Kareena Kapoor Biography
The Kapoor family are the Indian equivalent to the Redgraves in Great Britain. Kareena was born into a dynasty of actors going back to her grandfather.
She is the granddaughter of actor Prithviraj Kapoor, her parents Randhir and Babita are both actors so is her sister Karisma.
She is named after the book "Anna Karenina" which her mother read when she was pregnant with her daughter, and she was exposed to the media from an early age as she was taken to Award Ceremonies with her parents.
Kapoor is Punjabi Khatri descent on her father's side and Sindhi on her mother's side. She was born in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) on September 21st 1980 and she is often known as "Bebo."
She wanted to be an actress from early childhood and would often dress up in her mother's clothes and perform in front of the mirror.
Despite his background her father disapproved of women entering the acting profession believing it prevented them from carrying out their traditional maternal duties and caused them to neglect their family responsibilities.
This led to conflict between her parents and resulted in her mother leaving the house with her two daughters.
After her parents separated Kapoor was raised in Lokhandwala by her mother who did several jobs to support the girls until her daughter was old enough to start earning.
She grew up in a family of women and did not see her father in her formative years but she says they are now a family again.
After leaving college she registered to do a three-month summer course in microcomputers at Harvard University in America and later she developed an interest in law so she enrolled at the Government Law College in Churchgate.
Kapoor completed a year before she realised she did not want to be an academic and returned to her initial ambition to become an actress.
She studied acting in Andheri and monitored by Kishore Namit Kapoor, a member of the Film and TV Institute in India.
She was initially due to make her debut in Rakesh Roshan "Kaho Naa - Pyaar Hai" in 2000 opposite the director's son Hrithik Roshan. Several days into filming she withdrew from the project.
She said later it was destiny she was not in the film, it was a launch for the director's son and the whole focus was on the boy so she was glad she had not done it.
Her debut film later in the year was J.P.Dutta's war drama "Refugee" set in the Pakistani war in 1971.
The film centred on a man known as Refugee who illegally transported civilians back and forth across the Indo-Pakistani border. Kapoor played Naaz, a Bangladeshi girl who falls in love with Refugee while illegally migrating to Pakistan with her family.
Her performance was acclaimed by the critics and it earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. The film became the highest grossing film in India in 2000.
A series of successful films followed but during 2002 and 2003 she experienced a setback in her career. She made six films plus a four-hour war epic "Loc Kargil" and all of them were both critically and commercially unsuccessful in India.
Kapoor's performances were often criticised for being unoriginal and repetitive with little inspiration. Critics were concerned that she was becoming typecast but these negative comments just spurred her on to improve her integrity as an actress and accept more demanding roles.
2004 marked the beginning of her work in more serious films which bought her critical acclaim rather than commercial success.
Under the direction of Sudhir Mishra Kapoor portrayed the role of a prostitute in Chameli. It tells the story of how the young prostitute meets a widowed investment banker and it follows the development of their relationship and their life's experiences.
When she was initially offered the role in 2002 she turned it down but when the director offered it to her again 12 months later she accepted. Kapoor visited several of Mumbai's red light districts at night to study the dress and mannerisms of the sex workers.
The film earned her the Filmfare Special Performance Award and marked a significant turning point in her career as an actress. In 2007 she won another Filmfare Award, this time for Best Actress for her role as Geet Dhillon in "Jab We Met."
In this film she played a vivacious Sikh girl with a strong zest for life and starred opposite her long-term boyfriend Shahid Kapoor.
While shooting the film Kapoor and Shahid ended their three-year relationship in a much-publicised break-up. When asked about it she said she still held him in high regard and hoped one day they could be friends.
During her years in the film industry she has been involved with various humanitarian causes and in August 2007 she replaced actress Soha Ali Khan as brand ambassador for the clothing chain Globus on a two-year contract.
Since the break-up with Shahid she has been dating Saif Ali Khan. It was initially seen as a promotional relationship but the media realised it was serious when they were spotted out together off-screen.
They made "Tashan" together in 2008 and "Kurbaan" in 2009 and said she would like to marry him but was too busy to take time off.
Since then Kareena Kapoor has been in many more films including Agent Vinod, Heroine as Mahi Arora and Talaash playing Rosy in 2012. In 2013 she played parts as Shruti in Golmaal 4 and Begum Samru in Begum Samru during 2013.