Kareena Kapoor and her rise to stardom

Kareena Kapoor and her rise to stardom

Kareena, named interestingly after the title character "Anna Karenina" which her mother was reading during her pregnancy, was bitten by the acting bug early. Though her father was not supportive of his daughters becoming actresses, both sisters eventually set the screen on fire with their vivacious performances. Kareena Kapoor was born a star. Even before her storied debut in the 2000 J.P.Dutta film "Refugee", she had the trademark Kapoor air about her. She famously, and confidently said "People haven't seen me perform on the big screen. [But] I am glad they are treating me like this and giving me star status because I know I will be able to live upto it.' The film bombed at the box office, unfortunately… 13 years later, seeing more misses than hits, her attitude hasn't changed. She's still a star, and she's still No 1, and with good reason. She's every glitterati event's darling, the most sought after face for magazne covers and the face of numerous power brands. Marriage into the Pataudi royal family and to long-term boyfriend, actor Saif Ali Khan hasn't affected her market, and she has been signing up for films that excite her. Her film career has an interesting trajectory. Her debut was not well received and her career didn't really take off till Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum or as it is better known, K3G, where she played the sassy, sexy ‘Poo’. However, she was yet to prove her worth as a lead heroine. What worked was that she was a complete natural and exuded oodles of energy, and that she was a gifted actress. Dancing, another sought after quality in an Indian actress, is something she excels in, as evident in her outings as Poo in K3G and Geet in Jab We Met. She reached her cinematic pinnacle a good number of years into her career with Jab We Met, a performance that got her compared to Kajol in DDLJ and Madhuri in Hum Aapke Hai Kaun. This film, where she was paired opposite Shahid Kapoor, a former boyfriend was appreciated as a romantic blockbuster that strengthened her position as the top heroine in the country. She also inspired a whole new fashion trend by wearing long tee-shirts with Patiala salwars in the film, which was immediately mirrored by young girls across the country. She was in the news for the wrong reasons when she famously went from being a healthy weight to ‘size-zero’ for her film Tashan, with Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar. She was widely criticised for having lost too much weight and promoting an anorexic look to her audience. Indeed, she looked exceedingly thin in the movie but thankfully, she regained her weight after the film and looks healthy again. Her success continued with 3 Idiots, Bodyguard and Ra One. She has delivered spirited and acclaimed performances in the recent movies Ek Main Aur Ek Tu opposite Imran Khan and Talaash, where she played the role of a prostitute who helps solve a police case, turning out to be in fact, a ghost, at the end of the movie. Her nuanced performances even in mediocre films like Khushi, Kyon Ki, Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, 36 China Town and Yaadein have been the hallmark of her career. She has even enjoyed literary success with her 2012 memoir The Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva, a bestseller. Kareena never stays away from the big screen for too long, even when she isn’t starring in films, she pops in for cameos or "item numbers" in hits like Rowdy Rathore (Chin Ta Ta) and Dabaang 2 ( Fevicol). Critics say that Ms Kapoor has a pompous attitude and that she doesn't come across as the sharpest knife in the drawer in interviews, but be that is it may, her pompousness is justified, as she doesn't really have any competition at the top. She adapts quickly and delivers diverse roles, which is important in an industry where you are as good as your last screen outing. What is refreshing and empowering about Kareena Kapoor is her willingness to talk about her private and professional life. Being born a Kapoor, she was already film royalty, and part of an enviable legacy. She has enjoyed the limelight and has been part of it at close quarters years before her debut. The new begum is here to stay, and will be quite hard to dethrone!

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