Kangna Ranaut (born 23 March 1987) is an Indian actress who appears mostly in Hindi films. She made her acting debut in 2006 with a leading role in Gangster. She won a Filmfare as well as a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as a troubled model in Fashion (2008) and subsequently featured in commercially successful films such as Raaz – The Mystery Continues (2009), Once Upon A Time In Mumbai (2010), Double Dhamaal (2011) and Tanu Weds Manu (2011).
Ranaut was born to Asha, a school teacher, and Amardeep, a businessman. She has an elder sister, Rangoli and a younger brother, Akshit. She was born in a small town called Bhambla in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Her family lives in Mandi. According to Ranaut, her ancestors were Rajputs who came from a royal family in Jaipur, before one of them made their home in Himachal.
She did her schooling in Dehradun. After a few months of college, she moved to Delhi to become a model and joined the Elite Modelling Agency in 2003.
Ranaut started her career as a theatre actor in Delhi with Asmita Theatre Group. She trained under eminent theatre director Arvind Gaur. She participated in his theatre workshop at India Habitat Centre and acted in several plays. Her first play with Arvind Gaur was Girish Karnad's Taledanda (Rakt-Kalyan). Ranaut joined Asha Chandra's course in 2004 to brush herself to face the camera.
Debut & breakthrough in films, 2006-present
Ranaut moved to Mumbai to try her luck in movies. In September 2005, Anurag Basu spotted her in a cafe in Mumbai, and offered her the lead role in Gangster. Released in 2006, the film became critically and commercially successful and her performance was especially applauded. This was followed by another acclaimed performance in Woh Lamhe, which also released in 2006.
Later, in 2007, Ranaut starred in Anurag Basu's Life In A... Metro. Her performance in the film earned her rave reviews. That same year she also starred in Shakalaka Boom Boom as an aspiring singer. Her next film, Fashion, starring Priyanka Chopra and Mugdha Godse, was released in 2008. The film, portraying the dark side of the fashion world, was a critical success, and Ranaut's portrayal of a supermodel who loses everything to drugs gained her widespread praise, fetching her various awards, including a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award and a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2009, Ranaut appeared in the thriller Raaz – The Mystery Continues with Emraan Hashmi. The movie has been a commercial success and was declared the first reasonable hit of 2009. Her next release was Vaada Raha with Bobby Deol. She starred in Ek Niranjan, a Telugu film directed by Puri Jagannadh, whose previous film Pokiri has been remade in Hindi as Wanted.
In 2010, Kangna was seen in a guest appearance opposite Hrithik Roshan in Kites and also starred in a leading role alongside Ajay Devgan in one of the year's most successful outings Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai. Ranaut also appeared in Knock Out and No Problem which were both critical and commercial failures.
Her first release of 2011 was Tanu Weds Manu opposite R. Madhavan, a romantic comedy that proved to be successful at the box office. Along with Ajay Devgan, Zarine Khan and Arbaaz Khan, Ranaut made a special appearance in Anees Bazmee's highly successful comedy Ready, which starred Salman Khan and Asin Thottumkal in lead roles. She was next seen in the multistarrer Double Dhamaal, the sequel of Dhamaal, which emrged as a moderate success at the box office. Ranaut later appeared in Rascals alongside Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Dutt, which opened to a good response at the box office, however became a commercial and critical failure. She also appeared in Miley Naa Miley Hum which failed to do well at the box office.
In 2012, Ranaut once again appeared alongside Ajay Devgan in Tezz, which was a major failure at the box office. As of May 2012, Ranaut is set to appear in I Love NY opposite Sunny Deol, Shootout At Wadala alongside John Abraham and Anil Kapoor, Krrish 3 with Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra and Vivek Oberoi and Rensil D'Silva's next alongside Emraan Hashmi. In July 2012, the actress made a directorial debut with a short film dealing with a complex subject of human-animal relationship, written in collaboration with an Australian writer and shot in the US.