Kapoor at a promotional event for Haider in 2014
25 February 1981 |
The son of actors Pankaj Kapur and Neelima Azeem, Kapoor began his career by working in several music videos and television commercials. He made his film debut with a leading role in the romantic comedy Ishq Vishk (2003) for which he won a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. He followed it with roles in lesser successful films like Fida (2004) and Shikhar (2005), before starring in Sooraj R. Barjatya's highly successful family drama Vivah (2006). He earned nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his performances in the romantic comedy Jab We Met (2007) and the neo-noir Kaminey (2009). He followed this initial success with roles in a series of box office flops before starring in the commercially successful action film R... Rajkumar (2013) and the critically acclaimed drama Haider (2014).
Kapoor was born on 25 February 1981 to actor Pankaj Kapur and actor/classical dancer Neelima Azeem. Kapoor's parents divorced when he was 3. He continued living with his mother and maternal grandparents in Press Enclave, Saket in Delhi. He shares a cordial relationship with his father and stepmother Supriya Pathak.
As a child, he studied at Gyan Bharati School in Delhi until the fourth grade, where he shifted to Rajhans Vidyalaya, Mumbai. Kapoor has three half siblings: a sister named Sanah Kapur and brothers named Ishaan Khattar and Ruhaan Kapur; Ishaan acted with him in the movie Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi! (2005). His maternal grandfather was Anwar Azeem, a noted Marxist journalist and author from Bihar. His great great grandfather was the film director, screenwriter, novelist and journalist Khwaja Ahmad Abbas more popularly known as K. A. Abbas. K.A. Abbas in turn was the grandson of Hali, the chief protégé of Urdu poet, Ghalib.
Early career, until 2005
Before starting his career as an actor, Kapoor worked in several music videos and ads, including the Pepsi commercial with Shahrukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukerji post Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and the music video Aankhon Me Tera Hi Chehra by the Aryans along with Hrishitaa Bhatt. He had already joined Shiamak Davar Institute for the Performing Arts (SDIPA) in 1995, where he was later seen in Subhash Ghai's film Taal (1999) as a background dancer in the song "Kahin Aag Lage Lag Jawe" along with actress Aishwarya Rai and opted out of the academy in 2001 or 2002, and also stopped appearing in advertisements and music videos at this time, so he could concentrate on making his Bollywood debut.
In 2003, Kapoor played his first leading role as Rajiv Mathur, a carefree young man in Ken Ghosh's moderately successful love story Ishq Vishk. Appearing opposite Amrita Rao and Shenaz Treasurywala, the film was well received by audiences and Kapoor's performance earned him a Filmfare Best Male Debut Award. Film critic Taran Adarsh from indiaFM wrote, "Shahid Kapoor is an actor to watch. He has all the qualities to hit the top slot. Not only is he good looking, but he is an amazing performer as well. Very original as a performer [sic], the youngster has handled the dramatic and emotional moments with flourish. He is an exceptional dancer as well. All he needs to do is pick and choose his forthcoming assignments with care, so that the journey to the top slot is minus hiccups."
The following year, Kapoor joined director Ken Ghosh once again in the thriller Fida, where he co-starred alongside Kareena Kapoor and Fardeen Khan. The film failed to do well at the box office, yet Kapoor's performance was praised. The Tribune concluded, "...Shahid Kapoor shines in his role. He looks fresh. As an impulsive emotional and innocent guy, who is sucked into crime because of these very qualities, he manages to evoke your sympathies." He then appeared in the romantic comedy Dil Maange More opposite Soha Ali Khan, Tulip Joshi, and Ayesha Takia. His performance opened to mixed reviews; Rediff.com wrote that "Shahid tends to imitate Shahrukh Khan a lot. He does it well in some scenes, overdoes it in others..."
Featuring in three more films in 2005, success continued to elude Kapoor. However, his performance as Jaidev Vardhan, a man who is sucked into the world of money and greed in John M. Matthan's drama Shikhar was critically acclaimed, earning Kapoor his first Star Screen Award for Best Actor nomination. According to IndiaFM, "Shahid Kapoor is only improving with every film. He matches up to Ajay in almost all sequences."
In 2006, Kapoor starred in 36 China Town. Revolving around the story of seven individuals and a murder, the film became a moderate success despite receiving mixed reviews from critics. Shortly after the release of the film, Kapoor's second release of the year, Priyadarshan's comedy Chup Chup Ke, followed. The film became a moderate success at the box office.
Kapoor's last release of 2006 was Sooraj R. Barjatya's romantic drama Vivah, a film depicting the journey of two individuals from engagement to marriage. Co-starring alongside Amrita Rao, the film was received favourably by most critics and became one of the highest grossing films of the year, as well as Kapoor's biggest commercial success to date. Kapoor's performance earned his second consecutive nomination for Best Actor at the Star Screen Awards. Taran Adarsh wrote, "Shahid Kapoor performs like never before. If he was super-cool in Ishq Vishk and showed flashes of brilliance in Fida, you've to watch him in Vivah to see his growth as a tremendous actor. He is exceptional in emotional sequences."
During the summer of 2006, Kapoor embarked on his first world tour, the Rockstars Concert, along with Bollywood stars, Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, John Abraham, Esha Deol, Mallika Sherawat and Zayed Khan. In 2007, Kapoor appeared in two movies. His first release was Ahmed Khan's Fool & Final. The film received negative reviews and failed to do well at the box office; Kapoor's performance in the film did not receive positive reviews.
His next release in 2007, Imtiaz Ali's romantic comedy Jab We Met, opposite Kareena Kapoor, became one of the biggest hits of the year. The film tells the story of two people with two very different personalities meeting each other on a train and how they fall in love eventually. Kapoor portrayed the character of Aditya Kashyap, a dejected young industrialist full of angst and despair. The film was well received by critics and Kapoor's performance earned him several nominations for Best Actor at a number of award ceremonies, including Filmfare. Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN noted, "Despite the risk of being overshadowed by Kareena, his co-star in the film, Shahid Kapur leaves an indelible impression with a performance that is understated and mature, and indeed the perfect foil to Kareena's boisterousness." Kapoor then appeared in the Aziz Mirza-directed film, Kismat Konnection (2008), opposite Vidya Balan. Upon release, the film under-performed at the box office.
In 2009, Kapoor first appeared in Vishal Bhardwaj's caper thriller Kaminey opposite Priyanka Chopra. The film was a major critical success, and also performed well at the box office. Kapoor's portrayal of twins Charlie and Guddu earned him rave reviews. Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN wrote, "Shahid Kapur rises to the challenge of creating two entirely different characters out of Charlie and Guddu, and delivers a credible performance as each. Breaking out of his chocolate-boy image, he gives evidence of his potential when trusted with well-written roles." Raja Sen of Rediff.com listed Kapoor's performance as the best performance by a Bollywood actor in 2009, writing that "Shahid Kapoor plays both heavily nuanced roles – Charlie being the brave choice for narrator – with solid conviction, making each twin brother believable. It's a phenomenal performance, and the young man deserves serious, serious applause. Top claff." The film is credited with turning Kapoor into a star and showcased his ability to take on challenging roles.
His second release of the year was Anurag Singh's romantic comedy Dil Bole Hadippa!, which saw him star alongside Rani Mukerji. However, the film received a tepid response at the box office and with critics.
Commercial struggles, 2010–2012
In 2010, Kapoor appeared in Ken Ghosh's film Chance Pe Dance opposite Genelia D'Souza, in which he portrayed the role of a struggling Bollywood actor. Though the film received mixed reviews from critics and was commercially unsuccessful, Kapoor's performance was well received. He then starred in Ahmed Khan's Paathshaala in a extended cameo alongside Ayesha Takia and Nana Patekar. This was then followed by Yash Raj Films' Badmaash Company which received a positive to mixed critical reception and was a moderate success at the box office. Furthermore, his performance as a conman in the film was well received. Kapoor's last release of the year was Satish Kaushik's romantic comedy Milenge Milenge opposite Kareena Kapoor. A production delayed since 2005, it went largely unnoticed at the box office, and received negative reviews from critics. During production of the film in 2004, there was a shot planned at Phuket, Thailand on 24 December. Kapoor asked for a delay in shooting at that time so that he could attend the premiere of his film Dil Maange More. The request was granted and the hotel the crew was supposed to stay in was subsequently destroyed on 26 December in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the delay in shooting thus potentially saving their lives.
In 2011, Kapoor appeared opposite Sonam Kapoor in Mausam (2011), a movie directed and written by his father Pankaj Kapoor. The film received a mixed response from critics, however his performance was generally well received. Critic Taran Adarsh wrote, "Shahid gives his all to this role, submitting himself to his director-father to mould him the way he chooses to. It won't be erroneous to state that Shahid surpasses all his previous performances, including the one in Kaminey, with this film. The film also marks the coming of age of this actor." Although the film did not do well, Kapoor reportedly received up to 18 different film offers after its release.
In June 2012, Kapoor appeared in Kunal Kohli's Teri Meri Kahaani opposite Priyanka Chopra. Despite the film receiving mixed reviews and a lukewarm response at the box office, Kapoor's performance was generally well received. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave a positive review to Kapoor's performance stating, "Not many actors get the opportunity to portray three diverse roles in a single movie. But Shahid carries each of those parts with refinement, besides looking debonair in each character ... From playing a musician in Bollywood to a compulsive flirt in Punjab to the unflustered and trendy youngster settled in U.K., Shahid does an exceptional job. Among the three characters, his take as Javed is sure to win him accolades." Madhureeta Mukherjee of Times of India also gave a positive review and said, "Shahid Kapoor is best as the badnaam shayar Javed. He uses his boyish charm effectively, dancing like the wind (in Uff and Humse Pyar Karle Tu), and cheekily winning women in every janam. Shahid seduces the audience with his style and shayari, sparking life into this cliche-riddled kahaani."
In July 2013, Kapoor and Shahrukh Khan co-hosted the 14th IIFA Awards in Macau. His first film release the year was the Rajkumar Santoshi-directed comedy film Phata Poster Nikla Hero opposite Ileana D'Cruz. The film received mixed reviews from the critics, and became Kapoor's third consecutive box office flop. Kapoor's second release of 2013 was Prabhu Deva's action film R... Rajkumar opposite Sonakshi Sinha. Despite a negative critical reception, the film emerged as a profitable venture. Kapoor's performance in the film met with mixed reviews; Madhureeta Mukherjee commented that he "pulls off the tapori act well, dances fabulously, does kickass action and slips in good comic moments. His makeover as action hero can't go unnoticed, but his demolition man act is unconvincing for action larger than his boyish shoulders."
Kapoor next reunited with director Vishal Bhardwaj to film Haider, an adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet set during the Kashmir conflict of 1995, in which he played the titular role opposite Tabu and Shraddha Kapoor. For the role, he sported various hairstyles and learned to speak in a Kashmiri dialect. Haider garnered critical acclaim; writing for Hindustan Times, critic Anupama Chopra wrote that Kapoor initially seemed uncomfortable in the complex central role, but added that he "slowly [...] comes to inhabit Haider, veering from rage to jealousy to madness in a heartbeat."
As of October 2014, Kapoor is filming Vikas Bahl's Shaandaar, a film described as "India's first destination wedding film" where he will appear as an insomniac opposite Alia Bhatt. He has also committed to star in Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K.'s action thriller Farzi, and Abhishek Chaubey's thriller Udta Punjab.
Kapoor identifies himself as a vegetarian. He credits American author Brian Hines for influencing this lifestyle choice. While filming Fida (2004), he began dating Kareena Kapoor. They separated during the filming of Jab We Met (2007). According to him, they remained on good terms, with him saying, "I wish her all the happiness in the world. I have great respect for her. She is a wonderful girl."
Post their high profile break up, Kapoor has decided to keep his personal life away from media attention. He has maintained that he has since been single. Despite this, he has been linked to tennis sensation Sania Mirza and various actresses, such as Vidya Balan, Priyanka Chopra, Nargis Fakhri, Bipasha Basu, Sonakshi Sinha.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2003||Ishq Vishk||Rajiv Mathur||Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut|
|2004||Dil Maange More||Nikhil Mathur|
|2005||Deewane Huye Paagal||Karan|
|2005||Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!||Aditya "Adi" Verma|
|2005||Shikhar||Jaidev "Jai" Vardhan|
|2006||36 China Town||Raj Malhotra|
|2006||Chup Chup Ke||Jeetu Prasad Sharma|
|2007||Fool & Final||Raja/Rahul|
|2007||Jab We Met||Aditya Kashyap||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor|
|2008||Kismat Konnection||Raj Malhotra|
|2009||Kaminey||Charlie/Guddu||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor|
|2009||Dil Bole Hadippa!||Rohan Singh|
|2010||Chance Pe Dance||Sameer Behl|
|2010||Paathshaala||Rahul Prakash Udyavar|
|2010||Badmaash Company||Karan Kapur|
|2010||Milenge Milenge||Amit "Immy" Kapoor|
|2011||Mausam||Harinder "Harry" Singh|
|2012||Teri Meri Kahaani||Jawed/Govind/Krish|
|2013||Bombay Talkies||Himself||Cameo appearance in song "Apna Bombay Talkies"|
|2013||Phata Poster Nikla Hero||Vishwas Rao|
|2013||R... Rajkumar||Romeo Rajkumar|
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