More than a decade since her acting debut in Sanjay Leela Bhansali`s Saawariya
(2007), Sonam Kapoor has gone on to establish herself as both a versatile actress and a fashion icon. The daughter of celebrated actor Anil Kapoor
, she hails from a family of Bollywood stalwarts that includes the likes of producer Boney Kapoor and actress Sridevi
. From a promising debutante to one of the highest-paid actresses in Bollywood, Sonam`s phenomenal success has been propelled largely by a handful of remarkable performances in some great films. Especially memorable among these are the romantic drama Raanjhanaa
(2013), the biographical sports drama Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
(2013) and the biographical thriller Neerja
(2016), the last of which earned her a Special Jury Accolade at the National Film Awards that year. The actress, who is known for her flamboyant offscreen persona, is also a vocal supporter of a variety of causes including LGBT rights, breast cancer awareness and animal rights.
Sonam was born in the suburb of Chembur in Mumbai, as the eldest daughter of Anil Kapoor and Sunita Kapoor on 9th June, 1985. She has two younger siblings - producer Rhea Kapoor and actor Harshvardhan Kapoor
. Following schooling at Arya Vidya Mandir in Juhu, she joined the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore to study theatre and arts. The actress had originally intended to pursue a career in filmmaking after completing her studies, and had even worked as an assistant director in Bhansali`s acclaimed 2005 drama movie Black. However, destiny had other things planned for her.
Debut & Initial Years
Sonam made her feature film debut opposite fellow debutant Ranbir Kapoor in the romantic drama Saawariya (2007), which failed both critically and commercially despite the high anticipation surrounding it. Though she subsequently appeared in reasonably well-received movies like Delhi-6
(2009) and I Hate Luv Storys (2010), the actress` career was rather chequered courtesy of duds like Mausam (2011) and Players (2012), which disappointed both the critics and the audience alike.
Breakthrough & Beyond
The 2013 romantic drama Raanjhanaa marked a turning point in Sonam`s career. Starring opposite Dhanush, she essayed the role of the strong and independent yet volatile Zoya Haider in the film - a performance which earned her many accolades including a Filmfare Award nomination for Best Actress. In the same year, she starred opposite Farhan Akhtar in the biographical sports drama Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) which opened to near-universal critical acclaim and went on to become one of the top-grossing movies of 2013. Subsequently, she appeared in the comedy-drama Bewakoofiyaan and the romantic comedy Khoobsurat in 2014, the latter of which received mixed to positive reviews and went on to become a box office success. The year 2015 proved to be a disappointment, however, with both her releases - Dolly Ki Doli and the Salman Khan
starrer Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
- falling flat at the box office.
In 2016, Sonam played the titular role in the biographical thriller Neerja, which recounted the harrowing real-life story of the 1986 Pan Am Flight 73 hijack which was largely thwarted by the brave resistance of flight attendant Neerja Bhanot. Her stellar performance in the film has since been termed `career-defining` by the critics and the audience alike. Besides earning a Special Mention at the National Film Awards, Sonam also received the Filmfare Critics` Award for Best Actress for her work in Neerja.
The Kapoor scion`s most recent releases include the biographical comedy-drama Pad Man
(2018), where she starred alongside Akshay Kumar
and Radhika Apte
. The ensemble buddy comedy Veere Di Wedding
and Rajkumar Hirani`s Sanjay Dutt biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor are some of the other high-profile projects of the actress in 2018. Her 2019 release includes The Zoya Factor, directed by Abhishek Sharma.