How Diana became Nayanthara: The Story Behind Lady superstar’s name change!

Nayanthara is fondly known as the Lady Superstar for not just her massive acting skills but also for the way she carries herself. But did you know if it hadn’t been for the poster of a “cheap” (read, adult) film called Diana, Nayanthara as we know her today may never have existed.

It was 2003, and Malayalam filmmaker Sathyan Anthikad had just cast 19-year-old Diana Mariam Kurian in his film Manassinakkare.

Nayanthara then Diana was discovered by the director   in a jewellery advertisement in a Malayalam weekly, and had known she would be perfect for his latest project.

“Her graceful face caught my attention,” said Anthikad. “She did not know acting back then, but was quick to learn. During the first few days, she’d arrive, place a chair next to me and watch the shoot. It was only after she gained confidence that we began shooting her scenes.” he said to Huffingtonpost

After shooting when the movie was set to release, the director of the film came across an adult movie moster named ‘Diana’. He did not want his movie or the young debutante to be associated with the “cheap” movie and decided to pick a new name to the young actress Diana.

Three names were shortlisted and the film’s clapboard boy picked his favourite name “Nayanthara” and the rest is history.


  • Nayanthara aka is Diana Mariam Kurien had a father who was in Air Force due to which she did her schooling in various parts of the country.
  • While she was doing her Bachelors in English, she had a passion for modeling. Hence, she decided to balance part-time modeling along with her.
  • She made her film debut in 2003 with the Malayalam movie ‘Manasinnakare’ after which she made her Tamil Debut in the year 2005 with the movie ‘Ayya’ in the year 2005.
  • While shooting for ‘Ayya’, Nayanthara was chosen for a pivotal role in the movie ‘Chandramukhi’ alongside Superstar Rajinikanth and Jyothika.
  • In 2008 she did 3 movies that did not do well. She then decided to take a 11 month break
  • After her 11-month break from acting, she made a comeback with one of the mega-blockbusters of all time ‘Raja Rani’ alongside Arya, Jai, Nazriya and directed by Atlee.
  • She was unstoppable after that. She played a female lead in the Ajith Kumar starrer ‘Aarambam’. We could also see this movie that she had a major fashion makeover – be it from her styling or her clothing. We really loved the transformation.

Fast forward post that Nayanthara has had a very successful 2019, where she starred in a whopping seven movies with some titles such as Ajith starrer Visvasam, Vijay starrer Bigil, and Chiranjeevi starrer Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy becoming the biggest blockbusters of the year.

She has also proved that she could easily carry a film by herself as the A-List name, evidenced by triumphant features such as Maya, Dora, the excellent Aram, and Kolamaavu Kokila, and looks to extend this feat with the upcoming satire Mookuthi Amman, which also marks the directorial debut of RJ Balaji, who will co-direct the film with NJ Saravanan. RJ Balaji is also responsible for the dialogue, story, and screenplay.

back to top icon
More in Movies
Indian 2 Movie Review: Dull, Alien and Out-Dated!


Signs That Prove Aaranya Kaandam And Super Deluxe Are In The Same Universe!