Sonam Kapoor attending a promotional event in 2013Sonam Kapoor Ahuja (born 9 June 1985) is an Indian actress who works in Hindi films. She has won a National Film Award and a Filmfare Award, and from 2012 to 2016, she appeared in Forbes India‘s Celebrity 100 list based on her income and popularity.

Kapoor, the daughter of actor Anil Kapoor, began her career as an assistant director on filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s 2005 film Black. She made her acting debut in Bhansali’s romantic drama Saawariya (2007), a box office flop, and had her first commercial success with the romantic comedy I Hate Luv Storys (2010). This was followed by a series of commercial failures and repetitive roles, which garnered her negative reviews. The 2013 box office hit Raanjhanaa marked a turning point in Kapoor’s career, garnering her praise and Best Actress nominations at several award ceremonies. Kapoor had her biggest commercial successes with supporting roles in the biopics Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) and Sanju (2018), and a leading role in the romance Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015); the latter two rank among the highest-grossing Bollywood films. Her acclaimed portrayal of Neerja Bhanot in the 2016 biographical thriller Neerja won her the National Film Award – Special Mention and a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress, and she followed it with a starring role in the 2018 female buddy film Veere Di Wedding, both of which rank among the highest-grossing female-led Hindi films.

Kapoor supports the raising awareness of breast cancer and LGBT rights. Known in the media for her outspoken personality, she is frequently credited as one of India’s most trendy celebrities. She is married to the businessman Anand Ahuja.

Life and career

Early life (1985–2006)

Sonam Kapoor and her father Anil Kapoor posing for the camera

Kapoor with her father Anil Kapoor at a film’s screening in Mumbai, 2011

Kapoor was born in the Chembur, Bombay (present-day Mumbai) on 9 June 1985.  Her father is actor and producer Anil Kapoor, the son of the late filmmaker Surinder Kapoor and the founder of the Anil Kapoor Films Company. Her mother, Sunita, is a former model and designer. Kapoor has two younger siblings: film producer Rhea and brother Harshvardhan.  She is the niece of film producer Boney Kapoor and actor Sanjay Kapoor; actress Sridevi and producer Mona Shourie (Boney’s wives) were her aunts.  Kapoor’s paternal cousins are actors Arjun Kapoor, Janhvi Kapoor and Mohit Marwah, and maternal second cousin is actor Ranveer Singh.

The family moved to the suburb of Juhu when Kapoor was one month old. She was educated at the Arya Vidya Mandir school in Juhu,  where she confessed to being a “naughty” and “carefree” child who would bully the boys.  She excelled at sports such as rugby and basketball,  and trained in Kathak, classical music and Latin dance.  Kapoor, who practices Hinduism, states that she is “quite religious”, and that it is a way of “reminding myself that I need to be thankful for so much”.

Kapoor’s first job was as a waitress at age 15, although it lasted only a week. As a teenager, she struggled with her weight: “I had every issue related to weight that I could have. I was unhealthy, I had bad skin, and I had hair growing on my face!”  Kapoor was diagnosed with insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian disease,  and has since begun an initiative to increase awareness of diabetes.  Kapoor enrolled at the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore for her pre-university education, where she studied theatre and arts.  She has said she later started courses in economics and political science through University of Mumbai correspondence programme, after returning from University of East London where she began her bachelor’s degree in the same subjects but returned to Mumbai soon after she began. Actress Rani Mukerji, a family friend, visited her family in Singapore on holiday while working on Black (2005). Kapoor, who had originally wanted to be a director and writer,  expressed a desire to work as a crew member on the film. On her father’s recommendation to director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, she was appointed as his assistant.

Filmography

Films

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Saawariya Sakina
2009 Delhi-6 Bittu Sharma
2010 I Hate Luv Storys Simran
2010 Aisha Aisha Kapoor
2011 Thank You Sanjana Malhotra
2011 Mausam Aayat Rasool
2012 Players Naina Braganza
2013 Bombay Talkies Herself Special appearance in song “Apna Bombay Talkies”
2013 Raanjhanaa Zoya Haider
2013 Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Biro
2014 Bewakoofiyaan Mayera Sehgal
2014 Khoobsurat Dr. Mrinalini “Milli” Chakravarty
2015 Dolly Ki Doli Dolly
2015 Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Rajkumari Maithili Devi
2016 Neerja Neerja Bhanot
2018 Pad Man Pari Walia
2018 Veere Di Wedding Avni Sharma
2018 Sanju Ruby
2019 Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga Sweety Chaudhary
2019 The Zoya Factor Zoya Singh Solanki
2020 AK vs AK Herself
2022 Blind dagger TBA Completed

Music video appearances

Year Title Artist
2015 “Dheere Dheere” Honey Singh
2016 “Hymn for the Weekend” Coldplay

Awards and nominations

Kapoor in an press meet

Year Film Award Category Result Ref.
2008 Saawariya Filmfare Awards Best Female Debut Nominated
Screen Awards Most Promising Newcomer Nominated
Zee Cine Awards Best Female Debut Nominated
Stardust Awards Superstar of Tomorrow – Female Won
2010 Delhi-6 Asian Film Awards Best Newcomer Nominated
Screen Awards Best Actress (Popular Choice) Nominated
Stardust Awards Superstar of Tomorrow – Female Nominated
2011 I Hate Luv Storys Stardust Awards Best Actress in a Comedy or Romance Nominated
2012 Thank You Stardust Awards Best Actress in a Comedy or Romance Nominated
None Zee Cine Awards International Icon – Female Nominated
2014 Raanjhanaa BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Actor in a Social/Drama Film – Female Nominated
Screen Awards Best Actress (Popular Choice) Nominated
Filmfare Awards Best Actress Nominated
Zee Cine Awards Best Actress Nominated
2015 Khoobsurat Stardust Awards Best Actress in a Comedy or Romance Won
BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Actor in a Comedy Film – Female Nominated
Screen Awards Best Actress (Popular Choice) Nominated
Filmfare Awards Best Actress Nominated
2015 Prem Ratan Dhan Payo BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Actor in a Drama Role – Female Nominated
BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Actor in a Romantic Role – Female Won
2016 Dolly Ki Doli Filmfare Awards Best Actress Nominated
Screen Awards Best Actress Nominated
2016 Neerja Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Best Actress Won
Asiavision Awards Icon of the Year Won
Best Actress Won
Star Screen Awards Best Actress Nominated
Stardust Awards Editor’s Choice Best Actress of the Year Won
Viewer’s Choice Best Actress of the Year Nominated
2017 Filmfare Awards Best Actress Nominated
Best Actress (Critics) Won
Zee Cine Awards Best Actress (Critics) Nominated
Best Actress Nominated
National Film Awards Special Mention Won
International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Actress Nominated