Haryana boy Randeep Hooda rose to fame through Milan Luthria's Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, a period action drama depicting the rise of organised crime in Mumbai. Co-starring alongside Ajay Devgan, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut and Prachi Desai, Hooda played ACP Agnel Wilson. His performance in the film was appreciated by critics.
Sudish Kamath of The Hindu wrote, "In the few scenes he gets, Randeep chews the scenery around him with his Bachchan-like presence, his baritone firing away dialogue as if he were born to play this role." Komal Nahata described him as a "revelation". The film was a critical and commercial success, earning over 78 crore in India.
Hooda later attributed his success to this film: "Things have really changed for me professionally because before Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai I did take a hiatus from acting, but that film brought me back in a big way. Now other directors and production houses look at me as an actor who can carry bigger parts and a longer screen presence."
Hooda made his acting debut in Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding (2001), playing a non-resident Indian from Australia. Although the film was a critical and commercial success, he waited four years for a second project. In the meanwhile, Hooda worked in theatre and did television commercials to support himself financially. He also attended (and assisted) an imagination and improvisation workshop conducted by Naseeruddin Shah at the National School of Drama in New Delhi.
In 2005 Hooda was cast as the male lead in Ram Gopal Varma's gritty gangster film D, allegedly based on the life of Dawood Ibrahim. His performance in the film received positive reviews. Taran Adarsh wrote, "D wouldn't be what it is without Randeep. He changes his expressions like a chameleon changes colors and that's where he scores."
After D, Hooda appeared in a series of critically and commercially unsuccessful films such as Darna Zaroori Hai (2006), Risk (2007), Ru Ba Ru (2008), Rang Rasiya (2008), Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye (2009), Karma Aur Holi (2009) and Love Khichdi (2009).
Hooda's first film in 2012 was Kunal Deshmukh's crime thriller Jannat 2, a sequel to Jannat (2008). While the film received mixed reviews from critics, Hooda was praised for his performance. The actor's next appearance was in Pooja Bhatt's erotic thriller Jism 2 opposite Sunny Leone. The film, and Hooda's performance, received mixed reviews from critics. Lisa Tsering of The Hollywood Reporter said that Hooda "smolders to the best of his ability in the role of a violent criminal" Rajeev Masand wrote, "The usually dependable Hooda, goes a little overboard with all the feeling; alternating clunkily between melancholic and hyper, Hooda constructs a wildly implausible character that inspires most of the unintended laughs in this film." Jism 2 was a moderate commercial success, earning 35 crore in India.
Hooda's final film in 2012 was Madhur Bhandarkar's drama Heroine, starring Kareena Kapoor, in which he played cricketer Angad Paul. The film received mixed to negative reviews, but Hooda's performance was appreciated by the critics. Kanika Sikka of Daily News and Analysis wrote, "Randeep, as usual does justice to his role." The film was a below-average grosser, and failed at the domestic and international box offices.
In 2013, Randeep Hooda was seen opposite Aditi Rao Hydari and Mona Lizza in Mahesh Bhatt's Murder 3. He is currently shooting for Bombay Talkies (in the segment directed by Karan Johar) alongside Rani Mukerji and Saqib Saleem. He has been signed for several other projects, including Vishram Sawant’s Shooter, John Day, Fanne Khan, Rensil D’Silva’s Ungli, Pooja Bhatt's Cabaret, Imtiaz Ali's Highway and Sajid Nadiadwala's Kick.
Fact File Born on: August 20, 1976 School/College: Motilal Nehru School of Sports (MNSS), Delhi Public School (New Delhi), Business school (Australia) Personal life: Hooda's father Ranbir Hooda is a surgeon and Asha Hooda is a social worker). He also has an older sister, Anjali Hooda Sangwan, a US-based cosmetic-surgery specialist.
Hooda was in a relationship with former Miss Universe and actress Sushmita Sen from 2004 to 2006. He later said that ending their relationship changed his career.
2001 Monsoon Wedding
2006 Darna Zaroori Hai
2008 Ru Ba Ru
2008 Rang Rasiya
2009 Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye
2009 Karma Aur Holi Dev
2009 Love Khichdi
2010 Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai
2011 Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster
2012 Jannat 2
2012 Jism 2
2013 Murder 3
2011 Lions Gold Awards Favourite Actor in a Supporting Role Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai
On his relationship with Sushmita Sen
The break-up was the best thing that happened to me and I realised that I gave it too much time in my life. It freed my energy to do things for myself.
I am a dog!