Ramya aka Divya Spandana, was initially known as Kuthu Ramya. Today, she is a popular South Indian actress.
Though born in Bangalore, she studied at St. Hilda's school in Ooty, Tamil Nadu. However, she graduated from St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Bangalore.
Incidentally, Ramya was part of stage shows and dance programmes since her school days. And it this extra curricular activity that got her noticed by the film industry.
Ramya stepped into the film industry with Kannada movie Abhi starring Puneet Rajkumar. Her film Arasu with Puneet Rajkumar and Meera Jasmine was a big hit in 2007.
She is considered to be ‘golden girl’ in the Kannada film industry because close to 90% of her films have clicked at the box office, including Sevanthi Sevanthi, Julie, Jothe Jotheyali, Meera Madhava Raghava, Mussanjemaatu and Jothegaara.
The film Amrithadhare released in 2005 showcased her acting skills like no other and she received many praises for it.
In 2006, the South Indian Cinematographer Association presented her with the best actress award for her performance in Tananam Tananam directed by critically acclaimed director Kavita Lankesh. Set in a village, Ramya acted as an innocent village girl that won the hearts of many.
In 2003, she made her debut in the Tamil film Industry with Silambarsan. It bombed at the box office. Her breakthrough in Tamil cinema came with Polladhavan (2007) when she changed her name to Divya. The film turned out to be one of the biggest hits of 2007 and earned praises from none other than matinee idol Rajnikanth.
She was also noticed for her next film ‘Thoondil’ opposite Shyam where she played an obsessed lover with negative shades. It got her rave reviews even though the movie wasn’t well received by the cine goers.
Her 2008 Tamil film Vaaranam Aayiram where she dubbed in her own voice was a success at the box office, too. It starred Surya, Sameera Reddy and Simran and was directed by the multi-talented Gautham Menon.
With over 30 films in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu, the reigning actress in the Kannada film industry is now making a mark in the other south Indian films as well.
She is considered to be "golden girl" in Kannada film industry as she has the success rate of close to 90% in her career.
Some of her screen names include Bhanu, Madhumita, Padma, Reema, Aishwarya, Julie, Divya, Shruthi, Spandana, Shalini, Gowri and Preethi.
She has acted opposite actors like Dino Morea, Sudeep, Upendra, Puneet Rajkumar, Diganth, Dhyan, Ganesh, Prem, Vijay and Aadithya.
She has acted in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu films.
She changed her screen name from Ramya to Divya to bring her luck in Tamil cinema.
When Ramya made her debut in Tamil with Simbu in the film ‘Kuthu’, the name stuck to her. Also, it made it easier to not get her name confused with Ramya Krishnan. Soon, Ramya became 'Kuthu’ Ramya.
I was introduced to films by the Rajkumar family and Parvathamma who has introduced so many girls. She gave me a break through their banner. Based on astrology and numerology, she changed my name to Ramya saying, the 'R' would bring me luck. And she was true. That name gave me a place in the Kannada film industry. When I did the Tamil film Kuthu, people there started calling me Kuthu Ramya. People laughed at that name and I hated that. Gowtham Menon while doing Vaaranam Aayiram also didn’t like the prefix and so I again converted to Divya. There are no other Divya in the film industry.
(About Vaaranam Aayiram): I had always wanted to work with Mani Ratnam, Gowtham Menon and the likes as these directors have made films with well-etched women characters. They had always given performance oriented roles to their heroines. When Gowtham was looking for a heroine for the film, a journalist friend of mine referred my name. Deepika had walked out of the film and Gowtham was looking for a replacement. The journalist friend came to me and I was excited at the offer. I went to Chennai for the screen test and I bagged the film.
I would agree that I am selfish as an actor and would prefer to be in every frame. I don’t want any other actress to be in the same frame as I am.
(About co-star Surya): I have been a huge fan of Surya and after working with him I have become even more. When the shooting for the film begin he was very quiet and we used to exchange just the formal 'Hi' and 'Bye'. Irrespective of that while doing the romantic scenes he gave the kind of take that would make anyone fall in love with him. He is that fantastic as an actor. Gradually we started interacting more. He is very professional, punctual and lots of fun to be with. It’s great to be working with such a perfectionist like him. He never compromises until he gives the best. With a director and actor as such, you just have to give your best. We began shooting for the film in December 2006 and for almost two years, we were together. We had become friends and so it was sad when the shooting ended.