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Saloni Aswani

Written By Aris Setiawan on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | 12:27 AM

Saloni Aswani (born on 1 June 1979 as Vandana Aswani) is an Indian film actress and model. After finishing her her education, Saloni ventured into modeling, appearing in various television advertisements. She went on to pursue a career in acting, debuting in the Hindi film Dil Pardesi Ho Gayaa (2003), following which she starred in several South Indian films, failing to achieve notable commercial success. She gained notice through her performances in S. S. Rajamouli's Magadheera (2009) and Maryada Ramanna (2010), leading to roles in further high-profile Telugu productions.

Saloni was born in Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra into a Sindhi-speaking family as Vandana. Her father was an assistant commissioner of narcotics. The family moved to CGS quarters at Wadala, Mumbai, when she was around 5 years old. After completing school, she enrolled at Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women's University (SNDT) near New Marine Lines/Churchgate, Mumbai, and graduated in Psychology.

She was always interested in acting and was supported by her mother, while her father wanted her to "do a respectable job". Without her father's knowledge, she created a portfolio and sent it to modeling agencies. She appeared in several television advertisements like Vaseline, Lifebuoy, Parachute Oil, Moove, Chic Shampoo, Three Roses tea and Meera soaps. Throughout her academic career, she had always participated in dramas, especially mimicking Sridevi. She also participated with a theater group Kala Sansad and took acting lessons in Ashok Kumar's Academy of Dramatic Arts, run by his daughter, Preeti Ganguly.

She made her acting debut in the 2003 Hindi film Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya, directed by Sawaan Kumar Tak, who rechristened her as Saloni. She then got to appear in her first Telugu film Dhana 51 (2005) and followed it up with Oka Oorillo, both of them ending up as commercial failures.[8] In 2006 she starred in 5 films, performing lead roles in Chukkallo Chandrudu and Kokila in Telugu and Rehguzar and Saawan: The Love Season in Hindi, while doing a special appearance in the song "Nachindey Chesey" for the film Boss, I Love You. She debuted in the Tamil film industry with a starring role in Madurai Veeran (2007), and in the Kannada cinema the following year, playing one of the five lead actresses in Budhivanta, both being her only releases in 2007 and 2008, respectively, with the latter going on to become a blockbuster.

Her first release in 2009 was the Kannada film Dubai Babu, in which she essayed a minor supporting role, with her performance being appreciated by critics. Later that year, she appeared in a cameo role in the high-budget fantasy adventure Magadheera by S. S. Rajamouli, which garnered attention and prompted Rajamouli to cast her as the lead female character in his subsequent project Maryada Ramanna, with Sunil as the protagonist. Described as a "musical comedy", the film received positive reviews, while also emerging commercially successful. Saloni garnered positive feedback as well, with Jeevi from Idlebrain noting that she was "refreshing" and looked "pretty good". Her other 2010 release was Mr. Theertha in Kannada language, with Saloni citing that she was upset with the attitude of the makers, resulting in her declining further Kannada projects. She has finished shooting for the film Telugu Ammayi, which she terms as a "female-oriented film", revolving around her character, Balatripura Sundari, a "typical traditional innocent Telugu girl" who "turns ferocious to save her struggling family". For the film, she had to ride a horse in one particular scene and speak the Godavari slang throughout.

She is currently working on two Telugu projects, Mahadeva Naidu opposite Balakrishna and Ganga - The Bodyguard alongside Venkatesh and Trisha Krishnan. In late 2011, she made a special appearance in the Tamil film Rajapattai, starring Vikram.

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