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Kaif at Dabboo Ratnani's calendar shoot, January 2013
16 July 1983
British Hong Kong
|Years active||2003 – present|
Kaif at Dabboo Ratnani's calendar shoot, January 2013
16 July 1983
British Hong Kong
|Years active||2003 – present|
Katrina Kaif (pronounced [kəˈʈriːnaː ˈkɛːf]; born Katrina Turquotte on 16 July 1983) is a British Indian film actress and model. She is primarily known for her work in Bollywood films, though has also appeared in Telugu and Malayalam films. She is one of India's highest-paid actresses, and has achieved popularity due to her physical beauty.
After a successful modelling career, Kaif made her acting debut in 2003, with a role in Kaizad Gustad's box office bomb Boom, after which she was initially written off. She consequently appeared in a Telugu film—the hit romantic comedy Malliswari. Kaif later earned commercial success in Bollywood with the romantic comedies Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? and Namastey London, of which the latter garnered her praise for her performance. She followed it with glamorous roles in a series of box office hits, though was criticised for having little to do in male-centric films like Partner (2007), Welcome (2007) and Singh Is Kinng (2008).
The 2009 terrorism drama New York marked a turning point in her career, earning her praise as well as a Filmfare Award for Best Actress nomination. She subsequently featured in more prominent roles in hit films like Raajneeti (2010), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011) and Ek Tha Tiger (2012). She has also featured in the action thriller Dhoom 3 (2013), which emerged as the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics for her acting prowess, she has established herself as a commercially successful actress of Hindi cinema.
Katrina Kaif was born on 16 July 1983 in Hong Kong to a Kashmiri father, Mohammed Kaif, and an English mother, Susanna Turquotte, who is a British citizen. Her parents divorced when she was very young. Kaif once stated, "My dad, unfortunately, and not out of choice, has had no influence on our upbringing, on our religious or social or moral bearings." When she came to India, she changed her surname to that of her father's, Kaif, because it was Indian in origin.
Furthermore, Ayesha Shroff, producer of her first film, has maintained that the actress's original name is Katrina Turquotte. She also claims that they gave her the Indian father and also the surname Kaif after cricketer Mohammad Kaif as he was on top at that time. She adds that they also had thought her naming Katrina Kazi. Kaizad Gustad, director of her first film Boom, maintains that Kaif was a name he conjured up after Katrina was selected at an audition at a Pali Hill hotel in Mumbai.
From Hong Kong, she and her family moved to China, and then to Japan. From there she went to France when she was 8, and thereafter lived for a few months at a time in Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Belgium, and other European countries. Then she moved with her family to Hawaii and eventually to her mother's home country of England. Although it is often assumed that Kaif is from London, she lived there only for three years before moving to Mumbai. As a British citizen, she works in India on an employment visa.
Kaif's personal life, including her romantic relationships, has been a great subject to the media. After years of speculations Katrina Kaif admitted in a 2011 magazine interview that she had been in a serious relationship with actor Salman Khan for several years, which ended in 2010.
Kaif started pursuing her engineering studies in London at age 17, but she was not interested in that field. Instead, she wanted to be in the modeling and the glamour industry. In an interview in The Times of India, Kaif stated that she came to India to search for her career at the age of 17. Her philanthropic work includes her association with an NGO her mother works for, the Relief Projects India.
Kaif first expressed interest in a modelling career at the age of fourteen, when she won a beauty contest in Hawaii, and subsequently received her first assignment as a model—a jewellery campaign. Kaif continued modelling in London, where she worked for various freelance agencies. She also featured regularly at the London Fashion Week. Her appearance at a fashion show attracted the attention of London-based filmmaker Kaizad Gustad, who selected her for a role in the English / Hindi erotic heist film Boom, alongside an ensemble cast consisting of Amitabh Bachchan, Gulshan Grover, Jackie Shroff, Madhu Sapre and Padma Lakshmi. Whilst shooting for the film in India, Kaif began receiving other offers, and decided to stay in the country. She soon established a successful modelling career there after endorsing prominent brands like Coca-Cola, LG, Fevicol and Samsung. Kaif also gained recognition after walking the ramp for Rohit Bal at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2003. Adarsh Gutpta, executive director of Liberty Shoes (co-sponsor of the show) opined that "her professionalism has been truly amazing [...] it is her uninhibited sensibility that I think makes Katrina the perfect choice for advertising lifestyle products."
Kaif's successful modelling stint led to immense anticipation surrounding her Bollywood debut. However, upon release, Boom failed critically as well as commercially. Her enactment of a supermodel ensnared in the Mumbai underworld was not well received, with Ziya U. Salam of The Hindu attributing the poor performances of the film's leading ladies to "the vacuity of their expressions." Post-release, Kaif was initially written off due to her thick British accent. On its failure, Kaif dismissed the film, saying that "I don't count Boom among important happenings in my life. When I signed this film, I didn't know much about India and its film audience. I got to know later that the film had major flaws in terms of script and presentation."
Kaif was later offered a number of modelling assignments, though filmmakers were hesitant to cast her due to her poor command in Hindi; in one such incident, she was unceremoniously removed from the film Saaya. Subsequently, Kaif began working on her diction through Hindi classes.
After the failure of her first Bollywood venture, Kaif took on a Telugu film Malliswari. Cast opposite Daggubati Venkatesh, the film saw Kaif play the titular role of a princess—heiress to 7 billion (US$110 million)—who is forced to flee from her murderous caretaker. For the film, she reportedly received 7.5 million (US$120,000), the highest amount paid to an actress in the South industry at the time of release. Moreover, the film emerged as an economic success.
The following year, Kaif appeared briefly as Abhishek Bachchan's girlfriend in Ram Gopal Verma's political thriller Sarkar, and subsequently featured in her first major Hindi film role in David Dhawan's adaptation of the romantic comedy Cactus Flower entitled Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?, alongside Salman Khan, Sushmita Sen and Sohail Khan. The film was a profitable venture, and Kaif gathered recognition for her role as a model with suicidal tendencies; Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com mentions that "Katrina's Disney princess-like charm adds to her adorable screen presence." She followed this with her second Telegu release Allari Pidugu where she played a small role alongside Balakrishna.
In 2006, she was paired opposite Akshay Kumar for the first time (she subsequently appeared alongside Kumar in a number of successful films) in Raj Kanwar's Humko Deewana Kar Gaye. The film tells the story of two like-minded strangers who fall in love despite being engaged to other people. Though the film met with a tepid response at the box office, Kaif received appreciation for her performance; Rajeev Masand wrote, "Katrina [...] dazzles every time she's on screen [...] she exploits the potential that this role provides her, and she ends up turning in an impressive act that is sure to get her noticed." Kaif also appeared in a Malayalam film—the crime thriller Balram vs. Tharadas—which was a profitable production. She played an actress who is arrested by police inspector Balram (Mammootty), as a means of trapping her criminal boyfriend Tharadas (also Mammooty). Writing for The Hindu, Rishi Raj Singh was impressed with Kaif's performance and published that she is "marvellous" in her role.
The year 2007 brought about a change in Kaif's acting career, when she appeared in four films, all of which were successful at the box office. In an interview with Businessofcinema.com, Kaif opined that her starring role in Vipul Shah's romantic comedy Namastey London marked an important milestone. She used her experiences in London as a reference point for her role as a spoilt British Indian girl who is intent on marrying her self-centred British boyfriend despite her parent's reproach. Critics were divided in the film itself, though Kaif's performance attracted favourable reviews. Verma mentions that she "suits the role to the T," adding that "the actress brings the zingy mix of her character alive with style and substance." Kaif's chemistry with lead actor Akshay Kumar also generated immense appreciation, with Nikhat Kazmi of The Times Of India describing their pairing as "refreshing".
She next appeared in a supporting role for the Anil Sharma-directed melodramatic sports film Apne, that featured Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Kirron Kher and Shilpa Shetty in prominent roles. After Apne, she reunited with director David Dhawan for the comedy Partner (the unofficial remake of Hitch), where she starred alongside Salman Khan, Govinda and Lara Dutta. With a worldwide revenue of 1.03 billion (US$16 million), the film emerged a blockbuster, despite a mixed critical reception. Kaif's final release of the year was Anees Bazmee's multistarrer comedy Welcome, in which she was cast alongside Akshay Kumar, Nana Patekar, Mallika Sherawat and Anil Kapoor. The film received mixed reviews, though became Kaif's second consecutive blockbuster, with worldwide earnings of 1.16 billion (US$19 million). Despite these films doing well at the box office, Kaif's roles were overlooked as the general perception from critics was that the films did not allow "much for the women to do" and that Kaif was "nothing more than [a] glamourous prop" in her appearances.
The following year, Kaif collaborated with Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu, Anil Kapoor and Sameera Reddy for Abbas-Mustan's action thriller Race. The film follows the story of two stepbrothers-turned-rivals who are in contention of their father's insurance payment. Kaif enacted the role of Ranveer's (Khan) double-crossing secretary and his stepbrother's (Khanna) lover. Race continued Kaif's slew of successes, though Kazmi noted that "Katrina is too pale as the blousy secretary who comes into her own only when she gets seductive with a `Touch me, kiss me' tenor." She was more appreciative of the film, praising its "super cool look [and] testosterone-high action sequences." Kaif was next seen in Anees Bazmee's action comedy Singh Is Kinng, as Akshay Kumar's love interest and Ranvir Shorey's fiancée. With worldwide earnings of 1.25 billion (US$20 million), the film was declared a super hit—making it Kaif's sixth consecutive success at the box office. Kaif earned mixed reviews for her performance; in a particularly scathing review, Rajeev Masand commented that "Katrina Kaif is an eyesore [...] her acting so weak you want to urge her to watch everyone from Madhubala to Madhuri so she might pick up a few tricks."
Kaif's final release of the year, the Subhash Ghai-directed drama Yuvvraaj, was a major failure at the box office. The film narrates the story of three estranged brothers—Deven (Salman Khan), Danny (Zayed Khan) and Gyanesh (Anil Kapoor), and the attempts of the former two into scamming money from their mentally ill brother. To prepare for her role as a cello player, Kaif practised playing the instrument alongside orchestra members. Her portrayal of a girl forbidden by her father from marrying her poor lover, received generally positive reviews; Sonia Chopra of Sify opined that "Katrina is wonderful, plays the cello convincingly, and looks ethereal." Despite the film receiving mixed reviews as a whole, its script was added to the library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences due to its artistic merit.
During this period, Kaif's voice was often dubbed by dubbing artists such as Mona Ghosh Shetty, since she was inarticulate in Hindi and other Indian languages. Whilst Kaif was a part of a string of successful movies at this stage, film critics observed that she had little to do as her films were generally male-centric. She also received mostly negative reviews for her acting prowess. On her series of glamorous roles, Kaif reflected that her "first few films were really a process of learning [...] [t]here was no target."
After a string of films in which she was cast merely for her glamour quotient, Kaif's role in the 2009 terrorism drama New York brought her recognition for her acting. The Kabir Khan-directed film narrated the story of three friends and how their lives are changed when one of them is wrongly detained after 9/11. Cast alongside John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Kaif portrayed the character of Maya, a college student who is later married to a terrorist. On her role, Kaif remarked that she identified with Maya as she felt similar isolation whilst growing up in London because of her skin colour. Kaif further opined that she had "played the arm candy in one too many films in the past" and was looking to work in more "performance oriented" films like New York. The film did well at the box office and received positive reviews. Subhash K. Jha mentions that Kaif "comes into her own as an actress of substance," adding that "[f]rom the carefree effervescent campus girl to the anguished wife, Katrina makes the journey look plausible all the way." New York earned Kaif her first Filmfare nomination for Best Actress. She also appeared in a cameo for India's first underwater thriller Blue.
Kaif next appeared in Rajkumar Santoshi's hit comedy Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, as an orphan who is forced to marry a rich man against her wishes. Kaif was generally praised for her performance; Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama mentioned that "Katrina Kaif continues to surprise [...] She scores in both emotional and light scenes," adding that her chemistry with co-star Ranbir Kapoor is "electrifying." Her final release of the year was in Priyadarshan's multistarrer comedy De Dana Dan, alongside Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Paresh Rawal, Sameera Reddy and Neha Dhupia.
In 2010, Kaif first appeared in Prakash Jha's political thriller Raajneeti. The film, which saw Kaif feature alongside an ensemble cast consisting of Ranbir Kapoor, Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Nana Patekar, Manoj Bajpai and Sarah Thompson, was inspired by the Indian epic The Mahabharata, and Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather. Set against the backdrop of Bhopal, the picture narrated the story of a fiercely fought election campaign between two warring parties who attempt to seize power through manipulation, corruption and treachery. Before release, it was largely speculated that Kaif's character was based on Sonia Gandhi, though this was denied by Kaif. In preparation for her role as the dynamic Indu, she watched election campaign videos of Priyanka Vadra in order to study the body language of politicians and their interactions during campaigns. The film met with predominantly positive reviews; Rajeev Masand found the film to be "thrilling and gripping," though Namrata Joshi complained about the depiction of Raajneeti's female characters, who are all "destined" to be "pregnant." The movie received a total collection of 1.4 billion (US$22 million) at the box office, and emerged as a blockbuster. Kaif earned generally favourable reviews for her portrayal; Kazmi mentioned that Kaif is "carefree and camera-unconscious." She also appeared opposite Akshay Kumar in Farah Khan's brainless comedy Tees Maar Khan, as an aspiring actress. Despite overwhelmingly poor reviews from critics, and negative media perception, the film was moderately successful at the box office. Kaif's performance was not received well, with Renuka Rao of Daily News and Analysis saying that her "drama queen act is performed [...] poorly," although mentioning that Kaif "does full justice" to her highly publicised item number "Sheila Ki Jawani," which emerged as a chartbuster. For her 2010 appearances, Kaif was awarded the Screen Award for Best Actress (Popular Choice).
In 2011, she was seen alongside Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin in Zoya Akhtar's coming-of-age dramedy Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. The film narrates the story of three friends on a bachelor trip, and how the workaholic nature of one of these friends is overcome with the help of Laila (Kaif). The movie emerged as a major commercial success, with worldwide earnings of 1.53 billion (US$24 million). It was also well received by critics; Pratim D. Gupta of The Telegraph remarked that the film is "beautifully scripted," whilst Mayank Shekhar said that the picture boasted of some "memorable, amusing moments." In addition, Kaif's role as the fun-loving diving instructor was appreciated, with Richard Kuipers of Variety commenting that she is "delightful as the sweet-natured girl who inspires everyone to look in the mirror and do something about it." Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was one of the most awarded films of the year, and received numerous Best Film accolades at major Indian award functions.
She next featured in Yash Raj Films' romantic comedy Mere Brother Ki Dulhan opposite Imran Khan and Ali Zafar. Kaif described her role of vivacious punk rock girl Dimple Dixit as challenging because the character had contrasting personality traits to herself. Whilst the film earned mixed reviews, Kaif was extensively praised for her portrayal. Gaurav Malani of The Economic Times published that the film is watchable because of "Katrina's live-wire energy wherein she never goes overboard and keeps bustling with vivacity through the runtime." Trade analysts also credited the film's box office success to Kaif—who had a heroine-centric role in the film—and reflected that it was the first time she had carried a film on her own shoulders. For her performance, Kaif also received her second Filmfare nomination in the Best Actress category.
In 2012, Kaif first appeared in an immensely popular item song for Agneepath entitled "Chikni Chameli." The song was shot over ten days and saw her dance to a type of Maharashtrian folk dance called Lavani. Kaif commented on the song: "It was hard work. It was very fast and it was not a style I was used to, but I took it as a challenge [...] I am happy people are liking it." She next appeared in Kabir Khan's espionage thriller Ek Tha Tiger as Zoya, an ISI agent who falls in love with an Indian RAW agent. The film received predominantly positive reviews, with Aniruddha Guha of Daily News and Analysis calling the movie "smart and stylish." Kaif was appreciated for her action quotient, as well as her performance; Shubhra Gupta of the The Indian Express wrote that she is "an able, animated foil to Salman, her long legs making her leaps and kicks credible," and added that "she brings the right degree of playfulness" to her character. The pairing of Kaif with Khan (her ex-boyfriend) resulted in much hype, and the film was hugely successful at the box office; with worldwide earnings of 3.1 billion (US$50 million), Ek Tha Tiger became the highest grossing film of the year. 
Kaif's next appearance was for Yash Chopra's swan song, the romance Jab Tak Hai Jaan, in which she featured alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma. On working with Chopra, Kaif remarked that "Yashji undoubtedly is the king of romance and I have always admired the way he presents his heroines. It was always a dream to work with him and the reality is even better." Kaif portrayed Meera, a woman who makes a promise with God to end her rendezvous with her coma-stricken lover, given that he survives. The movie generated mostly positive reviews; Rajeev Masand wrote that "[d]espite its many script problems, it's a consistently watchable film that oozes with feeling and real emotion." On the other hand Kaif's performance attracted a mixed reception; in one review, Rohit Vats published that "Meera's role was a difficult one and Katrina falls short in emotional scenes. It seems Katrina still doesn't feel very easy in front of the camera and has difficulty with complex expressions. But boy she can dance!" Commercially, the film proved a box office hit with revenues of 2.11 billion (US$34 million) worldwide. Her performances in Ek Tha Tiger and Jab Tak Hai Jaan earned Kaif her second Screen Award for Best Actress (Popular Choice).
After more than a year, Kaif appeared in the action thriller Dhoom 3 (2013). Directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, the film saw Kaif star as a circus performer alongside Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra. In preparation for her role, Kaif engaged in an intense regime of pilates, functional training and Aerial Straps over the course of one year. The movie attracted mixed reviews from critics, as did Kaif's character in the film. Deepanjana Pal of First Post questioned Kaif's willingness to appear in the picture, and remarked that "[s]he's barely there in the film." Nonetheless, her acrobatic and dancing skills were praised; Taran Adarsh commented that "Katrina looks ethereal and her acrobats will catch you unaware. Moving with incredible grace in dance numbers, she's sure to astonish the viewer with her dexterous act no end." Earning over 4 billion (US$64 million) worldwide, the film emerged as an all-time blockbuster, and stands as the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time.
She is currently filming for three projects—Siddharth Anand's action comedy Bang Bang opposite Hrithik Roshan, Kabir Khan's post 26/11 counter-terrorism drama Phantom with Saif Ali Khan, as well as Anurag Basu's comedy-mystery film Jagga Jasoos (alongside Ranbir Kapoor). She has also been signed on for Abhishek Kapoor's adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations entitled Fitoor, where she will play a role based on the character of Estella Havisham opposite Aditya Roy Kapur.
In addition to acting in films, Kaif has supported charitable organisations, and performed for stage shows. In 2008, she took part in Temptation Reloaded 2008, a series of concerts showcased across several different countries. The show, which also featured Arjun Rampal, Kareena Kapoor, Shahrukh Khan, Ganesh Hegde, Javed Ali and Anusha Dandekar, took place at the Ahoy Rotterdam venue in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Several months later, she again joined Rampal, Kapoor and Khan to perform for 15,000 spectators at Dubai's Festival City Arena. In 2009, Kaif performed at the closing ceremony of the second edition of Indian Premier League alongside international rapper Akon at The Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg. She also performed at many awards, Police Show events, concerts and also a performance at Temptations Reloaded concert with Shah Rukh Khan, Ali Zafar and Preity Zinta in Muscat in 2013. Katrina performed at the opening ceremony of the 6th edition of the IPL in April, 2013.
Kaif is considered one of the most beautiful celebrities in India—the media cites her skin, hair and figure as her distinctive physical features. As such, she ranks highly on various listings of the most attractive Indian celebrities. Kaif was named the "World's Sexiest Woman" by FHM in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013; and was also described as the "Sexiest Asian Woman" by UK magazine Eastern Eye for three consecutive years since 2008. The actress featured on Verve's list of most powerful women in 2009 and 2010, and The Times of India ranked her amongst the top five "Most Desirable Woman" from 2009 to 2012. In 2011, Kaif was named "India's Most Beautiful Woman" by the Indian edition of People magazine. In 2013, she was the only woman who featured in the Top 10 of the Indian version of Forbes's "Celebrity 100," a list based on the income and popularity of India's biggest entertainers; with an estimated annual earning of 637.5 million (US$10 million).
Kaif is one of India's highest paid celebrity endorsers, and is the ambassador of many prominent brands including Slice, Nakshatra, Lux, Olay, Panasonic, Pantene and L'Oréal, among others. She is also the first Bollywood actress to have a Barbie doll modelled after herself. In 2012, International Advertising Association named Kaif (along with Salman Khan) as the "Brand Endorser of the Year."
|2003||Boom||Rina Kaif / Popdi Chinchpokli||English / Hindi film|
|2004||Malliswari||Princess Malliswari||Telugu film|
|2005||Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?||Sonia|
|2005||Allari Pidugu||Shwetha||Telugu film|
|2006||Hum Ko Deewana Kar Gaye||Jia A. Yashvardhan|
|2006||Balram vs. Taradas||Supriya||Malayalam film|
|2007||Namastey London||Jasmeet "Jazz" Malhotra|
|2008||Singh Is Kinng||Sonia Singh|
|2009||New York||Maya Shaikh||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actress|
|2009||Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani||Jennifer "Jenny" Pinto|
|2009||De Dana Dan||Anjali Kakkad|
|2010||Raajneeti||Indu Sakseria / Pratap|
|2010||Tees Maar Khan||Anya Khan|
|2011||Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara||Laila|
|2011||Bodyguard||Unknown||Special appearance in song "Bodyguard"|
|2011||Mere Brother Ki Dulhan||Dimple Dixit||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actress|
|2012||Agneepath||Chikni Chameli||Special appearance in song "Chikni Chameli"|
|2012||Ek Tha Tiger||Zoya|
|2012||Jab Tak Hai Jaan||Meera Thapar|
|2013||Main Krishna Hoon||Radha||Cameo|
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