Ambitious and hardworking, Nayanthara entered the tinsel world debuting in the Malayalam film 'Manassinakkare'(2003), directed by Sathyan Anthikad opposite Jayaram. The Kerala-born Christian girl from Tiruvalla, whose real name is Diana Kurien, had completed her B.A. Literature and was doing her Chartered Accountancy when films beckoned her. Her striking appearance and acting talent was appreciated by the Kerala audience. The huge commercial success of 'Manassinakkare' helped her career in a big way.
Then came her second film, 'Vismayathumbath'(2004) by Fazil, with super star Mohanlal. Though the film did not fare well at the box office, Nayanthara became a notable actress in Kerala film industry. Her pretty looks captured the attention of Malayalam film buffs. Eventually it paved her way to Tamil films.
Nayan is a self confident person and is always found calm. The pretty actress stepped into Tamil films with 'Ayya' (2005) where Sarat Kumar was her hero. Her second release in Tamil was the much awaited 'Chandramukhi' where she paired with superstar Rajnikanth. Strangely her pairings initially have all been with senior heroes. In between she came back to the Malayalam industry with two films Thaskaraveeran (2005) and Raapakal (2005) where Mammootty was her hero.
After crossing the border from Malayalam to other languages, she changed her 'seedha sadha' image and started taking up glamorous roles. Nayanthara and Simbu's intimate life-sized posters in 'Vallavan' (2006)created shock waves in Chennai. Similar excitement resulted when glamorous posters of 'Kalvanin Kadhali' were posted all over Chennai. Her maiden Telugu film 'Lakshmi'(2006) made a big splash at the box office. The same year she also acted in another Telugu movie 'Boss' (2006) opposite Nagarjuna in which she rocked Tollywood with her sexy outfits.
In the year 2007, her biggest blockbuster in Tamil was 'Billa' with Ajith in the lead. She also acted in the movie 'Yaradhi Nee Mohini' with Dhanush as a hero and Jawahar as the director, which was released in the year 2008.
Nayantara is one of the very few actresses, who can strike a balance between glamour and homely roles in movies. She played the role of a household girl in films like 'Manassinakkare', 'Ayya' and 'Chandramukhi'. However in contrast, she took to glamour and enthralled film-buffs in E, Thalaimagan, Vallavan, Billa and Tulsi . She is keen on doing a role in an off-beat movie and would like to dub in her own voice for the film.
Her versatile performance and immense dancing skills has won a lot of hearts and career wise she is riding high in south Indian films. This glamour queen has become one of the busiest as well as the highest paid actresses in the Southern film industry today.