Happy Birthday! How Kareena Kapoor made it big

She’s the queen of the popular 100 crore film club, and the soon-to-be bahu of the royal family of Pataudi. Today, as Kareena Kapoor turns 32 on the day her highly-anticipated film Heroine releases, here’s tracing this Kapoor kid’s path to stardom.
Updated on Sep 21, 2012 12:33 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByMinakshi Saini, New Delhi
Flop films don’t bog down actor Kareena Kapoor. Over twenty box-office duds with almost half the number of hits and a few average films define her 12 years of existence in Bollywood, yet she proudly achieved the title of the 100cr heroine by delivering three blockbuster hits 3 Idiots, Golmaal 3 and Bodyguard, which made over Rs 100 crore at the box office.

"Flops ka bhi apna mazza hai. I am what I am because of my flop films," says Kareena, who is currently the highest paid heroine in the industry. "Regret is not in my dictionary," is the mantra she follows in life. What if she declined the offer to play the female lead in Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai opposite Hrithik Roshan and decided to go with Refugee, a box office dud as her debut vehicle. It’s not the success of the film but brand Kareena and her marketing talent that raised the actor to fame.

Even after a series of flops such as Asoka, Yaadein, Mujhse Dosti Karoge, Jeena Sirf Tere Liye, Tashan...., the fourth generation Kapoor kid had offers from all big filmmakers in the industry including Karan Johar, Yash Chopra, Mani Ratnam and Boney Kapoor, at her doorstep.

The period between 2004 and 2007, however, proved to be a turning point in Kareena’s career. Apart from doing big projects, she showed her acting prowess and won critical acclaim for her performances in films such as Chameli, Dev and Omkara. There was commercial success too, as she did films such as Aitraaz, Hulchul, Bewafa, 36 China Town, Chup Chup Ke, Don-The Chase Begins and Jab We Met.

Post this, there was no looking back for the actor, as every passing year she had one big hit which could easily cover up her other box office failures.

Then came the time for her to rule. Golmaal Returns in 2008, 3 Idiots in 2009, Golmaal 3 in 2010, and Bodyguard and RA.One in 2011, made her the numero uno female actor in Bollywood.


The True Kapoor

Her curvy figure, rosy cheeks and bushy eyebrows made her look like the true Kapoor. Unlike many, this fourth generation Kapoor lass chose to go sans make up in her debut film Refugee and won rave reviews for her innocent girl-next-door look.


All Sexed-Up

After getting criticised for being overweight, Kareena worked hard on her body and transformed into a slim diva. Though her films in 2001-02 got a mixed response at the box office, her look and acting proved that she had arrived.


Bebo Goes Blonde

This look proved lucky for Kareena as she delivered many solo hits such as Yuva, Aitraaz, Hulchul, Bewafa and Kyonki after that. She appeared third on Top Bollywood Female Stars list as per a renowned entertainment portal.


Mix ‘n’ Match

This was an experimental phase for the actor, both in terms of the looks she donned and the roles she performed. While in Dev, she had a deglamourised sans-makeup look, her item song Ye Mera Dil in Don-The Chase Begins, saw her play a sexy seductress.


Size-Zero Mania

After her bikini avatar in Tashan, UK magazine Eastern Eye ranked her fourth in the list of Asia’s Sexiest Women. She was the only Bollywood actress to feature on CNNGo’s list of Who Mattered Most in India and was called India’s Most Beautiful Woman by People in 2010.


The Ultimate Diva

Kareena was titled as The Hottest and Sexiest Woman in the World as per a poll conduct-ed by a leading fashion glossy. She even beat international stars like Rihanna and Mila Kunis.

Flickside Story


Bebo’s role of a prostitute in this 2004 film received positive reviews from critics as well as fans.


Her portrayal of Shakespearean character Desdemona in this Hindi adaptation of Othello, won her awards.

3 Idiots

She had a brief role but stood out among the protagonists. This became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time.

Jab We Met

Kareena solely carried this film on her shoulders. Her candid portrayal of a Sikh girl Geet won applause and set the cash registers ringing.


Though heroines don’t have much to do in Salman Khan films, Kareena’s chemistry with him struck a chord with the audience.

Ad-ing To It

2000: Kareena got associated with Airtel after the release of Refugee and did commercials with Shah Rukh.

2005: She was roped in to endorse the ladies’ range of Citizen Watches. A few years later, the company launched a new brand called Kareena’s Collection, devoted entirely to her style of watches.

2007: She did ads for Dulux with friend/director Karan Johar. She also got associated with Globus and the clothing brand has confirmed that clothes she wears in ads get sold out within days. She is soon expected to launch her own clothing line with them.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/9/bebo430px_3.jpg2010: Till 2008, Kareena and beau Saif Ali Khan were just endorsing Airtel. Soon after, other brands such as Head and Shoulders and Metro shoes, too, got them on board. 2012: With close to 16 brand endorsements in her kitty, Kareena is riding high even in the endorsement circuit. After becoming the highest paid actor, she has also become the endorsement queen by endorsing lemonade brand Limca at Rs 5crore.

and the price may increase further post her film Heroine’s success.

Bebo’s personal life

Kareena has a reputation of being frank about her love life in the media. She has always been outspoken about her affairs, be it with Shahid Kapoor or with Saif Ali Khan. But not many know that rumours were strong that Kareena also dated Hrithik Roshan in the initial phase of her career. The two worked together in Yaadein in 2001 and that’s when the romance kickstarted.

They did a couple of films during that period but then decided to part ways in 2003 as Hrithik was married to his childhood sweetheart Sussanne Khan. Kareena’s love life with Shahid began in 2004 but the two split while filming for Jab We Met in 2007. She started romancing actor Saif Ali Khan while shooting for Tashan and on October 18, 2007, during designer Manish Malhotra’s grand finale show at the Lakme Fashion Week, they confirmed their relationship. The couple will now tie the knot this year (October 16) around the same time.

Fact File

Born on

September 21, 1980 in Mumbai

Why Kareena?
The name Kareena was derived from the book Anna Karenina, which her mother read while she was pregnant with her.

Loves horseback riding and cooking

First Film
Refugee (2000)

Great grandfather: Prithviraj Kapoor
Grandfather: Raj Kapoor
Parents: Babita and Randhir Kapoor
Elder sister: Karisma Kapoor

Talk Timeline
I am not a home breaker and I can never be one.
I haven’t been brought up to create havoc in other people’s homes.
If I found out that my man is unfaithful, there would be no tears, no shor-sharaba, I’d just slaughter him.

Tomorrow watch out for Aamir Khan’s journey from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak to the Oscars, to being tagged as ‘Mr Perfectionist’, in the special series ‘over the years’only in HT City

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