Sai Pallavi – the ‘Rowdy Baby’ lass with a contagious smile

by parineeti lal

One look at Sai Pallavi and anybody would automatically smile. A picture of geniality at any given time, her genuine friendliness oozing out no end, her fun-loving nature and flexible attitude, comes through in her interactions. No wonder she is a favourite for the crowds (in South India) when it comes to sportive dance moves or some interactive dialogue with her audience. In 6 years that she has been in the film industry since 2015, she is the lady who gets the loudest cheers and applause at any public event like an Awards function.

Sai Pallavi is an Indian actress & dancer who has appeared in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films since she debuted in 2015 and already won two Filmfare Awards for her performances in Premam (Malayalam) and Fidaa (Telugu). Suddenly the film industry of the South has woken up to the fact that this freckled smiling face has ambition & commitment when it comes to acting and has plenty of talent to back it up.

And she looks sizzling in a saree and knows it too.

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Sai Pallavi & her filmy career

Sai Pallavi appeared as a child actress in Kasthooriman(2003) and Dham Dhoom (2008). In both she did not appear in the credits. In 2014,Malayalam Film director Alphonse Putharen offered her the role of Malar in his film Premam.  She had to shoot for it during her holidays since she was studying Medicine at Tbilisi, Georgia. This got her instant success since she went on to win several “best Female Debut” awards in that year including the Filmfare award for the same category.

She followed it up with a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam for the movie Kali. In just two movies at the beginning of her career her promise showed. In 2017 was her debut in Telugu with Sekhar Kammula’s Fidaa, in the role of Bhanumathi, a fiesty village girl from Telangana. Later in Maari-2 opposite Dhanush, she had a break in Tamil movies. The song ‘Rowdy Baby’ from the movie was the most viewed song from South India on YouTube.

Let us see Sai Pallavi in some of her movies in sarees.

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Sai Pallavi – her early life

Sai Pallavi was born in Kotagiri, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu to parents Senthamarai Kannan and Radha. She has a younger sister, Pooja, who has also worked as an actress. Pallavi was raised and educated in Coimbatore.

Despite completing her medical studies in 2016 from the Tbilisi State Medical University which is recognized by Medical Council of India, she has not yet registered as a medical practitioner (doctor) in India. She took her Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) in August 2020 in Trichy.

Pallavi said in an interview that though she was not a trained dancer, she always wanted to be like her mother in dancing. She participated in several cultural events at school, gaining popularity as a dancer. Due to her penchant for dance, which was supported by her mother, she participated in dance reality shows in 2008 & 2009 and did extremely well.

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Sai Pallavi – A talent with justifiable claim to fame

Sai Pallavi has beauty, brains and a flair for dancing. She started in movies in 2015 and in less than 6 years has reached a top-notch position in South Indian cinema that is the envy of many who have already been there for more years. It is sheer application of what she knows put to good use in an industry that is surely cut throat. She surprisingly learnt her dance moves on her own, seeing the likes of Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit dance, with no formal training of any kind. And for most who have seen her dance in the song Rowdy Baby, understand what is being said.

When some people noticed similarities between Priyanka Chopra Jonas, our Bollywood girl and Sai Pallavi, the upcoming starlet of the South, they drew certain parallels.

 Pallavi learnt to dance by watching Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit while PC made singles with Pitbull and The Chainsmokers

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Sai Pallavi’s music video for Rowdy Baby from the Tamil movie Maari 2 was the first South Indian song to get one billion views on YouTube. Priyanka Chopra has had some success with singles released in the US with music heavyweights like will.i.am, The Chainsmokers, Pitbull.

  • Chopra, has been on a few Forbes lists, including “100 Most Powerful Women” in 2018 and “Highest Paid TV Actresses” in 2017. Sai Pallavi has snagged a spot on Forbes India’s “30 Under 30” (a list of the country’s most influential individuals under 30 years old) in 2020.
  • Chopra had said she planned to study aeronautical engineering before her entertainment career unexpectedly took off. Sai Pallavi never thought that she’d have a career on the big screen. Instead, she made plans to pursue her dreams of becoming a doctor, attending medical school in Tbilisi, Georgia where she graduated with her MBBS (dual degrees in medical and surgery) in 2016.
  • Both do humanity proud when they do not hesitate to put things in perspective in media glare especially when they feel strongly about something not being ‘proper’. Chopra uses her considerable platform to be a vocal champion of body positivity and feminism and to address sexist media commentary. Pallavi declined a Rs. 2 crore (US$280,000) worth advertisement-contract for a skin lightening cream saying it wasn’t something she believed in. In 2019, she took a stand and swiftly turned down the lucrative offer. Speaking about the decision in an interview with local media, she said, “The darker complexion we are born with is the natural skin tone we have got, and we should feel proud about it. People in Africa are black in colour – does that mean they are not beautiful?”

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