Katrina Kaif ( born Katrina Turquotte; 16 July 1983) is a British film actress and model.
Primarily known for her work in Hindi films, Kaif has also appeared in Telugu and Malayalam films. In addition to being one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actresses, she is considered one of India’s most attractive celebrities by the media.
Born in Hong Kong, Kaif and her family lived in several countries before she moved to London. She received her first modelling assignment as a teenager and later pursued a career as a fashion model. At a fashion show in London, filmmaker Kaizad Gustad spotted Kaif and decided to cast her in Boom (2003), a critical and commercial failure. While filming in India, Kaif received modelling assignments and established a successful modelling career. However, filmmakers were hesitant to cast her due to her poor command of Hindi. After appearing in the Telugu film, Malliswari (2004), Kaif earned commercial success in Bollywood with the romantic comedies Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? (2005) and Namastey London (2007). She followed with a series of box-office hits, but was criticised for her acting, repetitive roles and inclination to male-dominated films. In 2013, she appeared briefly with Aamir Khan in Vijay Krishna Acharya’s action thriller Dhoom 3. To prepare for her role as a circus performer, she undertook a year-long regimen of Pilates, functional training and aerial straps. The film received ambivalent reviews and Kaif was criticised for taking on an insubstantial part. Earning ₹5.42 billion (US$81 million) in box-office receipts, Dhoom 3 went on to become the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time until it was surpassed by PK in 2014. In 2016, Kaif appeared in two films. In Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, Kaif played a role based on Estella Havisham along with Aditya Roy Kapur and Tabu. Later that year she featured in Nitya Mehra’s love story Baar Baar Dekho with Sidharth Malhotra. Both films were critical and commercial failures. In a review for the former, Namrata Joshi wrote: “Katrina is good so long as she has to just be herself. So she dances, smiles and flirts well, but the minute a dramatic scene comes up, her utter inadequacy as a performer shows.” As of October 2016, Kaif is filming for Anurag Basu’s comedy-mystery film Jagga Jasoos with Ranbir Kapoor. She will also reprise the role of Zoya in Ali Abbas Zafar’s Tiger Zinda Hai, the sequel to Ek Tha Tiger opposite Salman Khan. According to an India Today article, despite her dissimilarity to a conventional Bollywood heroine, Kaif “turned every adversity into opportunity and climbed the slippery pole of stardom”. Although she is one of the most commercially successful actresses in contemporary Bollywood, she has received mixed reviews for her acting prowess. Writing for Firstpost, Anuya Jakatdar wrote that Kaif needed to “take on role[s] that actually challenge her” instead of “coasting on her co-star’s box office appeal” and criticised her inclination towards glamorous roles. Kaif’s dancing ability is better appreciated, with Meena Iyer of The Times of India calling her “one of Bollywood’s best dancers”. Kaif’s Bollywood success has sparked an influx of foreign talent hoping to establish themselves in the industry. Kaif is cited in the media as one of India’s most beautiful celebrities, and has ranked highly in polls choosing the most attractive Indian celebrities. Kaif was named the “World’s Sexiest Woman” by FHM India five times from 2008 to 2013, and appeared on Verve’s list of most powerful women in 2009 and 2010. The UK magazine Eastern Eye called her the “Sexiest Asian Woman” from 2008 to 2010, and again in 2013. Kaif was named The Times of India’s “Most Desirable Woman” in 2010, and was later ranked second from 2011 to 2013. The Indian edition of People described her as “India’s Most Beautiful Woman” in 2011 and three years later she topped Maxim India’s “Hot 100” poll. Kaif is a celebrity spokesperson for a number of brands including Slice, Nakshatra, Lux, Panasonic, Lakmé and L’Oréal. The Economic Times ranked Kaif India’s second most prominent endorser in 2012. Hindustan Times reported in 2014 that she received ₹50 million (US$740,000) to ₹60 million (US$890,000) for each endorsement, making her one of India’s highest-paid celebrity endorsers. In 2013, Kaif was ranked ninth on Forbes’ list of India’s best-known entertainers with an estimated annual income of ₹637.5 million (US$9.5 million). In 2010 and 2011, Mattel released two sets of Barbie dolls inspired by Kaif. In 2015, Kaif became the eighth Bollywood actor to have a wax figure installed at Madame Tussauds in London.