10 South Indian Actresses Who Have Broken Gender Stereotypes

A man might say women aren’t meant for combat, fighting or action scenes in a movie while a woman might say men do nothing but play sports, fight and waste time romancing in movies. Such expressions represent gender stereotypes, which are over-generalizations about the characteristics of an entire group based on gender. Movies in India are heavily patriarchal and do little to no justice for women and they are heavily used as eye candies. South Indian movies are heavily leaned towards the hero and it is not easy for actresses to establish themselves without doing some exposing roles, item songs etc. But there are some South Indian actresses who broke these stereotypes and are now doing roles that do justice to their acting ability.

1) Nayanthara

Nayanthara who made her debut in a Malayalam film ‘Manassinakkare’ opposite Jayaram where she played a village resident living an ordinary life. Her break came through Tamil movie ‘Ghajini’ alongside Suriya which was later remade in Hindi, she later became a sensation in South India with her movies in Tollywood, Mollywood and Telugu movies. She has acted opposite to several leading stars of the industry such as Rajnikanth, Mohan Lal, Mammootty, Prabhas, Suriya, Vijay etc. She is now known as Lady Superstar and has had success acting in movies with her as the female lead recently. Dora, Maya , and Aram are some of her recent success ventures

2) Trisha Krishnan

She has been part of the industry since 2000 and does not look a year older than when she made her debut. She had lots of good movies in her career with ‘Vinnai Thandi Varuvaaya ‘being the one she will be remembered for. The romantic movie where she portrayed the character Jessy with some mesmerizing songs will not be forgotten by people easily. The movie also had some great songs apart from her mesmerizing acting. She is also not afraid to show her glamorous side as she did a bikini show in a recent movie. Her upcoming movie is ‘Mohini’ a horror thriller. She has done different genres and been involved in multiple movies with stalwarts from South Indian movie industries.

3) Anushka Shetty

She has been in south Indian films for a long time now. Her performance is getting better with age as she began her career as eye candy and then slowly started changing her roles with recently Bahubali and Rudramadevi giving her critical accolades. ‘Arundhathi’ was the one movie that changed her career. She has also acted along most superstars in the South Indian industry like Nagarjuna, Rajnikanth, Madhavan, Prabhas, Ravi Teja etc. She did a movie ‘Size Zero’ condemning discrimination based on larger sized women. She is one of the few bankable actresses in South Indian movie industry. Her new film Bhaagmathie is all set to release soon. To portray women of bigger size when industry demands the slim and sexy figure surely did break all stereotypes.

4) Shreya Saran

South Indian actresses

This ravishing beauty also rules the south with her astonishing figure and sexy dance moves, navel shake, and cute expressions. She became the heartthrob of many with her glamorous songs in Shivaji playing opposite Thalaiva Rajnikanth. She has also done movies with all the famous stars of the south. She has also acted in a couple of Bollywood films along with performing an item number in a movie. She is like wine and with age is getting gorgeous and appealing.  She did the role of a prostitute in a movie breaking all sorts of stereotypes.

5) Ramya Krishnan

South Indian actresses

Well known for playing the Raajmatha in Baahubali, she had played a superb role as the mother in the movie. One of the most famous roles of her came opposite Rajnikanth as the villain in the movie ‘Padayappa’ where women were never seen playing villain characters she played it amazingly well and was well applauded by the critics.

6) Vijayashanthi

She used to adorn Police roles in an era when it was not normal. Her action scenes at that time were legendary. She is now into politics and direction of movies.

7) Shobhana

South Indian actresses

A  class actress from the Malayalam movie industry, her movies were a treat to watch. Her role in ‘Manichithrathazu’ was well appreciated. She is also a well-known dancer. Her expressions are well known.

8) Rakul Preet Singh

She debuted with a Bollywood film Yaariyan but has been in south Indian cinemas ever since. Her role opposite Ramcharan in Dhruva received special acclaim. She also starred opposite Karthi in ‘Theeran Adhigaram Ondru’ and gave us a very good and convincing performance.

9) Manju Warrier

South Indian actresses

Another Malayalam industry actress who had given very many good performances and

Does films on social issues nowadays. She is a star who can pull off any kind of role. Some of her movies like Aram Thampuran, Summer in Bethlehem, Thoovalkottaram, Ee Puzhayum Kadannu, Kannezhuthi Pottumthottu are well known amongst fans as a treat to watch. Her movie comeback ‘How Old are you’ is a must watch for every housewife in India.

10) Sheela

South Indian actresses

She is a Malayalam movie veteran and has acted most movies with a single actor; she has multiple records of movies with Prem Nazeer. Her movie Chemmeen is an all-time legend in Indian cinema.


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