Isha Koppikar

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Isha Koppikar
Eesha Koppikhar3.jpg
Isha Koppikar in 2013
Born Isha Koppikar
(1976-09-19) 19 September 1976 (age 39)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Other names Ishaa Koppikar
Eesha Koppikhar
Occupation Actress, Model
Years active 1998–present
Spouse(s) Timmy Narang (2009–present)
Children Rianna Narang (b. 2014)

Isha Koppikar (born 19 September 1976) is an Indian actress and model who has appeared in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Marathi films. Isha is best known for playing protagonists in films that garner more critical appreciation than substantial box office figures. Her most critically acclaimed performances were in the films Girlfriend (2004), D (2006), Darling (2007) and Shabri (2011). She has also played leading and supporting roles in several commercially successful films, including Qayamat: City Under Threat (2003), Kyaa Kool Hai Hum (2005), Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? (2005), 36 China Town (2006) and Don: The Chase Begins Again (2006), as well as item numbers in several films.[1]


Koppikar was born in 1976 at Mahim, Mumbai in a Konkani family.[2] She has one younger brother. She graduated in Life Sciences at Ramnarain Ruia College in Mumbai. While at college she appeared in a photoshoot for Indian photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha. The shoot led to work in advertising as a model, notably for L'Oréal, Rexona, Camay, Tips & Toes and Coca-Cola. Koppikar competed in the 1995 Miss India contest, winning the Miss Talent Crown.[3] Her modelling work gave her an introduction to the film industry and to her first film appearance in the Telugu movie Chandralekha in 1998.[3]

Film career[edit]

Debut in South India (1998–2001)[edit]

The 1997 Hindi film Ek Tha Dil Ek Thi Dhadhkan, directed by Shahrukh Sultan, is often stated to be Koppikar's first film, but there is no evidence the project was ever released.[3] Her career must therefore be said to have begun with the 1998 Telugu film Chandralekha, co-starring alongside Nagarjuna, and directed by Krishna Vamsi, with music by Maestro Sandeep Chowta. She was awarded the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award. Continuing her Tamil film career, Koppikar's second movie was En Swasa Kaatre in 1998, opposite Arvind Swamy, directed by K. S. Ravi, with music by renowned music director A. R. Rahman. 1998 saw a third film, this time a cameo appearance in Praveen Kanth's Jodi, starring Prashanth and Simran.

In 1999, Koppikar alternated between appearances in the Telugu comedy Chandralekha, co-starring Nagarjuna and Ramya Krishnan, directed by Krishna Vamshi; and the Tamil gangland movie Nenjinile, starring Vijay and directed by S. A. Chandrasekhar.

By 2000, Koppikar's sights were on Bollywood, but this did not stop her from appearing in three Kannada films: Hoo Anthiya Uhoo Anthiya with Ramesh and directed by Praveen Naik, with music by Karthik Raja; O Nanna Nalle, starring and directed by Ravichandran; and finally Surya Vamsha, directed by S Narayan and starring Vishnuvardhan in a double role as father and son. Both O Nanna Nalle and Surya Vamsha were box office successes.[4]

After a detour to Mumbai for a brief appearance in Fiza and an item number in Rahul, Koppikar returned to the south in 2001 for Sundar C's Tamil project Kaathal Solla Vanthen. This film however never left the development stage, although a soundtrack of the same name was made available. Koppikar's penultimate South Indian role was in the Telugu comedy Prematho Raa, starring Venkatesh and Simran, and directed by Uday Shankar, and she signed off her South Indian career with the Tamil action movie Narasimha, directed by Thirupathisamy and starring Vijayakanth.

Bollywood (2000–2008)[edit]

Taking time out from four Kannada films in 2000, Koppikar appeared alongside Karisma Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan in Khalid Mohamed's Fiza. An item number appearance in Prakash Jha's Rahul completed Koppikar's introduction to Hindi film. Brief returns to South India in 2001 were coupled with Koppikar's proper Bollywood debut in a small supporting role in Rajiv Rai's Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat, starring Arjun Rampal and Sunil Shetty. Koppikar was paired with Shetty in the film. Her next release was K. Raghavendra Rao's urban comedy Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa, opposite Govinda, Juhi Chawla and Johnny Lever. By 2002, Koppikar appeared to be consigned to support roles until she was asked by Ram Gopal Varma to appear in an item number for his underworld movie Company starring Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi and Manisha Koirala. The number in question was Khallas, choreographed by Ganesh Hegde and the effect on cinema audiences and critics was to leave her with the enduring nickname Khallas Girl. A second notable item number, Ishq Samundar, in Sanjay Gupta's Reservoir Dogs remake Kaante, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Sunil Shetty, was enough to raise her profile and in the following year she took the Stardust Award for Most Exciting New Face for Khallas.

Isha Koppikar walks the ramp for designer Pria Kataria Puri

Koppikar's career produced five films in 2003. In Dil Ka Rishta, directed by Naresh Malhotra, she played opposite Arjun Rampal and Aishwarya Rai, marking Koppikar's second appearance with Rampal. Prawaal Raman's portmanteau film Darna Mana Hai saw her alongside college whipping boy Aftab Shivdasani. Chandraprakash Dwivedi cast her alongside Urmila Matondkar and Manoj Bajpai in the critically acclaimed film Pinjar, which went on to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.[5] A brief appearance in J. P. Dutta's war movie LOC Kargil paired her opposite Sunil Shetty again. And in Harry Baweja's Qayamat: City Under Threat, she played one of three terrorists fighting off co-stars Ajay Devgan and Sunil Shetty; a role which would bring her a Filmfare nomination in the Best Villain category.[6]

In 2004, Koppikar's films were releasing on average every two months. Both Mani Shankar's science fantasy Rudraksh and Kundan Shah's madcap comedy Ek Se Bhadkhar Ek teamed her next to perennial acting partner Sunil Shetty. In Krishna Cottage, she was cast opposite Sohail Khan for Santram Varma's creepy ghost story. Inteqam, directed by Pankaj Parashar and co-starring Manoj Bajpai, saw her revive the role played by Sharon Stone in the original Hollywood version: Basic Instinct. Another cameo appearance in Kunal Kohli's Hum Tum with Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji could have left a comedy taste to 2004, but this would be the year of street protests following Karan Razdan's controversial Girlfriend, co-starring Amrita Arora and Aashish Chaudhary caught in a lesbian love triangle. The film provoked public poster burning and calls for the film to be banned.[7]

In 2005, she eased up somewhat only releasing four films. Sangeeth Sivan's bawdy comedy Kyaa Kool Hai Hum, with Anupam Kher, Ritesh Deshmukh and Tusshar Kapoor saw her nominated in three separate award ceremonies (IIFA, Zee Cine Award and Star Screen Awards) for best comedy role.[8] Two more comedies saw her make guest appearances: David Dhawan's Salman Khan vehicle Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?, and Abbas-Mustan's whodunit, 36 China Town with Akshaye Khanna and Kareena Kapoor. A return to Ram Gopal Varma's Factory saw her alongside Chunky Pandey in Vishram Sawant's gangster flick D: Underworld Badhshah, starring Randeep Hooda.

Farhan Akhtar directed a 2006 remake of the Amitabh Bachchan hit Don: The Chase Begins Again, this time with Shahrukh Khan in the lead. Koppikar was cast as Khan's girlfriend 'Anita'. But Don's tremendous success came in contrast to Koppikar's stuttering career, with a string of films stuck in production or abandoned. Vicky Ranawat's Haseena Smart Sexy and Dangerous crept out towards the end of 2006, but Jagdish A Sharma's murder mystery Gahraee[9] appeared directly on DVD while Hansal Mehta's Raakh and Jahnu Barua's Har Pal were shelved. Ram Gopal Varma's much discussed Shabri, directed by Lalit Marathe -a role which led her to being unrecognised and barred from the film set by security personnel[6]- struggled to attract a distributor.

Koppikar's highest profile film of 2007, Nikhil Advani's multi-starrer Salaam-e-Ishq, saw her sharing limited screen time with Sohail Khan. Later in the year came the haunted love triangle of Ram Gopal Varma's Darling, with Fardeen Khan and Esha Deol. Koppikar's first film release of 2008 was Atul Agnihotri's Hello, based on the best-selling novel One Night @ the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat. This was followed within weeks by Ek Vivaah... Aisa Bhi, a Rajshri Production directed by Khashik Ghatak and co-starring Sonu Sood.

After her wedding (2009–)[edit]

Koppikar did not appear in any film in 2009, the year of her wedding with Timmy Narang. She had two films released in 2010: Right Yaaa Wrong by Neeraj Pathak and Manoj Tiwari's Hello Darling. Both films fared poorly at the box office.[10][11]

Shabri, where she plays a woman gangster of Mumbai, was eventually released in 2011.[12] Her performance was praised but the film only had a limited release and failed to make an impact at the box office.[13][14] In 2013, she made her Marathi debut in Maat, a film by director Manohar Sarvankar. She played the lead role opposite Sameer Dharmadhikari in a story revolving around an ambitious couple.[15]

She has been announced in a Kannada film, Looti, where she is to play a police officer,[16] as well as in a Hindi movie directed by Ankur Bhatia co-starring Divyendu Sharma.[17][18]

Other works[edit]

Between filming Koppikar, like many Bollywood actors, performs in stage music shows. In addition to this she has appeared in two music videos: Patli Kamar by KK for a private album commissioned by Sony in 2001/2002; and Bandish Projekt's Bhor (Satyam Shivam Sundaram) in 2004, choreographed by Bosco-Caesar. In 2006 she appeared onstage in the Indian Idol Grand Final to dance with the two finalists, and 2007 saw her as one of three judges in the celebrity dance competition Nach Baliye3, alongside director David Dhawan and Vaibhavi Merchant. She served as a judge in the Miss Universe 2008 contest, held on 14 July in Vietnam alongside, amongst others, fashion designer Roberto Cavalli and former winner in 2004 Jennifer Hawkins. In August 2009, she presented the new Colors wrestling show 100% De Dana Dan.

She continues to model for fashion designers Anita Dongre and Pria Kataria Puri. In 2007, she became the Indian brand ambassador of the Italian fashion company Police Time and Jewellery.[19] Koppikar is also a spokesperson for the animal rights organisation PETA[20] and received the 10th Anniversary Humanitarian Award in December 2009.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Isha Koppikar with Timmy Narang at their wedding reception

She has a black-belt in Taekwondo.[22]

Following the advice of numerologists, she has changed the spelling of her name twice, first to Ishaa Koppikar and later to Eesha Koppikhar. However, as of 2015 she has reverted to the original spelling of her name.[17]

She was involved romantically with actor Inder Kumar for many years.[23] Leena Mogre and Preity Zinta introduced her to hotelier Timmy Narang,[24] whom she married on 29 November 2009.[25]

She gave birth to their daughter Rianna in July 2014.[26][27][28][29]


Years Title Role Language Notes
1998 Kaadhal Kavithai Jothi Tamil Won, Filmfare Best Female Debut (Tamil)
1999 En Swasa Kaatre Madhu Tamil
1999 Jodi Tamil Cameo appearance
1998 Chandralekha Lekha Telugu
1999 Nenjinile Nisha Tamil
2000 Surya Vamsha Padma Kannada
2000 Hoo Anthiya Uhoo Anthiya Kannada
2000 O Nanna Nalle Rangu Kannada
2000 Fiza Gitanjali Hindi
2001 Prematho Raa Swetha Telugu
2001 Narasimha Vanmathi Tamil
2001 Rahul Hindi Special appearance
2001 Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat Rubaina Hindi
2001 Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa Anjali Hindi
2002 Company Hindi Special appearance
2002 Kaante Hindi Special appearance
2003 Pinjar Rajjo Hindi
2003 Dil Ka Rishta Anita Hindi
2003 Qayamat: City Under Threat Laila Hindi
2003 Darna Mana Hai Abhilasha Hindi
2003 LOC Kargil Santho Hindi
2004 Rudraksh Lali Hindi
2004 Krishna Cottage Disha Hindi
2004 Hum Tum Diana Fernandez Hindi Special Appearance
2004 Girlfriend Tanya Hindi
2004 Ek Se Badhkar Ek Tracy/Shalini Mathur Hindi
2004 Inteqam: The Perfect Game Avantika Suryavansh/Pinky Hindi
2005 Kyaa Kool Hai Hum Urmila Martodkar Hindi
2005 D Gunjan Hindi
2005 Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? Vicky's Girlfriend Hindi
2006 Darna Zaroori Hai Hindi appears in a Darna Mana Hai flashback
2006 36 China Town Sonia Chang Hindi
2006 Don: The Chase Begins Again Anita Hindi
2007 Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love Phoolwati Hindi
2007 Darling Ashwini Hindi
2008 Hello Esha Hindi
2008 Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Dance Master Hindi Special Appearance
2008 Ek Vivaah... Aisa Bhi Chandini Shrivastava Hindi
2010 Right Yaaa Wrong Anshita Hindi
2010 Hello Darling Satvati Hindi
2011 Shabri Shabri Hindi
2013 Maat Marathi Debut Marathi movie
2016 Assi Nabbe Poorey Sau Nithya Hindi Pre-production
2016 Mujhe Rang De Courtesan Hindi Pre-production
2016 Looti ACP Nisha Kannada Pre-production

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of acting awards and nominations
Year Film Award Category Result
1998 Kaadhal Kavithai Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Female Debut (Tamil) Won
2003 Company Stardust Award Stardust Award for Most Exciting New Face Won
2004 Qayamat: City Under Threat Filmfare Awards Best Villain Nominated[6]
2006 Kyaa Kool Hai Hum Zee Cine Award Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Comic Role Nominated[30]
2006 Kyaa Kool Hai Hum IIFA Award IIFA Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role Nominated[31]
2006 Kyaa Kool Hai Hum Screen Award Screen Award for Best Comedian Nominated[32]


  1. ^ "Isha Koppikar's Debut in Marathi film with 'Maat'". 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c "Interview With Ishaa Koppikar". Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  4. ^ "Isha Koppikar back to Kannada films". 27 September 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "51st National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved March 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ "More protests against 'Girlfriend'". IndiaGlitz. 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  8. ^ "Eesha Koppikhar | Videos, Wallpapers, Movies, Photos, Biography". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  9. ^ "I'm going to be a super-star someday!". 26 September 2005. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "'It's About Publicity, Not Talent Now,' Says Sunny Deol". 17 April 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "New Hindi film releases tank at the box office". 30 August 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Eesha Koppikar: I am pregnant with Shabri". 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  13. ^ "Eesha, RGV Miffed About Shabri Release". 26 August 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  14. ^ "Shabri fares poorly at box office". 29 August 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Isha Koppikar's Debut in Marathi film with 'Maat'". 
  16. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Isha Koppikar Speaks About 'Looti'". 30 March 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Isha Koppikar to Make Comeback to Hindi Films With ‘Saangli’". 28 July 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  18. ^ "Khallas Girl Isha Koppikar Making a Comeback With This Film". 29 July 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "Isha Koppikar is brand ambassador for Italian label 'Police'". 10 July 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  20. ^ "Features". Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  21. ^ "Star shower at PETA's anniversary". Hindustan Times. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  22. ^ Eesha Koppikhar gets the black belt in Taekwondo
  23. ^ "Eesha,"I had a relationship of 10 years with Inder and wanted to marry him, but it did not happen."". 
  24. ^ "Preity helped Isha Koppikar find soulmate". 
  25. ^ "Isha Koppikar's dream wedding". 
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Eesha Koppikhar | Videos, Wallpapers, Movies, Photos, Biography". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  31. ^ "Eesha Koppikhar | Videos, Wallpapers, Movies, Photos, Biography". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  32. ^ "Eesha Koppikhar | Videos, Wallpapers, Movies, Photos, Biography". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 

External links[edit]