In 2012, she was cast in the British–Canadian film Midnight's Children, under the direction of Deepa Mehta, based on Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name, for which she received international critical acclaim.

In 2007, she was chosen to play the lead female role opposite Rajinikanth in S.

Shankar's Sivaji: The Boss, During this phase of her career, she made several special appearances in item numbers, including in the films Devadasu, Munna, and Tulasi.

In 2008, Saran played the lead role in her first English film, the American-Indian co-production The Other End of the Line.

Her following projects included popular films such as Kanthaswamy (2009) in Tamil and Pokkiri Raja (2010) in Malayalam — roles that established her as one of the leading actresses in the South Indian film industries.

There she appeared opposite Prabhas and earned her first nomination for the Filmfare Best Telugu Actress Award.

A reviewer for Moviebuzz said that as an action film, Saran's character of the lead's love interest was not well developed and that she was there primarily for the songs.

Saran acted in the Hindi film Mission Istaanbul with Zayed Khan, Vivek Oberoi and Shabbir Ahluwalia in 2008.

She played the character of Anjali Sagar which was inspired by the character of Romila Dutta played by Preity Zinta in the film Lakshya, a journalist who desires to have a child with her husband, which leads to their separation, since he is reluctant.

which was simultaneously shot in Telugu as Nee Manasu Naaku Telusu, in which she played a football coach.