performance in Love Story (2021).


Sai Pallavi in Gargi

Sai Pallavi in ‘Gargi’. (X)

Gargi is yet another important flick in Sai Pallavi’s career. This legal drama directed by Gautham Ramachandran has the actor playing the titular role.

The young woman stands for justice even after finding that her father was a culprit in a child sexual assault case.

Initially, she stands for her father believing that he was wrongly framed in the case. But, as the truth is revealed, Gargi takes a strong stand against her father, thus sending out a powerful message to society.

Sai Pallavi earned a critical appreciation for her performance in Gargi.

The actor is now working on her upcoming movie based on Ramayana, where she will pair opposite Ranbir Kapoor as Sita.

She also has the Telugu movie Thandel with Naga Chaitanya and the Tamil movie Amaran with Sivakarthikeyan.

Check out gallery: From the sets of Naga Chaitanya-Sai Pallavi’s ‘Thandel’