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Sanya Malhotra is a Indian actress hit who works in Hindi films. She made her acting debut in 2016 with Nitesh Tiwari’s biographical sports drama Dangal, based on the Phogat sisters: Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari. Malhotra portrayed the latter role. Then she starred in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Pataakha and Amit Sharma’s Badhaai Ho in the year 2018.
Sanya Malhotra was born and raised in Delhi, India. She has graduated from Gargi College of Delhi University. She is a trained dancer in contemporary and ballet. After graduating, Malhotra participated in the dance reality show Dance India Dance and made it to the top 100. She shifted to Mumbai and started giving auditions but was jobless for three to four months. She assisted camerapersons for television commercials. Later, she did advertisement for ₹5,000 (US$70) and after a year, casting director Mukesh Chhabra called for an audition. She was selected for Nitesh Tiwari’s biographical sports film Dangal along with Fatima Sana Shaikh, who was also relatively new.
Before the film,Sanya Malhotra said that she did not know much about wrestling and had not seen any match. She then watched several videos on wrestling and “how wrestlers move, walk, their body language” and also did the training. Both Malhotra and Sheikh went through five rounds of auditions, physical training and workshops with Tiwari and Aamir Khan. They were trained by coach and former wrestler Kripa Shankar Patel Bishnoi. Upon release, Dangal received critical acclaim and a strong commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film ever. Anupama Chopra said in her review that Malhotra provides “strong support” to the story. She also choreographed the song “Sexy Baliye” from Secret Superstar (2017), which featured Khan.
After a gap of two years, appeared in Vishal Bhardwaj’s comedy drama Pataakha, alongside debutant Radhika Madan. Based on the short story Do Behnen by Charan Singh Pathik, the story revolved around two sisters in Rajasthan who are always on conflict. The story was based on the wives of Pathik’s brothers. Both Madan and Malhotra met the real women for the dialect and the character’s nuances. For the preparation, both Malhotra and Madan stayed in Ronsi village near Jaipur and learned the Rajasthani dialect; they also got accustomed with milking buffaloes, thatching roofs, plastering the walls with dung and walking for long distances while balancing matkas full of water on their head and one around their waist. They also had to put on 10 kg of weight. Raja Sen in his review wrote that Malhotra “plays this character with unhinged enthusiasm” and “appears to be a fearless actress.”
Sanya Malhotra’s third release, Badhaai Ho, co-starring Ayushmann Khurrana revolves around ill time pregnancy and it’s consequences. The film proves to be a critical and commercial success. She is also filming Ritesh Batra’s Photograph.