This article is about the Indian actress Asin Thottumkal. For other uses, see .
Asin Thottumkal (born 26 October 1985), known as Asin, is a former actress and dancer. She has received three . She began her acting career in the , but later shifted her focus to . She speaks eight languages, and her own films. She is the only actress, other than , to have in her own voice for all her films, irrespective of language. Asin has been referred to as the "Queen of " by online portals in 2007. She is a member of the .
Making her acting debut with 's (2001), Asin had her first commercial success with the film in 2003, and won a for the film. (2004) was her debut in and a huge success. She received her for her most noted critically acclaimed performance in her third Tamil film, (2005). She then played the lead female roles in many successful films, the most notable being the action (2005), the dramatic thriller (2006), the action thriller (2007), the romantic drama (2008) and (2008), hence established herself as the leading actress of Tamil cinema and was also honoured by the Tamil Nadu government with the award for her excellence in the field of art and literature. In 2013, Asin was conferred with the award at SIIMA for her contribution to Tamil cinema.
In late 2008, Asin made her debut in the film (2008), opposite , which was the first Bollywood film to have collected more than ₹1 billion in the domestic box office, subsequently collecting ₹1.9 billion (US million) worldwide. Asin won the and many accolades for Ghajini. 2011 marked the most successful phase of Asin's Bollywood career, as she starred in 's , in which she co-starred alongside . The film was a major hit at the box office, collecting ₹1.84 billion (US million) worldwide. In 2012, Asin first starred in 's multistarrer , which collected more than ₹1 billion. She then featured in and , which were also commercially successful with both grossing over ₹1 billion.
Asin was born in in in a malayali family. Her father Joseph Thottumkal is an Ex-CBI officer and later managed several businesses. Her mother Seline Thottumkal, who moved from Kochi to and then to to live with her daughter, is a surgeon. According to custom, Asin was to be named Mary, after her paternal grandmother. Asin's father however, named her Asin as the name had a beautiful meaning. Asin has quoted that her name means "pure and without blemish". She states that the 'A' in her name is from meaning "without", and "sin" from English.
She attended from through X standard. She then attended St. Teresa's School in Kochi for her (Plus Two) Education. After that, she attended in Kochi, a college affiliated with , where she graduated with a degree in .
Asin's first assignment was an advertisement for . She debuted in the film in 2001, at the age of 15. After taking a year out to pursue her education, Asin returned with her breakthrough film as an actress, opposite , portraying a girl in her first film, which subsequently fetched her the . In the same year she won the for her performance alongside in her second Telugu film . Her following two films and , both portrayed Asin as the love interest for police officers and both were successful ventures.
Asin's first film was , in which she co-starred with . Asin reprised her role from her film Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi for the remake, which saw her portraying a girl instead of the Tamil girl in the original. The movie subsequently went on to super-hit in during 2004, introducing Asin to . After a brief return to Telugu films, to do , she appeared in . The film, initially launched in 2002, was supposed to be her debut as a lead heroine, is a college love story, directed by , which was long-delayed but eventually became a successful venture at the box office, creating wider opportunities for her and the rest of the cast.
After the release of Ullam Ketkumae, Asin was cited as a leading heroine of the Tamil film industry after starring in blockbuster films such as , , and respectively. The film which provided the breakthrough for Asin was . The film, co-starring , directed by , earned her the . Her role was that of a vivacious young model named Kalpana. .com praised her portrayal as "magical", describing her character as a "lovable chatterbox", played with "sheer ability in the romantic interludes, the poignant and heartfelt scenes when she rescues minor girls from villains and her gory end are touching". On the following in 2005, Asin had two releases, and . Despite the latter becoming an average grosser, the former went on to be a successful venture at the box office.
The following year, her long-delayed venture opposite also succeeded at the box office, and The Hindu said she "looks lustrous and sails through her role smoothly". Asin appeared in 's , another successful venture, which was a remake of . In January 2007, Asin appeared opposite Ajith Kumar and Vijay in two different films, and , with the latter becoming a success, whilst Aalwar became a failure. Though Asin's role in Aalwar was criticised, her performance in Pokkiri was lauded by critics. Her final project of the year was opposite Surya, in , which had a Diwali 2007 release, subsequently becoming her third successful film which released during the Diwali season in three years. Asin, who portrayed a , was appreciated for her role in the film.
Asin appeared in her first dual role in 's opposite , who portrayed ten roles. The film had been under production since September 2006. Despite being overshadowed by Haasan's ten roles, Asin's portrayals in the film were praised as her "best-to-date", with one of her roles being that of a in 12th century ; whilst the other character was a girl from , for which she won her first .Dasavathaaram subsequently went on to become one of the blockbusters.
Since establishing herself as the leading actress in South India, Asin opted to move into . Her first film , opposite , was the remake of her breakthrough film of the same name. Upon release, the film garnered positive reactions from critics and masses alike, with Asin being singled out for her "fabulous" portrayal. Noted critic described her Hindi debut as "fabulous" and that "to share the screen space with an actor of the stature of Aamir Khan and yet remain in your memory even after the show has ended is no cakewalk. She looks fresh and photogenic and acts her part brilliantly, giving Asin's performance a positive outlook."
Ghajini became the highest grossing Bollywood film of 2008 and the sixth of all time according to net collections. Asin later appeared in 's , alongside and , in which she played a south Indian girl, Priya, who is emotional but strong willed and an ambitious dancer at the same time. The film received mixed reviews from critics.
Her first film of 2011 was , which released on 15 January 2011. The film was a critical and commercial success.Behindwoods review of the film praised her performance: "Asin, in Tamil for the first time after Dasavatharam, convinces us with her portrayal. The chemistry of the lead pair has worked out well; especially the portions w things that ultimately result in love". The chemistry between and Asin worked out well and was appreciated. Asin went on to win the SIIMA Award for Best Actress for this film. The film also includes Vadivelu as the comedian along with , and playing supporting roles.
Her next movie with Salman Khan, , was released on 3 June 2011 to mixed reviews. Critics praised the chemistry between Salman and Asin. Upon release, Ready became the second highest weekend grossing Bollywood film, after and went on to become the fifth film in Bollywood history to cross the coveted ₹1 billion (US million) mark in the domestic market.
In 2012, she first appeared alongside in 's multistarrer comedy . Though it received a mixed critical reception, it was a major commercial success. Asin generally received favourable reviews for her performance, with Adarsh stating that "[a]mongst the female leads, Asin has the meatiest role and gives a decent account of herself."
On 6 July 2012, 's , alongside and , released with mixed reviews with the critics praising the performances of Asin, Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan. from Bollywood Hungama, who praised Asin's performance stated: "Asin does well, though her screen time is limited. Nonetheless, her amiable looks and stimulating smile add to her charisma!!." While the reviewer from Behindwoods quoted: "There is a small surprise with regards to Asin's role. She is the romantic interest of Ajay and looks serene and absolutely cute." The movie is now declared a superhit.
, in which she reunited with her costar, , released on 7 December 2012 to mixed reviews, but was strong at the box office and eventually became a commercially successful venture.
Asin did not appear in any movie in 2013 or 2014, though she appeared in many television ads during this time. Her only release of 2015 was , directed by and produced by . In one interview, director Umesh Shukla stated that Asin would be seen in an "important dramatic role".
During the shoot of her film Ready in , she was part of camps that were meant to help the who were affected by the .
In an interview during the I Can Women's Half Marathon in 2012, Asin, speaking about the importance of health and the necessity of education said:
"This cause is probably one of the biggest women-centric issues in our country. I support the education of six children each year, five of which are girls. I have closely worked with these children and I know that if given the opportunity, women can educate themselves much better and know what is wrong or right for them. Education is a basic right and women should not be deprived of that."
Asin has been the brand ambassador for several companies and products, and has appeared in commercials for ,,, Fairever,,,, Spinz talc,, Amrutanjan Healthcare, and Clinic All Clear. Asin has been endorsing Mirinda soft drinks since 2004.
Asin currently resides in . She also owns an apartment in and a farmhouse in , Kerala. The actress is a . She can speak seven languages; being well-versed in (her ), , , , English, and . Asin also speaks a smattering of and learnt basic for her movie , in which she played a typical Marathi girl. In June 2013, it was reported in the Indian media that Asin was learning during her free time. She began learning after visiting Spain in early 2014.
Asin married Micromax co-founder in January 2016, and quit acting after the wedding. Her first child, a daughter, was born on 24 October 2017.