Shruti Haasan made her debut on the silver screen with a cameo in the 2000 movie, Hey Ram, an Indian period drama film that released in Tamil and Hindi. The film starring Kamal Haasan, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Hema Malini, Sarika, Nassar, Abbas and Atul Kulkarni was directed, written and produced by Kamal Haasan. The film received wide critical appreciation and won several awards and nominations at various prestigious awards. Following her debut, the actress kept herself away from acting until 2009 when she made her debut as a lead actor in the Bollywood action thriller film Luck directed by Soham Shah. The film despite having an ensemble cast including Imran Khan, Mithun Chakraborty, Sanjay Dutt, and Danny Denzongpa got negative reviews and emerged to be a box office failure.
The actress got a major breakthrough in her career as she made her foray in the South Indian film industry with Anganaga O Dheerudu, a Telugu fantasy adventure film directed by Prakash Kovelamudi. The film co-starring Siddharth and Lakshmi Manchu follows the life journey of a nine-year-old-girl with special power and Yodha, her fierce bodyguard. The film got positive reviews and Shruti for her brilliant performance won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut — South. In the same year, she appeared in the Madhur Bhandarkar directed Hindi romantic comedy film Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji alongside Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Omi Vaidya, Tisca Chopra and Shazahn Padamsee. The film mostly received positive reviews from the critics and grossed more than 282 crore INR within first three weeks of its release. Shruti continued her good run with yet another scintillating performance in the Tamil science fiction film 7aum Arivu. The film co-starring Suriya Sivakumar although received mixed critical reviews it emerged to be a massive box office hit and Shruti won a nomination at the Filmfare Award for Best Actress — Tamil.
The following year, debutante director, Aishwarya Dhanush cast Shruti Haasan in the Tamil romantic psychological thriller film 3 alongside Dhanush and Sivakharthikeyan. The film, which became immensely popular among the audience for its song, ‘Why this Kolaveri di’ fell short of the audience expectation and sit opened to mixed critical reviews. But Shruti for her brilliant performance won appreciation from both critics and the audience. Shruti’s other film of the year was Gabbar Singh, a Telugu action film where she starred alongside the superstar of Telugu cinema, Pawan Kalyan. The film, which is the remake of the superhit Bollywood film, Dabangg became one of the highest-grossing Telugu films of all time; the box office collection grossed more than 200 crore INR.
In 2013, the actress had a mixed year in terms of her film meeting with contrasting results. Whilst one of her Hindi films Ramaiya Vastavaiya co-starring debutant actor, Girish Kumar bombed at the box office, her other Bollywood film D-Day directed by Nikhil Advani received highly positive reviews. The actress also had contrasting results even with her two Telugu films of the year. Whilst Balupu, an action comedy film co-starring Ravi Teja and Anjali received positive reviews from both critics and the audience, Ramayya Vasthavayya, a film directed by Harish Shankar bombed at the box office despite receiving a strong opening. Shruti Haasan started her campaign in 2014 with the blockbuster Telugu film Yevadu. The film directed by Vamsi Paidipally and co-starring Ram Charan and Amy Jackson grossed more than 45 crore INR. Following the huge success of Yevadu, the actress next starred in the Telugu action comedy film Race Gurram alongside Allu Arjun, Ravi Kishan, and Prakash Raj. The film released in 1150 theaters worldwide and went to become one of the top-grossing Telugu films of all time. Shruti for his outstanding performance in the film won the SIIMA Award as well as the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. The actress ended the year on a high as her solitary Tamil of the year Poojai co-starring Vishal, Sathyaraj and Mukesh Tiwari got positive reviews.
The actress had a busy year in 2015 as she shuffled between acting in Bollywood and South Indian films. In her first Bollywood release of the year, Shruti paired with Akshay Kumar for Gabbar Is Back directed by Krish. The film, which was the remake of the 2002 Tamil film Ramanaa got mixed critical reviews but emerged to be a hit at the box office. Her other Bollywood film of the year was the Anees Bazmee directed action comedy film Welcome Back. The film featuring and an ensemble cast including John Abraham, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor, Shiney Ahuja and Paresh Rawal was the second installment of the Welcome film series. The film got mostly positive reviews and emerged to be a box office hit. The actress won laurels for her brilliant role in the Telugu film Srimanthudu, which released in August 2015. The film, which went on to gross more than 200 crore INR at the box office won Shruti her the SIIMA Best Actress — Telugu Award.
In 2016, the actress had a great start as her first release of the year, a Hindi action thriller film Rocky Handsome received positive reviews from the critics. Bollywood Hungama wrote “On the whole, Rocky Handsome is for people who like action films. Despite the film having a simple plot, it has been garnished with engrossing drama and action stunningly. One can find the right mix of tension, action, emotion under one roof. A well-made action thriller.” Her other release of the year includes Premam, a Telugu coming-of-age musical-romantic film directed by Chandoo Mondeti.