Childhood & Early Life
Kareena Kapoor was born on 21 September 1980, in Mumbai, India, to Randhir Kapoor and Babita. Both her parents were prominent actors, though her mother stopped acting after marriage. She has an elder sister named Karisma. She is of Punjabi descent from her father’s side and of Sindhi and British descent from her mother’s side.
Born into a family of actors, Kareena was exposed to the show business at an early age. She was inspired by actresses, such as Meena Kumari and Nargis, and wanted to become an actress.
Her father did not want his daughters to enter the film industry. His conservative attitude led to a conflict between her parents and they separated. Kareena and her sister lived with their mother who took up several jobs in order to support the family. Eventually, Karisma became an actress, further motivating her younger sister to follow her dreams.
Kareena went to ‘Jamnabai Narsee School’ in Mumbai, followed by ‘Welham Girls' School’ in Dehradun. She was not inclined towards academics, but performed well in school to keep her mother happy.
She then studied commerce for two years at ‘Mithibai College’ before joining a three-month summer course in microcomputers at ‘Harvard Summer School’ in the United States.
On her return to India, she enrolled at the ‘Government Law College’ in Mumbai, only to drop out after a year. In her late teens, she decided to pursue acting seriously and thus began training under Kishore Namit Kapoor, a member of the ‘Film and Television Institute of India’ (FTII).
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Kareena Kapoor made her acting debut in a war film titled ‘Refugee’ in 2000. Aged 19 at the time, she played the role of a Bangladeshi girl who falls in love with a refugee, portrayed by Abhishek Bachchan. The film was a moderate hit and earned the young actress much acclaim.
In 2001, she starred opposite Tusshar Kapoor in Satish Kaushik's movie ‘Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai.’ The movie was a hit and established Kapoor in the film industry. The same year, she shared screen space with superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, and Kajol in the film ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...’
She then suffered a major setback when several of her films failed to perform well at the box office. Within a span of two years, six of her films—‘Mujhse Dosti Karoge!,’ ‘Jeena Sirf Merre Liye,’ ‘Talaash: The Hunt Begins...,’ ‘Khushi,’ ‘Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon,’ and ‘LOC Kargil’—flopped.
By the mid-2000s, she had played the stereotypical role of a pretty, superficial girl in a number of films. Determined to avoid being typecast, she took up the challenging role of a sex worker in the film ‘Chameli’ (2004). This role helped her to reinvent her on-screen persona.
In 2006, she acted in three films, ‘36 China Town,’ ‘Chup Chup Ke,’ and ‘Omkara.’ The following year, she played a charming girl named ‘Geet’ in the romantic comedy film ‘Jab We Met,’ which also starred Shahid Kapoor.
She became part of the ensemble cast of the 2009 movie ‘3 Idiots,’ a film loosely based on the novel ‘Five Point Someone’ by Chetan Bhagat. She played a medical student named ‘Pia’ in the film which also had Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, and Sharman Joshi in major roles. The film proved to be a blockbuster.
Kareena Kapoor began the 2010s with a string of hit films: ‘We Are Family’ (2010), ‘Bodyguard’ (2011), ‘Agent Vinod’ (2012), and ‘Heroine’ (2012). Of all these movies, she felt that her portrayal of ‘Mahi Arora’ in ‘Heroine’ was the most challenging.
She got married in late 2012 and reduced her workload in order to devote more time to her family. Over the ensuing years, she did not take up any major projects and did only cameo roles in a handful of films.
She once again became serious about her acting career in 2016 and played the role of ‘Kia,’ a career-oriented young lady, in the film ‘Ki & Ka.’ The same year, she played the role of ‘Dr. Preet Sahni’ in the critically acclaimed film ‘Udta Punjab.’
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In 2018, she played ‘Kalindi Puri’ in Shashanka Ghosh's buddy comedy film ‘Veere Di Wedding.’ In 2019, she portrayed ‘Deepu Batra’ in Raj Mehta's comedy film ‘Good Newwz.’ The following year, she played ‘Naina’ in a comedy drama titled ‘Angrezi Medium.’
In addition to her film career, she has also launched her own clothing line in association with the retail chain ‘Globus.’ She has also co-authored three books: an autobiographical memoir and two nutrition guides.
Kareena Kapoor’s portrayal of ‘Dolly Mishra’ in the 2006 crime drama film ‘Omkara’ was much appreciated by the critics. The film was adapted from William Shakespeare’s ‘Othello.’ This role won her the ‘Filmfare Best Actress (Critics) Award.’ The highly acclaimed film was showcased in the ‘Marché du Film’ section at the 2006 ‘Cannes Film Festival.’
In 2007, she played a vivacious woman named ‘Geet’ in the romantic comedy ‘Jab We Met.’ The film narrated the story of two people with contrasting personalities who meet on a train and eventually fall in love. She was lauded for her performance and honored with several awards.
Although known for her beauty and sex appeal, the actress shed her glamorous avatar to play the serious role of ‘Dr. Preet Sahni’ in Abhishek Chaubey's critically acclaimed film ‘Udta Punjab.’ The movie was about substance abuse in the Indian state of Punjab. Her performance earned her nominations for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ at ‘Filmfare Awards’ and ‘Zee Cine Awards.’
Kareena Kapoor was in a relationship with fellow actor Shahid Kapoor. Their relationship gained a lot of media attention and their eventual break-up was also publicized.
She later started dating actor Saif Ali Khan. Initially, the couple kept their relationship under wraps, but eventually confirmed that they were dating. The couple got married on 16 October 2012 and welcomed a son named Taimur in December 2016.