Kapoor at a promotional event for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in 2013
|Born||28 September 1982
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Relatives||See Kapoor family|
Ranbir Kapoor (pronounced; born 28 September 1982) is an Indian actor. Through his career in Bollywoodfilms,
he has become one of the most popular celebrities and one of the highest-paid actors in India. He is the recipient ofseveral awards, including five Filmfare Awards.
The son of actors Rishi and Neetu, and the grandson of actor-director Raj, Kapoor pursued film-making and method acting at the School of Visual Arts and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, respectively. He subsequently assisted Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the film Black (2005). Kapoor made his acting debut with Bhansali’s tragic romance Saawariya (2007), a box office flop but notable for earning him his first Filmfare Award—Best Male Debut. He was awarded the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his performances in three films of 2009—the coming-of-age film Wake Up Sid, the comedy Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, and the drama Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year.
Kapoor won two consecutive Best Actor awards at Filmfare for portraying a troubled musician in the drama Rockstar (2011) and a deaf-mute man in the comedy-drama Barfi! (2012). A starring role in the romantic comedy Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani(2013), one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films, established him as a leading Bollywood actor. However, he followed it by starring in a series of films that under-performed at the box office, although his performance in the romantic drama Tamasha(2015) was praised.
In addition to acting in films, Kapoor supports charities and causes. He is the co-founder of the production company Picture Shuru Productions, and is a co-owner of the Indian Super League football team Mumbai City FC.
Early life and background
Ranbir Kapoor was born on 28 September 1982 in Mumbai to Rishi and Neetu, both actors of the Hindi film industry. He is the great-grandson of Prithviraj and the grandson of actor-director Raj. His elder sister, Riddhima (born 1980), is an interior and fashion designer. The actresses Karisma and Kareena are his first cousins.Kapoor was educated at the Bombay Scottish School in Mahim. As a student, he found little interest in academics and would rank low among his peers.
Kapoor has been vocal about how his parent’s troubled marriage affected him as a child: “Sometimes the fights would get really bad. I would be sitting on the steps, my head between my knees, till five or six in the morning, waiting for them to stop”. These experiences led to a “reservoir of emotions building up inside [him]”, which he said compelled him to develop an interest in film. In his early years, Kapoor was close to his mother, but had a dysfunctional relationship with his father.After completing his tenth standard examinations, he worked as an assistant director to his father on the film Aa Ab Laut Chalen (1999), during which he developed a closer bond with him.
After completing his pre-university education from the H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, Kapoor relocated to New York City to learn film-making at the School of Visual Arts, and subsequently pursued method acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. In film school, Kapoor directed and starred in two short films, entitled Passion to Love andIndia 1964. The loneliness of living alone in New York City coupled with his experience in film school, which he described as “useless”, inspired him to pursue a career in Bollywood. Upon returning to Mumbai, Kapoor was hired as an assistant director to Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the 2005 film Black. He described the experience: “I was getting beaten up, abused, doing everything from cleaning the floor to fixing the lights from 7 am to 4 am, but I was learning every day.” He later remarked that his motive for working on Black was to get Bhansali to offer him an acting job.
Debut and initial success (2007–10)
Following the release of Black, Bhansali cast Kapoor as the protagonist of his 2007 tragic romance Saawariya, alongsideSonam Kapoor and Rani Mukerji. The film tells the story of a tramp, played by him, who falls obsessively in love with a woman awaiting the return of her lover. In an interview with the news and entertainment portal Rediff.com, Kapoor stated that his character was written as a tribute to his grandfather’s iconic roles as a tramp.Saawariya was the first Indian film to be produced by a Hollywood studio (Sony Pictures Entertainment), and was a highly anticipated release. However, film critics were disappointed with the picture with BBC’s Jaspreet Pandohar calling it a “misfire on a massive scale”.CNN-IBN’sRajeev Masand considered it “contrived and fake”, but was impressed by Kapoor’s “affable charm” and wrote that “he’s got that star quality to him which is so rare to find.” At the box office, Saawariya failed to earn profits.However, at the annualFilmfare Awards ceremony, Kapoor was awarded a Best Male Debut trophy.
Despite the commercial failure of Saawariya, Kapoor was contracted by Yash Raj Films for a primary role in the Siddharth Anand-directed romantic comedy Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008). The film was his first commercial success, in which his role was that of a womaniser who is romantically involved with three women, played by Bipasha Basu, Minissha Lamba, andDeepika Padukone, at different stages of his life. Rachel Saltz of The New York Times expressed mixed views on his performance, but predicted that his “puppy-dog sweetness” would “serve him well as a Bollywood leading man”.
In 2009, Kapoor had three film releases. In Dharma Productions’s Wake Up Sid, a coming of age film from director Ayan Mukerji, Kapoor portrayed Siddharth “Sid” Mehra, a rich, lazy teenager whose life undergoes a series of changes after interacting with an ambitious journalist (played by Konkana Sen Sharma). When Mukerji narrated the then-untitled script of the film to him, Kapoor came up with the title himself. The media expressed doubt on the film’s financial prospect as it depicted a romantic relationship between a younger man and an older woman. It eventually emerged as a sleeper hit and garnered acclaim from the critics.Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama reviewed that Kapoor’s performance in the film proved that he was “amongst the best in the business today”.
Kapoor next starred opposite Katrina Kaif in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, a slapstick comedy from director Rajkumar Santoshi, that emerged as the fourth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2009. Film critic Gaurav Malani praised Kapoor’s flair for comedy, but criticised his “over-excited husky baritone”. Kapoor’s final release that year was the Shimit Amin-directed Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, a drama about a sardar who aspires to be a salesman.Film critic Mayank Shekhar praised the film and found Kapoor’s performance to be “astonishingly sincere”, but the film earned little at the box office. Kapoor later professed to being highly disappointed by the film’s commercial failure. At the 55th Filmfare Awards, Kapoor was awarded the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his performances in all three of his 2009 releases, and he also received two Best Actor nominations at the ceremony for Wake Up Sid and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani.
Prakash Jha’s big-budget ensemble political thriller Raajneeti was Kapoor’s first release of 2010. The film, which starred Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpayee, Katrina Kaif and Sarah Thompson in prominent roles, was inspired by the Indian epic The Mahabharata and Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel The Godfather. Kapoor’s role was of Samar Pratap (based on the characters of Arjuna and Michael Corleone), the youngest heir of an Indian political dynasty, who is reluctantly drawn to politics after the assassination of his father. Kapoor described it as his first complex role and considered it a departure from the “lover boy roles” that he had previously played. Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India reviewed: “The film finally belongs to Ranbir Kapoor who perfects the art of minimalism—and literally grows before your eyes—as the simmering volcano that cannot be held back, once it erupts.” Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times, however, was more critical of his performance which he considered “stony rather than calculating—especially jarring compared to the histrionic turns around him”. Indian trade journalists were apprehensive of Raajneeti recovering its ₹600 million (US$8.9 million) investment.The film, however, proved to be a major commercial success with worldwide earnings of over ₹1.43 billion (US$21 million).Kapoor received a third Best Actor nomination at Filmfare for the film.
Later that same year, Kapoor collaborated with Priyanka Chopra on Anand’s Anjaana Anjaani, a comedy-drama involving two strangers who vow to commit suicide on New Year’s Eve. The film was a moderate financial success, but garnered little praise from the critics. Rajeev Masand noted that Kapoor “struggles with a badly-defined role” and NDTV’s Anupama Chopra concluded: “Ranbir tries hard to salvage the film, dropping his shirt several times but even his lovingly shot chest can’t save the film.”
Critical acclaim (2011–2013)
Following an item number in the children’s film Chillar Party (2011), Kapoor took on the role of Janardhan “Jordan” Jakhar in Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar, a drama that follows the journey of an aspiring musician from a humble background to international stardom. In preparation for the role, Kapoor lived with a Jat family in Pitam Pura and studied their mannerisms. He additionally learned to play the guitar and practiced extensively at A.R. Rahman’s (the film’s music composer) music studio.As part of the film’s promotional activity, Kapoor performed at a live concert in Mumbai. Film critics were polarised on their view of the film, but were unanimous in their praise for Kapoor;Aniruddha Guha of Daily News and Analysis was particularly impressed with the film and thought that Kapoor’s portrayal was one of “Hindi cinema’s most accomplished performances by a lead actor”.For the role, Kapoor won both the Best Actor and Best Actor (Critics) trophies at the 57th Filmfare Awards ceremony, along with Best Actor awards at Screen and IIFA.With a gross revenue of ₹1.07 billion (US$16 million), Rockstar was one of the top-grossing Hindi films of the year.
The 2012 romantic comedy Barfi! was Kapoor’s first release to earn over ₹1 billion (US$15 million) at the domestic box office. Directed by Anurag Basu, the film (set in the 1970s) tells the story of its titular protagonist (a deaf and mute man, played by Kapoor) who falls in love with a woman who is already engaged (played by Ileana D’Cruz) and later, an autistic girl (played by Priyanka Chopra). In preparation, Kapoor observed the work of actors Roberto Benigni, Charlie Chaplin, and his grandfather.Barfi! received praise from the critics, and the performances of the three lead actors were acclaimed. Ronnie Scheib of Variety praised Kapoor for successfully channeling Chaplin in “tone and affect”, and Raja Sen of Rediff.com wrote that “he does very strongly indeed with this Chaplin-tribute role, bestowing his character with heart every step of the way”.The film was submitted as India’s official entry for the 85th Academy Awards, and was screened at the Marrakech and Busan International Film Festivals.Kapoor won second consecutive Best Actor awards at the Filmfare, Screen, and IIFA Award ceremonies.
Kapoor achieved further success in 2013 when he reunited with director Ayan Mukerji for the romantic comedy Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewanico-starring Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechlin, and Aditya Roy Kapoor. He was cast as Kabir “Bunny” Thapar, a commitment-phobic photographer, a character Kapoor found to be an extension of himself. His pairing with Padukone, after their highly publicised break-up, led to hype surrounding the film’s release.Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani emerged as one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time with earnings of ₹3.02 billion (US$45 million), proving to be Kapoor’s third consecutive commercial success in three years and earned him another Best Actor nomination at Filmfare. Film critics found the film to be “riddled with clichés”, but praised both Kapoor and Padukone, with Daily News and Analysis‘ Tushar Joshi labelling their on-screen chemistry as “unsurpassable”.Kapoor’s second release of 2013 was the action-comedy film Besharam in which he played a petty thief, alongside Pallavi Sharda and his parents. The film met with an overwhelming negative reception and emerged as a failure; Sudhish Kamath of The Hindu described it as “Kapoor’s hall of shame”.
Commercial struggles (2014–present)
After a year-long absence from the screen, Kapoor featured as a mysterious thief in Roy (2015), a romantic thriller which critic Sarita A. Tanwar described as a “boring, exhausting and pretentious” film. The series of financial failures continued with his next release, the Anurag Kashyap-directed crime drama Bombay Velvet, based on the historian Gyan Prakash’s book Mumbai Fables, which also starred Anushka Sharma and Karan Johar. Kapoor portrayed an ambitious boxer in the 1960s who is drawn towards a life of crime; he based his tapori diction on Johnny Walker’s character in Mr. & Mrs. ’55 (1955). Made on a budget of ₹1.2 billion(US$18 million), the film opened to meager box-office collections and mixed reviews from critics. Ritika Bhatia of Business Standard found Kapoor’s part to be a departure from his previous roles, writing that he “does test the waters with methodical sincerity but his portrayal lacks depth on occasion”. Bombay Velvet was eventually screened at the Locarno and Bucheon film festivals.
Kapoor next reunited with Deepika Padukone to film Tamasha (2015), a romantic drama from Imtiaz Ali. He played the role of Ved Sahni, a man who desires a career in the arts but settles for a life of monotony as an engineer. As with his previous three releases, the film failed commercially and received mixed reviews from critics. Kapoor’s performance, however, was praised;Lisa Tsering of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Kapoor is beautifully cast, his trademark mix of assertive theatricality and subtle emotion well suited to the role of a man who seemingly has it all under control, until he doesn’t.” The film earned him a Best Actor nomination at Filmfare
As of July 2016, Kapoor has launched a production company named Picture Shuru Productions in a collaboration with director Anurag Basu; their first production—the comedy-mystery film Jagga Jasoos—will feature Kapoor (alongside Katrina Kaif) in the role of a teenage detective. Kapoor is filming alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma for Karan Johar’s romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.In addition, he has committed to star opposite Alia Bhatt in Ayan Mukerji’s Dragon, a fantasy film about a man with superpowers, and will portray the actor Sanjay Dutt in a biopic directed by Rajkumar Hirani.
Kapoor has been vocal about his personal life, and has stated that the his parents’ marriage taught him how complex a relationship can be.He had his first serious relationship while in the seventh grade, and suffered from depression when it ended.While filming Bachna Ae Haseeno in 2008, Kapoor began dating his co-star Deepika Padukone. The relationship attracted substantial media coverage in India and they speculated on an impending engagement.However, the couple broke up a year later.Kapoor maintained that the split was amicable, though the media widely reported that the split was due to infidelity on Kapoor’s part.Kapoor later confessed: “Yes, I have, out of immaturity, out of inexperience, out of taking advantage of certain temptations, out of callousness.” Later in 2015, Kapoor stated that they both had resolved the conflict and had moved on with their lives.Since the split, he has been reticent to publicly discuss his personal life.
Rumours of an affair with Katrina Kaif first emerged during the production of Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani in 2009. In August 2013, a set of paparazzi photographs of Kapoor and Kaif at a beach in Spain were published by Stardust.Although Kapoor initially declined to speak of the relationship, he admitted to it in 2015: “Both of us are sure about our relationship and if we don’t open about it now, it would be showing disrespect to the relationship.” As of February 2016, the media reported that they had broken up.
In addition to acting, Kapoor is a football enthusiast and supports charities and organisations. He is the vice-captain of the All Stars Football Club, a celebrity football club that raises money for charity.In March 2013, he played the game to raise funds for the Magic Funds Organisation, an NGO for underprivileged children. Along with the chartered accountant Bimal Parekh, Kapoor acquired ownership rights in 2014 for the Mumbai-based football team of the Indian Super League, named Mumbai City FC.Also that year, Kapoor announced his participation with the digital music company Saavn as a content and programming adviser.In 2016, he featured in the documentary series Girls with Goals, to create awareness about and raise funds for YUWA, an all-girls football team in the state of Jharkhand.
Kapoor supports the empowerment of the girl child and is the goodwill ambassador of Shabana Azmi’s Mijwan Welfare Society, an NGO which helps empower women.He supports environmental charities, and in 2011 donated money to the Community Water Initiative, a charitable organisation owned by PepsiCo. In 2012, he appeared alongside other celebrities in a short film by Zoya Akhtar to generate awareness on breast cancer. He is the campaign ambassador for NDTV’s Marks for Sports, a nationwide initiative to promote fitness and health in India.In 2013, Kapoor participated in an auction on eBay, where the highest bidder gets an opportunity to interact with him; the proceeds were donated to Save the Children, a non-profit organisation that raised funds for flood affected households in Uttarakhand. That same year, he appeared alongside other celebrities in a commercial, produced by the National Film Development Corporation of India, to create awareness about children’s education. In December 2014, Kapoor again took part in an eBay auction; the phiran he wore in Rockstar was sold, with proceeds going to the redevelopment of the flood-ravaged states of Kashmir and Assam.Kapoor had also fronted a campaign to collect donations for the victims of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake.In 2015, he presented 2,000 raincoats to the Mumbai traffic police as an appreciation for their service during the year’s heavy monsoon.
Born into a family of popular actors, Kapoor faced the media spotlight from a young age; Hindustan Times published that “he was always a star kid from whom everyone had great expectations”. Despite the failure of his first film (Saawariya), IANS reported that he “rose like [a] meteor on film firmament by giving compelling performances in films like Raajneeti, Rockstar and [..] Barfi!“Discussing the commercial viability of Kapoor, Apoorva Mehta (the COO of Dharma Productions) noted in 2013, “In a short career span of 10 films, Ranbir Kapoor has achieved a tremendous jump in the business done by his films.”Also that year, The Economic Times credited him as “the most bankable actor of his generation”., following the success of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, each of Kapoor’s releases under-performed at the box-office.This led trade journalists to criticise his choice of films, noting that his inclination towards experimental projects negatively impacted his commercial appeal.
Nationally, Kapoor is one of the most popular and high-profile celebrities. In 2012 and 2013 Forbes featured him among the top twenty in India’s Celebrity 100, a list based on the income and popularity of the country’s celebrities.For the next two years, he was ranked 11th with an estimated annual earning of ₹93.25 crore (US$14 million) and ₹85 crore (US$13 million) respectively, making him one of the highest-paid actors in the country. Kapoor has frequently featured in Rediff.com’s annual listing of “Bollywood’s Best Actors”; he was ranked second in 2009,first in 2011,third in 2012,and held the sixth position in 2015.
Kapoor has been cited as one of the most attractive Indian celebrities by the media. He has featured on The Times of India‘s listing of the ‘Most Desirable Man’ from 2010 to 2015, ranking among the top ten each year. In 2009 People magazine listed him as the “Sexiest Man Alive” in India,and in 2013 he topped Filmfare‘s poll of the “Most Stylish Young Actor”.Also in 2013, he was one of the recipients of the “People of the Year” award by the Limca Book of Records.In 2010, he was voted the “Sexiest Asian Man” in a poll conducted by the magazine Eastern Eye.Kapoor continued to feature among the top ten of the list from 2011–2014.Kapoor is also the celebrity endorser for various brands and services, including Pepsi, Panasonic, Renault India, Lenovoand the Spanish football club FC Barcelona.
Filmography and awards
Awards and nominations
|Aa Ab Laut Chalen||1999||—||Assistant director|
|Saawariya||2007||Ranbir Raj||Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut|
|Bachna Ae Haseeno||2008||Raj Sharma|
|Luck by Chance||2009||Himself||Special appearance|
|Wake Up Sid||2009||Siddharth “Sid” Mehra||Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor
(also for Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani & Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year)
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
|Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani||2009||Prem Shankar Sharma||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor|
|Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year||2009||Harpreet Singh Bedi|
|Raajneeti||2010||Samar Pratap||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor|
|Chillar Party||2011||Himself||Special appearance in song “Tai Tai Phish”|
|Rockstar||2011||Janardan “Jordan” Jhakhar||Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor
|Barfi!||2012||Murphy “Barfi” Johnson||Filmfare Award for Best Actor|
|Bombay Talkies||2013||Himself||Special appearance in song “Apna Bombay Talkies”|
|Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani||2013||Kabir “Bunny” Thapar||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor|
|Besharam||2013||Babli||Also playback singer for song “Love Ki Ghanti”|
|Bhoothnath Returns||2014||Himself||Cameo appearance|
|Bombay Velvet||2015||Johnny Balraj|
|Tamasha||2015||Ved Sahni||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor|
|Girls With Goals||2016||Himself||Documentary series|
|Ae Dil Hai Mushkil||2016||Ayan||Post-production|
Kapoor has been the recipient of five Filmfare Awards: Best Male Debut for Saawariya (2007), Critics Award for Best Actor for Wake Up Sid (2009), Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009), and Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009) (jointly for the three films), and Rockstar (2011), and Best Actor awards for Rockstar (2011) andBarfi! (2012).
Last update September 2016