Anushka Shetty began her acting career with the Telugu film, Super, in the year 2005. Although the film received mixed reviews at the box office, Anushka’s grace was appreciated by the film fraternity. In the same year, she starred in her second Telugu film titled Maha Nandi, alongside Sumanth and Srihari. Once again, the movie did not impress the audience, however, Anushka’s screen presence was much appreciated and her ravishing looks were praised again.
The year 2006 was a fruitful year for the actress as four of her films were released that year. Her first release was S. S. Rajamouli’s Vikramarkudu, which was a commercial success. Following the release of Vikramarkudu (2006), Anushka became a popular name in the Andhra Pradesh. She went on the act in Asthram (2006), a remake of the Hindi film, Sarfarosh (1999), and made also made her Tamil debut with the movie Rendu (2006).
In the year 2007, she appeared in two Telugu movies Lakshyam, and Don, of which the former did well at the box office. After having a moderate year at the box office, in 2008, Anushka appeared in six films. All her releases in 2008, barring Swagatham and Baladoor, were box office hits.
After successfully co-starring with various stars of the South Indian cinema, Anushka delivered her first blockbuster solo hit in the year 2009, starring in the Tamil horror fantasy movie, Arundhati. She flawlessly portrayed two characters in the movie. The movie was not only a commercial hit but also was critically acclaimed. The critics praised her performance and she went on to win the Nandi Special Jury Award and Filmfare Best Actress of the year. Her next release Billa (2009), however, was not well received at the box office with her role being limited to add an oomph factor. Her second and final release of 2009 was Vettaikkaran, which was also a mediocre hit.
After a disappointing end to 2009, Anushka delivered a fabulous performance in the critically acclaimed Telugu movie, Vedam (2010). Her work was much appreciated by the audience and she went on to grab her second consecutive Filmfare Best Actress award. However, with a string of films released in the year 2010, only one of the films- Singam — was a commercial success. All her other 2010 releases Panchakshari, Khaleja, and Nagavalli, were failures at the box office.
In 2011, Anushka reprised the role of ‘Sarojo’ in the Tamil remake of the movie Vedam, titled Vaanam. She was equally praised for her acting once again and a critic from Sify wrote: “Anushka is outstanding as the commercial sex worker as she is able to bring out a life-like performance”. Her next Tamil movie, Deiva Thirumagal (2011), was a critical and commercial success with her acting being commended, yet again. Anushka even received her first Tamil Filmfare award nomination for her performance. After taking a two-year break from Telugu films, she appeared in the fantasy film, Dhamarukam (2012), although her role in the movie reflected more of glamor and less of acting.
The year 2013 turned out to be mediocre for Anushka as just one of her releases, Mirchi, was a commercial hit. She didn’t however, find much success with her roles in Alex Pandian (2013) and Singam II (2013). Further, for the third time in her career, Anushka was seen portraying two roles in a movie– she portrayed Varna, a high-spirited warrior, and Ramya, a doctor, in the Tamil romantic fantasy movie, Irandum Ulagam (2013). She yet again impressed the critics by showcasing a wide range of emotions. Next, shestarred opposite Rajinikanth in Lingaa (2014), which was released in December 2014 and received mixed reviews..
In the year 2015, she appeared in the movie Yennai Arindhaal which was reasonably well received. However, her second release of the year, Baahubali, went on to become one of the highest-grossing movies of Indian cinema. In her third release, Rudrama Devi, Anushka once again portrayed a dual role. Anushka Shetty ended the year 2015 by portraying an interesting character of a plus sized woman in the movie, Size Zero.
In 2016, Anushka made cameo appearances in the movies Soggade Chinni Nayana, Oopiri, and Thozha. The start of 2017 saw the actress reprise her role in the third installment of the Singam series, S3. She also starred in one of the most anticipated sequels of Indian cinema, Baahubali: The Conclusion directed by S.S. Rajamouli.