Childhood & Early Life
Yami was born on November 28, 1988, in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, to Mukesh and Anjali Gautam. She grew up in Chandigarh, along with her younger sister, Surilie, and her younger brother, Ojas.
Yami initially joined college to earn a degree in law (honors) and aspired to join the ‘Indian Administrative Services’ (IAS). However, she soon dropped her plans and moved to Mumbai to start a career in acting. Later, she did part-time graduation from Mumbai.
On her father’s recommendation, Yami was called for an audition and was selected by TV series director Partho Mitra.
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Yami made her acting debut in 2008, with two 'NDTV Imagine' series, 'Chand Ke Paar Chalo' and 'Raajkumar Aaryyan.' In 2009, she earned her first leading role, as ‘Leher Mathur Vajpayee’ in the 'Colors' romantic drama 'Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam.' Subsequently, she appeared on the reality shows 'Meethi Choori No. 1' and 'Kitchen Champion Season 1' in 2010. She also appeared in an episode of the police-procedural 'CID'(2013).
Yami’s first big-screen appearance was as ‘Mahalakshmi’ in the 2009 Kannada film 'Ullasa Utsaha.' Later, she appeared as ‘Rabiha’ in the Punjabi film 'Ek Noor' and as ‘Archana’ in the Telugu romantic comedy 'Nuvvila.'
Yami stepped into Bollywood with the 2012 romantic comedy 'Vicky Donor,' starring as a Bengali banker, opposite Ayushmann Khurrana. Her Bollywood debut was a huge success, as 'Vicky Donor,' a unique film based on sperm donation, was one of the top-grossing films of 2012.
Yami’s performance as ‘Ashima’ earned her both applause and awards, including a 'Zee Cine Award.' She also earned several nominations, including one for the 'Filmfare Award.'
In 2012 and 2013, Yami was seen in lead roles, such as ‘Gowri Menon’ in the Malayalam romantic comedy 'Hero,’ a young lawyer named ‘Yazhini/Yamini’ in the Tamil/Telugu film 'Gouravam,’ and ‘Madhumita’ in the Telugu film 'Yuddham.'
Yami made a comeback to Bollywood in 2014, with the romantic comedy ‘Total Siyapaa’ and the action thriller 'Action Jackson.' Both the films were unsuccessful at the box office.
The following year, Yami appeared in a brief but significant role, as ‘Misha,’ actor Varun Dhawan’s on-screen wife, in the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer action–thriller 'Badlapur.'
Yami was cast in the lead role of ‘Kavya’ in the 2015 Telugu romantic thriller 'Courier Boy Kalyan.' She reprised the role in the Tamil version of the film, 'Tamilselvanum Thaniyar Anjalum,' released in 2016.
In 2016, Yami was seen as actor Pulkit Samrat's on-screen love interest in two films, 'Sanam Re' and 'Junooniyat,' both of which were commercial failures. The former, however, had a hit soundtrack. Her falling career graph was revived when she played ‘Supriya Bhatnagar,’ the on-screen blind wife of Hrithik Roshan, in the 2017 romantic thriller 'Kaabil.' Although Yami’s character died in the first half, her performance was noticed and praised by all.
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Yami had a brief role in the third installment of Ram Gopal Varma's political thriller franchise 'Sarkar' and played an advocate named ‘Gulnaar Rizvi’ in the 2018 movie 'Batti Gul Meter Chalu,' a movie with a social message. Both movies failed to impress the audiences.
Yami’s most notable role and successful film after 'Vicky Donor' was the 2019-released military action–thriller film 'Uri: The Surgical Strike.' Starring alongside Vicky Kaushal and Paresh Rawal, she played ‘Pallavi Sharma,’ an intelligence officer, in this 'National Award'-winning film.
Yami will appear with Ayushmann Khurrana again in the comedy–drama 'Bala,' which will hit the theaters on November 22, 2019.
Yami has been a long-time face of the fairness cream 'Fair & Lovely.' Her first ad for the brand was directed by filmmaker Anurag Basu. Some of the other brands she endorses are 'Cornetto,' 'Samsung,' and 'Chevrolet.'
Yami started a cold war with Divya Khosla Kumar, the wife of 'T-Series' head, Bhushan Kumar, who has also produced three of her films. The conflict began during the promotion of 'Sanam Re,' when she blamed the 'T-Series' production team for leaking the rumors of her affair with co-star Pulkit Samrat.
Divya was not happy with Yami’s statement. Thus, 'T- Series' did not offer her any film for a long time after this incident. Even 'Junooniyat' was not promoted, which affected its box-office results.
Later, Yami was cast in 'Batti Gul Meter Chalu,' as co-producer Prernaa Arora tried to mend the differences between her and Divya. However, Yami refused to issue an apology, although Divya had demanded that she do so.
Family & Personal Life
Yami’s father, Mukesh Gautam, is a film and TV director who directed the popular TV show 'India’s Most Wanted.' He is also the vice president of the channel 'PTC.’ Her sister, Surilie, too, is an actor in Punjabi films.
Yami is Punjabi from her father’s side and Pahari from her mother’s side. The family moved to Chandigarh, as her grandfather had started a school for the underprivileged there.
Rumors claimed she dated Pulkit Samrat while they were filming for 'Sanam Re.' Their alleged affair was labeled as the reason for Pulkit’s separation from his wife, Shweta Rohira.
Yami and Shweta displayed their dislike for each other in public while at a movie screening, which fueled the rumor further. Yami was reportedly pressurizing Pulkit to divorce Shweta and make their relationship official. There was also the news of Pulkit and Yami having been introduced to each other’s parents.
Shweta later took to social media and openly blamed Yami for her failed marriage. However, she kept Pulkit away from the issue. She claimed that it was Yami who had always been after him and that Pulkit had never shown any interest in her.
According to some sources, Yami has broken up with Pulkit. Reportedly, Pulkit is now dating Kriti Kharbanda.