Aishwarya Rajesh (born 10 January 1990) is an Indian film actress who has appeared in leading roles primarily in Tamil cinema as well as Telugu and Malayalam films with one Hindi film. She started her career as television presenter in a comedy show called Asatha Povathu Yaaru? on Sun TV. After winning the reality show Maanada Mayilada, she made her debut in Neethana Avan (2010) and came into prominence after starring in Attakathi (2012) portraying the role of Amudha. Her first Malayalam film was Jomonte Suvisheshangal opposite Dulquer Salmaan and she also acted with Nivin Pauly in her second Malayalam film Sakhavu. She made her Bollywood debut in 2017 through the film Daddy opposite to Arjun Rampal She acted in her two career breakthrough roles as Padma in Vetrimaran's Vada Chennai opposite to Dhanush and as a female cricketer in her solo film Kanaa. She received Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress for the 2014 film Kaaka Muttai at Tamil Nadu State Film Awards.
She was born on 10 January, 1990 in Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu. She did her schooling in Shrine Vailankanni Senior Secondary School and in Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in T.Nagar, Sree vidyanikethan Tirupati. Aishwarya's father Rajesh was also an actor who had appeared in 54 films in Telugu. Her grandfather Amarnath was a popular lead Telugu actor and a producer, while her aunt Srilakshmi, is a Telugu comedian with over 500 films to her credit.
She studied at Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai and graduated with a B.Com degree. She started to learn dance since she needed to choreograph a stage show for a student cultural fest and later entered the reality show Maanada Mayilada on Kalaignar TV. She won the show's third season and got offered roles in films thereafter. She expressed her gratitude to Arjun Rampal for introducing her to Bollywood.
In the early stages of her career, she also worked as an anchor on the sets of the TV show Asathapovathu Yaaru. In 2010, she made her debut with the Tamil film Neethana Avan, and in 2014, she was seen alongside Vijay Sethupathi in two film, Rummy, and Pannaiyarum Padminiyum, released within two weeks. While the first film was a village drama set in the 1980s, the latter was based on a short film of the same name, and revolved around an old man and his vintage car Premier Padmini. Critics praised her performances, especially in Rummy. Hindustan Times wrote that she was "extremely promising" while film critic Baradwaj Rangan noted that she was "expressive", calling her "a tonic for nerves frayed by the alabaster automatons we usually get as heroines". Later that year, she appeared in a song sequence in R. Parthiepan's Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam and as the female lead in Thirudan Police.
Aishwarya's first release in 2015 was Kaaka Muttai. Her portrayal of a slum dweller and mother of two children was lauded by critics. Baradwaj Rangan wrote, "it features stunning performances from everyone...especially Aishwarya Rajesh, who plays the kids' mother with a world-weariness that belies her years". Other reviewers stated that she was "excellent", played her role "with extraordinary ease" and that she "leaves you awe-struck". That year, she also made her the stage debut, playing Cinderella from the same-titled fairytale that was adapted as a "musical dance drama".
She had the most releases for a Tamil actress in 2016 with 8 films out of which Aarathu Sinam, Hello Naan Pei Pesuren, Manithan and Dharma Durai were commercially successful. She was critically appreciated for her performance in the films Dharma Durai and Kuttrame Thandanai, where she collaborated with Kaaka Muttai director Manikandan. She became the number one choice for acting in performance oriented roles in the industry. In 2017, Aishwarya made her entry in Malayalam films acting in two commercially and critically successful films Jomonte Suvisheshangal and Sakhhavu. Based on her performance in Kaaka Muttai, Arjun Rampal selected Aishwarya Rajesh in the challenging role of Asha Gawli for the film Daddy. With this, Aishwarya made her debut in Hindi and was recognized for her performance in her first hindi film.
In 2018, Aishwarya Rajesh was most successful as she was part of most of the big hits of the year. She collaborated with the most successful directors like Mani Ratnam, A. L. Vijay, Hari and Vetrimaaran as well as starring in her solo film as a cricketer in Kanaa under Siva Karthikeyan's production. She is made her Telugu debut in Kousalya Krishnamurthy after signing three movies in a trot. Her performance was appreciated a lot in all the three movies, but she is looking for her first big hit in Telugu cinema. Her performance in Namma Veettu Pillai was greatly appreciated as well as her endearing performance in the family drama Vaanam Kottatum. Her performance as Suvarna in World Famous Lover was considered one of the best performance by a female actor in recent times in Telugu Cinema.
As of 2020, she is working simultaneously on multiple projects. She has completed filming for Seenu Ramasamy's Idam Porul Yaeval, in which she portrays a orator in patti mandram (debate speaker), as well as Gautham Menon's delayed project Dhruva Natchathiram.
Awards and nominations
|2015||63rd Filmfare Awards South||Best Actress – Tamil||Kaaka Muttai||Nominated|
|Edison Awards||Best Actress – Tamil||Nominated|
|2016||5th South Indian International Movie Awards||Best Actress – Tamil||Nominated|
|3rd Behindwoods Gold Medal Ceremony||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Won|
|1st IIFA Utsavam||Performance In A Supporting Role – Female||Nominated|
|Norway Tamil Film Festival Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|Provoke Awards||Best Actress – Jury||Won|
|Radio City Awards||Best Actress for 2016||Won|
|2017||Ananda Vikatan Nambikkai Awards||Top 10 Youngsters of TN Award – Nambikkai Nayagi||Won|
|64th Filmfare Awards South||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Dharmadurai||Nominated|
|6th South Indian International Movie Awards||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Dharmadurai||Won|
|Tamil Nadu State Film Awards||Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress||Kaaka Muttai||Won|
|13th WE Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|Asiavision Awards||Best Actress – Multi Languages||Won|
|2018||Forum Keralam Film Awards 2017||Best Actress||Sakhavu||Nominated|
|JFW Golden Divas Awards||JFW Golden Diva||Won|
|Pride Of TamilNadu Awards||Pride of TamilNadu in Entertainment Emerging Category||Won|
|65th Filmfare Awards South||Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Malayalam||Jomonte Suvisheshangal||Nominated|
|The New Indian Express Devi Awards||Breathing Life into the Silver Screen||Won|
|2019||Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards||Best actress||Kanaa||Nominated|
|Mgr Sivaji Academy Awards||Best Actress||Vada Chennai, Kanaa||Won|
|JFW Movie Awards||Best Actress in a Lead Role||Kanaa||Nominated|
|JFW Movie Awards||Best Actress – Critic||Kanaa||Won|
|Edison Awards||Young Inspirational Actress||Kanaa||Won|
|Edison Awards||Best Actress – Tamil||Kanaa||Nominated|
|Techofes Awards||Best Actress||Vada Chennai, Kanaa||Won|
|Provoke Awards||Best Actor Female||Kanaa||Won|
|India Retail Excellence Awards||Unique Style Icon - Female||Won|
|8th South Indian International Movie Awards||Best Actress – Tamil||Kanaa||Nominated|
|8th South Indian International Movie Awards||Best Actress (critics) – Tamil||Kanaa||Won|
|66th Filmfare Awards South||Best Actress - Tamil||Kanaa||Nominated|
|66th Filmfare Awards South||Best Actress (Critics) - Tamil||Kanaa||Won|
|2020||Zee Cine Awards Tamil||Best Actor Female||Kanaa||Won|
|Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards||Best supporting actress||Namma Veettu Pillai||Nominated|
|JFW Movie Awards||Best Actress in a Lead Role||Namma Veettu Pillai||Nominated|
|JFW Movie Awards||Best Actress - Critic||Namma Veettu Pillai||Won|