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Do you know that many celebrities changed when names before entering the film industry? In the South film industry as well, several stars changed their birth name and got new stage names. Well, there are many reasons why celebs chose to change their birth names. 

Some changed their names due to numerology purposes, while others wanted to go with the trend and a few others believed in having a certain name would bring them luck and fame. A few celebs also changed their birth because it's very long and hard for their admirers to pronounce and say easily. Several superstars in the South film industry including Rajinikanth, Mammootty, Yash, and many others changed their birth names. 

Here's a list of South celebs who changed their real names for the silver screen; Check out below


Rajinikanth's birth name given by his family was Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. However, he changed his name before making his debut with the Tamil film Apoorva Raagangal (1975), directed by K. Balachander. It was the legendary filmmaker K Balachander who christened Shivaji Rao Gaekwad as Rajinikanth. Balachander provided Rajinikanth with his stage name to avoid confusion with fellow actor Sivaji Ganesan. 


Mammootty was born by the name Muhammad Kutty Panaparambil Ismail. But he changed his name to Mammootty before making his debut in the Malayalam film industry. Reportedly, Mammootty was his nickname, fondly called by his loved ones. So the actor decided to adopt his nickname as a stage name, instead of his long name. He debuted with the Malayalam film Anubhavangal Paalichakal and went on to become the biggest superstar of the South. 


Nayanthara was born as Diana Mariam Kurien in a Malayali Nasrani  (Christian) family. In 2011, she converted her religion to Hinduism and changed her name to Nayanthara. The actress made her acting debut with the Malayalam film Manassinakkare in 2003 and established a niche for herself as Lady Superstar of South. 

Anushka Shetty

Do you know that Anushka's real name was Sweety Shetty? The actress changed her name after everyone kept calling her Sweety in her debut movie Super, which made her embarrassed. After considering many names, she chose the name Anushka for her.


The KGF star Yash, had not one but two birth names. Naveen legally, and his mother's side of the family named him Yashwanth. And before starting his career in the film industry, he was advised by others in the industry to adopt a stage name. In order to stand out with a name that was unique for an actor in Karnataka, he shortened Yashwanth to Yash. Well, after that rest is history. The actor today is known for his iconic role Rocky Bhai in the KGF franchise and enjoys immense fame from all over the world. 


Dhanush was born as Venkatesh Prabhu Kasthuri Raja. He adopted the screen name Dhanush after getting inspired by the fictional covert operation from Kuruthipunal in 1995. After debuting with the film Thulluvadho Ilamai in 2002, Dhanush has so far acted in 50 movies and won the National Award four times. 


Chiranjeevi's birth name was Konidela Sivasankara Vara Prasad. But his family changed his name to Chiranjeevi. His mother, who was a passionate devotee of Lord Hanuman, mother advised the actor to change his name to 'Chiranjeevi'. In a career spanning over four decades, he starred in over 150 feature films predominantly and is known as the megastar of Telugu cinema.


After working as Radio Jockey, assistant, the actor made his debut with the movie Ashta Chamma.  Interestingly, his real name is Naveen Babu Ghanta and his nickname is Nani. The Dasara actor chose to go with his nickname in films.

Vishwak Sen

The young Telugu actor Vishwak Sen's real name is Dinesh Naidu. Yes, however, he changed due to numerology before entering the industry. The actor opened up about his real name and said, "I was named Dinesh Naidu when I was born. But my father checked the numerology later and said that name will never give me any success despite hard work. Then I asked him to give an alternate name. He has shown me 4 names to select one. I have chosen Vishwak Sen". 

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