Diana Penty ( born 2 November 1985) is an Indian model and film actress who appears in Hindi films.
Born in Mumbai, in a Parsi-Christian family Penty completed her education from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and simultaneously began modeling as a part-time profession. After initial disinclination, Penty began a full-time modelling career in 2005 when she was signed up by Elite Models India. She soon established a successful career as a model after walking the ramp for many of India’s top designers. Penty made her acting debut in Homi Adajania’s commercially successful romantic comedy Cocktail (2012). Her performance in the film garnered praise, and earned her a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.
Penty went on a sabbatical from acting and made a comeback in 2016 with the romantic comedy Happy Bhag Jayegi, playing the titular role. Her performance was well received and film went on be a surprise hit at the box-office. Penty is an active celebrity endorser and has been associated with brands including TRESemmé and Nokia. Penty began her modeling when she sent her photographs to Elite Models India, who liked her work and suggested she take up modelling assignments. At this stage, she was in college, and was reluctant to choose on a career in modelling, so Penty decided to work part-time as a fashion model. In 2005, Penty officially started working for Elite Models India, and made her runway debut at the Indo-Italian Festival for Italian designers Nicola Trussardi and Gianfranco Ferré. Thereafter, Penty modelled for several other Indian designers, including Wendell Rodricks, Rohit Bal and Rina Dhaka. By 2007, she had established a successful modelling career after appearing in print campaigns for some of India’s most prominent brands, including Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri, Parachute and Westside; as well as featuring on the covers of a few Indian fashion magazines. The following year, Penty went on to model at the international circuit when she began to endorse global brands including Maybelline, Garnier and Forever 21. On Penty’s international appeal, the CEO of Elite Models India Sushma Puri commented, “Diana has a face that is very versatile and appeals to both Indian and international markets and she is also young, beautiful and confident. This makes her the ideal choice for any international brand.” Later in her modelling career Penty started to receive film offers, though she believed herself to be too inexperienced, and rejected them to focus on modelling. From 2008 to 2010, Penty established herself internationally after modelling for fashion weeks in Paris and New York. Bollywood debut and breakthrough (2012–present) Penty was originally slated to make her Bollywood debut in 2011 with Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar opposite Ranbir Kapoor, although she rejected the film due to her modelling commitments at the time and was subsequently replaced by Nargis Fakhri. She later signed up for Homi Adajania’s Cocktail instead; at Ali’s suggestion. Cast alongside Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone, the film received mixed to positive reviews. Penty’s portrayal of Meera, a simple Indian girl with traditional values was well received by critics. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama commented that “Diana, who makes her acting debut, gets to portray a rather difficult character for her debut film. There’s a very disarming kind of innocence that she brings to the role and she impresses a great deal.” Raja Sen agreed, mentioning that she is “refreshingly natural”. Anupama Chopra added that “Diana is saddled with the most colourless character but infuses her role with a quiet poise and holds her own.” Noted writer Shobhaa De also wrote positively, saying that “Diana Penty’s debut rates amongst the best in recent times. Not only is the girl absolutely lovely but she can act! That’s a bonus. Nobody expects actual acting prowess from our lissome models — well, here’s one with a terrific future.” Further, her performance earned her nominations for best debut and best supporting actress at numerous Indian award ceremonies. The film also emerged as a box office hit. As of September 2015, Penty has begun filming for Anand L. Rai’s production Happy Bhag Jayegi in which she played the titular character opposite Abhay Deol.The movie released on August 26, 2016.