Priya Vasudev Mani Iyer, better known as Priyamani, is an Indian actress and former model who mainly works in Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, and Hindi-language films.
Priyamani was born on Monday, 4 June 1984 (age 37 years; as of 2021) in Bengaluru. Her zodiac sign is Gemini.
She did her schooling from Bengaluru’s Sri Aurobindo Memorial School and Bishop Cotton Women’s Christian Law College. She was good at dance and sports in her school days and actively participated in extracurricular activities. She started modelling for print advertisements when she was in school. Priya modelled for brands like Kancheepuram silks, Erode silks and Lakshmi silks. When she was in 12th standard, the Tamil Film Director, Bharathiraja, introduced her to the film industry. She pursued a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Psychology through correspondence.
Height (approx.): 5’ 6”
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Boyfriend
Priyamani belongs to a South Indian Hindu Family. Her father, Vasudeva Mani Iyer, is an entrepreneur, who owns a plantation business. Her mother, Latha Mani Iyer, is a former national badminton player, who was also a bank manager at the Union Bank of India. She has a brother, Vishakh, who is also an entrepreneur.
Priyamani was rumoured to be in a relationship with her Raavanan co-star, Prithiviraj.
She was also rumoured to be dating the south star, Jagapthi Babu.
Priya got engaged to Mustafa Raj, owner of an event management company, on 27 May 2016.
The couple tied the knot on 23 August 2017.
Priyamani started her acting career in 2003 with the Telugu film “Evare Atagaadu.” Next, she made her debut in the Malayalam Film Industry with the film Sathyam. The film was a flop. Her Tamil debut came in the year 2004 with the film “Kangalal Kaidhu Sei.” In 2006, Priya starred in the Telugu film “Pellaina Kothalo,” which was a super hit and bagged her 3 films. She earned wide popularity by playing the role of ‘Muthazhagu’ in the Tamil film “Paruthiveeran.”
Subsequently, she appeared in films like “Yamadonga,” “Malaikottai,” “Thirakkatha,” and “Arumugam.” In 2009, Priya made her Kannada film debut with the film “Raam,” which was followed by her debut in Bollywood with the film “Raavan.” She has also featured in the Bollywood film “Chennai Express.”
In addition to films, Priya has judged various dance reality shows including “D 4 Dance” (2014), “D2 – D 4 Dance” (2015), “Dancing Star 2” (2015), “Kings of Dance” (2016), “D3 – D 4 Dance” (2016), and “Dancing Star 3” (2016).
In 2019, she featured in Amazon Prime’s web series “The Family Man.”
She has even featured on the covers of magazines like “Wedding Life Magazine,” “Just For Women Magazine, “FWD Magazine,” and “Grihalakshmi Magazine.”
She has walked the ramps for fashion designers like Nick Roshan.
- In 2012, the Hyderabad media created a ‘fabricated scandal’ between Priya and the Aazaan actor, Sachiin Joshi. It was reported that Sachiin teased Priyamani in “allegedly inebriated” state at a party after a match. He tried to “hold her hand” and “hug” her, rubbing the damsel’s “ego” the wrong way. The false reports infuriated the actress and she said,
We were just unwinding after the matches. I don’t understand why a story like this has been circulated. All it does is harm Sachiin and my reputations.”
- In 2016, Priya shared her engagement news with her fans and well-wishers through Twitter. The actress, who was expecting blessing and good wishes from everyone, was apparently showered with a lot of criticism and nasty comments about her fiance and family. Upset with so much of negativity coming her way, the actress gave a befitting reply to her haters. She wrote
Fed up of so much of hatred and negativity with regards to the engagement news that I shared this morning hoping that everyone would be a part of my new journey and bless me with ur kind messages..but I’m appalled by so much of negative reactions!Grow up you people!!!ITS MY LIFE..and I’m NOT answerable to any one apart from my parents and my fiancé!”
- In May 2016, Priyamani attracted controversy for her remarks over a rape case. The gruesome rape and murder of Jisha, a Government Law college student in Ernakulam shocked the entire nation and many celebrities voiced their dissent over the recurrence of such incidents in the country. Priya too took to twitter to share her agony and wrote that India was not a safe place for girls. She even asked the women to leave the country and move to safe places abroad. She was highly criticised for her statement.
- Priyamani acted in a movie titled “Engiruntho Vandaal,” but the film for some unknown reasons never progressed beyond a point. So, the makers of the film did not pay her in full. However, later the film was completed with some other artists and a few of Priya’s hot stills, which were shot earlier, were also being included in the film. Unhappy with the maker’s act, Priyamani filed a complaint with Movie Artists Association MAA, demanding its intervention, and stop using her content or pay her in full.
- In July 2021, Mustafa’s first wife Ayesha delivered a statement in which she alleged that Priyamani’s marriage with Mustafa was not valid. NDTV Ayesha said,
Mustafa is still married to me. Mustafa and Priyamani’s marriage is invalid. We have not even filed for divorce and while marrying Priyamani, he declared in the court that he was a bachelor.”
Later, Mustafa refuted this claim and said that their divorce was formalized in 2013. He said,
The charges against me are false. I am paying the children’s maintenance to Ayesha regularly. She is simply trying to extort money from me.”
- National Film Award for Best Actress for her film “Paruthiveeran” (2006)
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress for the film “Paruthiveeran” (2006)
- Filmfare Award South for Best Actress – Tamil for the film “Paruthiveeran” (2007)
- Vijay Award for Best Actress for the film “Paruthiveeran” (2007)
- Filmfare Award South for Best Actress – Malayalam for the film “Thirakkatha” (2008)
- Sandalwood Star Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film “Vishnuvardhana” (2011)
- Filmfare Award South for Best Actress – Kannada for the film “Chaarulatha” (2012)
- SIIMA Award for Best Actress for the film “Chaarulatha” (2012)
- Suvarna Film Award for Best Actress for the film “Chaarulatha” (2012)
- Asiavision Television Award for Best Celebrity Judge for the show “D2 – D 4 Dance” (2015)
- Asiavision Television Award for Best Celebrity Judge for the show “D3 – D 4 Dance” (2015)
- TSR TV9 National Film Award for Best Actress – Kannada for the film “Dwaja” (2018)
- Food: Chicken Biriyani
- Desserts: Ice creams, Chocolates
- Actor: Kamal Haasan
- Actress: Sridevi
- Director: Mani Ratnam
- Sport: Cricket
- Her hobbies include dancing and listening to music.
- She follows a non-vegetarian diet.
- She grew up playing Cricket and Hide & Seek with boys because there were no girls of her age in her society.
- Mani stepped into modelling just for the sake of earning a little pocket money. At that time, she never thought of joining the film industry.
- She is an avid animal lover and keeps posting her pictures with dogs on her Instagram account.
- Priya is well versed in Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, English, Telugu, and Kannada languages.
- She is the granddaughter of the famous Carnatic Vocalist Kamala Kailas.
- Priya is the second cousin of the Bollywood actress, Vidya Balan.
- It was Priya’s grandmother who supported her to become an actress. Initially, her parents were hesitant about it but her grandmother always pushed her.
- Priyamani met Mustafa Raj for the first time during the cricket tournament, CCL (Celebrity Cricket League). Priya was the brand ambassador of CCL at that time and Mustafa was taking care of the logistics. They both exchanged their numbers and became good friends. Soon their friendship blossomed into love and the couple dated each other for 4 years before settling into a marriage.
- Her friends and family fondly call her Pillu.