Showbiz world has always been a strange arena when it came to interesting happenings and surprising things. Before entering into the film industry itself, several celebrities have changed their birth names due to various reasons; they might sound too ethnic or be too hard to pronounce or get confused with other actors of the same name.
In a country like India, sentiments and numerology can also play a key role in the alteration of the birth name. Coming to Tollywood, there are quite a few heroines who have rechristened themselves. While most north Indian divas adopt a suitable name which connects to the local sensibilities, other ladies twist it to make it sound more fashionable.
Today we take a look at the five Tollywood actresses who have switched monikers in the past:
1) Shilpa Shetty
Besides enthralling Bollywood viewers from the early 90s, Mangalore-born Shilpa Shetty is a popular face in regional cinema with several films across Telugu, Tamil and Kannada languages. The real name of this 43-year-old actress is Ashwini Shetty.
2) Raai Laxmi
The blonde bombshell changed her name from Lakshmi Rai to Raai Laxmi in 2014. “My family named me after the Goddess. But nobody calls me Lakshmi. People have always called me either Rai or Lakshmi Rai. My dad has been insisting for a long time that I change my name to Raai as it goes with my personality.”
3) Anushka Shetty
Not many know that the real name of Anushka is Sweety Shetty. After bagging an opportunity to enter films, she decided to change her name and christened herself as ‘Anushka’. The 37-year-old has the perfect blend of a sizzling personality, charismatic screen-presence and convincing acting skills.
Born as Diana Mariam Kurian in Bengaluru, the 34-year-old belle changed her name to Nayanthara before foraying into cinema. Appearing chubby during the initial part of her career, she sweated it out to get into perfect shape and from then on, there has been no stopping her.
5) Simran Bagga
Born as Rishibala Naval in Mumbai, the glamourous lady altered her birth name to Simran before making her celluloid debut with the 1995 Hindi film ‘Sanam Harjai’ which was the first Indian movie to be shot in New Zealand.