One might expect that being in the presence of a bona fide superstar would be an overwhelming experience. Funnily enough, the atmosphere in the studio was anything but overwhelming. She leisurely toured the Asian Paints Beautiful Homes Studio space in Chennai, her confident steps guided by a clear sense of purpose. Her destination: a meticulously curated fashion rack, pre-approved to her discerning taste. The actor indeed possesses an unerring knack for knowing precisely what she desires.
Nayanthara’s journey as an actress has been marked by an ever-expanding aura of stardom, a phenomenon that has been apparent from her very inception in the industry. Over two decades, she has graced the screens in over 75 films, amassing an impressive collection of accolades and earning widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike. What sets her apart, though, is her unwavering commitment to the demanding standards of her craft. Nayanthara’s ethos is best captured in her own words: “The position the industry and my fans have bestowed upon me, as well as the profound respect I’ve earned from esteemed filmmakers, producers, and seasoned technicians, constitutes my greatest achievement. I am truly fortunate to have been showered with abundant love and respect, and I will forever be grateful for it.” Her tenacity in the face of challenges is a testament to her resolute character. Cruising seamlessly through the realms of Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, and now Bollywood cinema, Nayanthara’s pursuit of excellence remains steadfast. Even while working with cinematic prodigies ranging from Rajnikanth to Shah Rukh Khan, the singular principle guiding her path has been unwavering: “Show up as your very best self”, she says.
Grounded from the beginning, her characteristic choice of role model is a true reflection of her persona. She thoughtfully reminisces, “When contemplating an embodiment of elegance and grace, the name Audrey Hepburn instantly comes to mind.” Much like her cherished idol, Nayanthara champions self-confidence and self-love, transcending the conventional beauty standards that have often been imposed upon women. For Nayanthara, her journey has been fueled by me-time, self-care, and self-love, serving as the primary sources of strength. She emphasises the significance of nurturing her inner and outer well-being before radiating that love outwardly. “It is paramount for me to embrace and tend to my skin and bodily needs before bestowing love upon the external world”, elaborates the actor. This philosophy guides her as she introduces her highly anticipated skincare line, 9Skin. The purposeful actress asserts that skincare is a deeply personal endeavour. She adheres to a beauty regimen with unwavering dedication, treating it as almost a religious and meditative practice, especially when preparing for a character. “Skincare is more than just a routine; it is an experiential journey. To bring this experience to the masses, I introduce 9Skin, a brand that revolves around the empowerment of self-love through skincare—a gift that I believe every woman deserves.”
In this digital era, where external validation often occupies an overwhelming amount of space, particularly in the life of an actress, the luminary has been exposed to a deluge of comments and critiques. Despite the unsolicited opinions that come her way, she consciously chooses to channel her focus towards constructive feedback exclusively. Remarkably, the actress only ventured onto Instagram a mere month ago, a choice that speaks volumes about her approach to the realm of online discourse and unsolicited judgments.
Much like everyone else, Nayanthara turns to a key pillar in her life to navigate the chaotic world of simply being a woman. That holy grail is balance. “I am surrounded by formidable women who have honed the art of balancing life. As women, it is innate to strike a harmonious balance in our lives. We are masters of multitasking, with our priorities thoughtfully aligned,” Nayanthara shares. She firmly believes that with the right approach, the personal and the professional can coexist without affecting the other. Even when it comes to motherhood, Nayanthara affirms that it has not extinguished her inner fire; instead, it has imparted valuable lessons on how to decelerate, find a centre, and savour life’s simple pleasures. “I feel profoundly fulfilled. Motherhood has taught me that balance is my most significant lesson,” she asserts.
Her engaging performances and unfiltered individuality are a refreshing sphere in the industry, “I think times are changing. People are fond of characters and what women play instead of judging actors at face value. I’m always for people accepting and loving themselves. Loving their best selves”, Nayanthara signs off.
ELLE India Editor: Ainee Nizami Ahmedi; Photographer: Sahil Behal; Jr. Fashion Editor: Shaeroy A Chinoy; Asst. Art Director: Sanjana Suvarna; Words: Aliza Fatma; Makeup artist: Flavia Giuliodori; Hair: Marce Pedrozo (Toabh Talents); Bookings Editor: Aliza Fatma; Assisted by Komal Shetty, Siyaa Mannuja; Nirja Shah (Bookings)