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Jacqueline Fernandez

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Jacqueline Fernandez
Jacqueline Fernandez smiles away from the camera.
Fernandez at the launch of Gillette's new range in May 2014
Born (1985-08-11) 11 August 1985 (age 30)[1][2][3]
Manama, Bahrain
Nationality Bahrain and Sri Lankan[4]
Alma mater University of Sydney
Occupation Actress
Years active 2009–present

Jacqueline Fernandez (born 11 August 1985) is a Bahraini-Sri Lankan actress, former model, and the winner of the 2006 Miss Universe Sri Lanka pageant. As Miss Universe Sri Lanka she represented her country at the 2006 world Miss Universe pageant.[5]] After graduating with a degree in mass communication from the University of Sydney, and working as a television reporter in Sri Lanka.

While on a modelling assignment in India in 2009, Fernandez successfully auditioned for Sujoy Ghosh's fantasy drama Aladin, which marked her acting debut. Fernandez' breakthrough role was in Mohit Suri's psychological thriller Murder 2 (2011), her first commercial success. This was followed by glamorous roles in the ensemble-comedy Housefull 2 (2012), and the action thriller Race 2 (2013), both of which were box-office successes. Her performance in the former garnered her an IIFA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 2014, Fernandez played the leading lady in Sajid Nadiadwala's Kick, which is one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time.

One of the most popular actresses in India, she was the recipient of the IIFA Award for Star Debut of the Year – Female in 2010. Alongside her screen acting career, Fernandez has participated in stage shows, and is active in humanitarian work.

Early life and modeling career[edit]

Fernandez was born on 11 August 1985, in Manama, Bahrain,[1][2][3] and was raised in a multi-ethnic family. Her father Elroy is of Sri Lankan, and her mother Kim of Malaysian descent.[6] Her grandfather, on her mother's side of the family, is Canadian and her great grandparents were from Goa, India. Her father, who was a musician in Sri Lanka, moved to Bahrain in the 1980s to escape civil unrest between the Tamils and Sinhalese and subsequently met her mother who was an air hostess. She is the youngest of four children with one elder sister and two elder brothers.[2][4] She hosted television shows in Bahrain at the age of fourteen.[7] After receiving her early education in Bahrain, she pursued a degree in mass communication from the University of Sydney in Australia.[8][9] After graduating she worked as a television reporter in Sri Lanka.[7]She also attended the Berlitz school of languages, where she learnt Spanish and improved her French and Arabic.[10]

According to Fernandez, she had aspired to become an actress at a young age and fantasized about becoming a Hollywood movie star.[11] She received some training at the John School of Acting.[10] Although, she was a television reporter, she accepted offers in the modeling industry, which came as a result of her pageant success. In 2006, she was crowned the winner of the Miss Universe Sri Lanka pageant[5] and represented Sri Lanka at the world Miss Universe 2006 pageant held in Los Angeles.[5] In a 2015 interview, Fernandez described the modeling industry as "a good training ground" and said: "It is a medium that is about shedding your inhibitions, knowing your body, confidence".[12] In 2006, she appeared in a music video for the song "O Sathi" by music duo Bathiya and Santhush.[13]

Acting career[edit]


A photograph of Jacqueline Fernandez, Amitabh Bachchan and Riteish Deshmukh at an event for the film Aladin.
Fernandez with Amitabh Bachchan (right) and Riteish Deshmukh (left) at the audio release of Aladin

In 2009, Fernandez traveled to India for a modeling assignment. She studied acting under the mentorship of theatre director Barry John, and successfully auditioned for Sujoy Ghosh's fantasy film Aladin (2009) her acting debut. She played the love interest of Riteish Deshmukh's character, her role being based on the Princess Jasmine character.[14][15] Fernandez garnered mixed reviews for her performance. Anupama Chopra of NDTV called her a "plastic debutant",[16] and Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN felt that she was: "easy on the eyes and appears confident but has precious little to do".[17] Although the film was a critical and commercial failure,[18] was nominated for a IIFA Award for Star Debut of the Year - Female.[19]

In 2010, Fernandez appeared opposite Deshmukh in the science fiction romantic comedy Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai. She was cast as a girl from Venus, who lands on Earth in search of love.[14] Her performance received mainly negative reviews. Writing for, Sukanya Verma noted: "She gamely makes a fool of herself whilst aping the actions of movie stars, ranging from Sridevi's Naagin dance, Mithun Chakravarthy's Disco Dancer moves, to Big B's violent headshake in Hum. Her Tara could be a keeper if only Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai wasn't so intent on turning her into a love-struck Barbie."[20] Critic Anupama Chopra also criticized Fernandez, calling her "a pin-prick on a balloon".[21] With mixed reviews, the film bombed at the box-office.[22] Later that year, she made a cameo appearance in Sajid Khan's Housefull in the song "Dhanno".[23]

In 2011, Fernandez appeared in her third film, Mahesh Bhatt's thriller Murder 2, her first commercial success.[24] She played the role of Priya, a lonely model who is in a confused relationship with Arjun Bhagwat played by Emraan Hashmi. Fernandez was praised for the her performance, and for the boldness and sex appeal she displayed in the film.[25] Gaurav Malini of The Times of India stated that she was "tastefully tempting" but noted that her romance with Hashmi was "literally half-baked".[26] Murder 2 marked a turning point in her career. She received offers to star in films such as Raaz 3, which she declined to avoid being typecast as a sex symbol.[27][28] In 2012, Fernandez appeared in Housefull 2 with an ensemble cast which included Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, and Asin. It became one of the top grossing productions of India that year and earned 1.86 billion (US$28 million) worldwide. Fernandez received mostly negative reviews for her performance. While Gaurav Malini praised her for her looks, NDTV called her a "blathering bimbo" who "find[s] no pleasure in [her role]".[29][30] Despite the negative reviews, Fernandez received a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 14th IIFA Awards for her performance.[31]

Fernandez's first release of 2013 was Race 2, an ensemble action thriller, described as the "cinematic equivalent of a trashy novel" by critic Rajeev Masand.[32] To prepare for the role of Omisha, a femme fatale, she learnt fencing and some acrobatics.[33] Despite mixed reviews, the film was a box-office hit,[34][35] with domestic ticket sales surpassing the 1 billion (US$15 million) mark.[36][37] Of her performance, Lisa Tsering of The Hollywood Reporter stated: "Miss Sri Lanka Jacqueline Fernandez, a leggy beauty with a talent for action who now counts seven Indian films under her belt, is another plus. Welcome to Bollywood, Miss Fernandez".[38] However, Rubina A Khan of Firstpost called her "unnoticeable" and criticized her wig and hair.[39] Fernandez also appeared in an item number (music video) titled "Jaadu Ki Jhappi" for Prabhu Deva's Ramaiya Vasta Vaiya.[40]


Jacqueline Fernandez is smiling gently.
Fernandez at the first look launch of Kick in 2014

In 2014, Fernandez appeared in Sajid Nadiadwala's directorial debut—the action film Kick, a remake of a 2009 Telugu film of same name. She starred opposite Salman Khan, playing Shaina, a psychiatry student.[41] She retained her real voice for the first time in Kick.[42] Of her performance, Sneha May Francis commented that she is: "incredibly dazzling, and moves like a magic",[43] while critic Mohar Basu found her chemistry with Khan "palpable".[44] However, Raja Sen of was more critical of her dialogue delivery, calling it "unfortunate."[45] The film received mixed reviews from critics, but with worldwide revenue of over 3.75 billion (US$56 million), it became the fourth highest-grossing Bollywood film.[46] The film established Fernandez as one of the most popular Bollywood actresses.[47][48]

In 2015, Fernandez featured in Vicky Singh's Roy, a romantic thriller, which critic Sarita A. Tanwar described as a "boring, exhausting and pretentious" film.[49] Fernandez played dual roles in the film, Ayesha Aamir, a London-based filmmaker in a relationship with a womanizer, played by Arjun Rampal, and Tia Desai, a girl in love with a thief played by Ranbir Kapoor.[50] The film garnered mixed reviews as did Fernandez's performance.[51] While India TV called it "her best act till date",[52] critic Rajeev Masand felt that she: "appears miscast in a part that required greater range."[53] Roy failed to meet its box-office expectations, and was a commercial failure.[54] Later that year, she appeared in a guest appearance for the comedy-satire Bangistan, playing Rosie, a role which was panned by critics, calling it a "snoozefest".[55]

Karan Malhotra's action drama Brothers was Fernandez's next release. Co-starring alongside Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra, Fernandez played Jenny, a fearless mother struggling for her child, a role which she described as "challenging", "intense", and "difficult".[56] The role marked a departure from the glamorous characters that she had a reputation for portraying.[57] Film critics praised her performance, though their response to the film was mixed. Dhriti Sharma of Zee News called her character "soft, timid and promising", and praised her for: "convincingly pull[ing] off a pleasing character of a street fighter's wife".[58] Film critic Subhash K. Jha noted that she: " a limited role gives her finest emotive shot",[59] while critic Raja Sen remarked: "[she] plays Kumar's long-sobbing wife who gets so deliriously happy on seeing a text message that it may well have contained news about a Kick sequel."[60]

As of September 2015, Fernandez has several projects in various stages of production. She has completed shooting for Chandran Rutnam's English-Sri Lankan crime-thriller According to Mathew, and the horror thriller Definition of Fear, which marks her Hollywood debut.[42][61] Fernandez has also signed on to appear in three other projects—Rohit Dhawan's Dishoom opposite Varun Dhawan and John Abraham as a part of three-film deal with Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, Remo D'Souza's Flying Jat opposite Tiger Shroff, and in an Indo-Chinese film starring opposite Abhay Deol, Amitabh Bachchan, and Jackie Chan titled Gold Struck.[62][63][64]

Personal life and other work[edit]

Jacqueline Fernandez looks straight towards the camera.
Fernandez at the press conference of horse carriage ban initiative by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Fernandez shares a close bond with her family, and admits to missing being around them.[4] She says: "I miss them so much everyday. You don't realise when you live away from home how difficult life can be [...] At the same time, staying away from them has taught me to be more responsible. It has taught me so many things about myself, about priorities and time management."[65] In March 2012, Fernandez turned vegetarian for a 40-day period to observe Lent, a period from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday.[66]

In 2008, Fernandez started dating Bahraini prince Hassan bin Rashid Al Khalifa, whom she met at a mutual friend's party ; they separated in 2011.[67][68] While filming Housefull 2 in 2011, Fernandez began a romantic relationship with director Sajid Khan.[69] The relationship attracted media coverage in India and there was speculation of an impending wedding.[70] However, the relationship ended in May 2013.[71]

In addition to acting in films, Fernandez has supported charitable organisations and a number of causes.[72] In 2011, on the behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), she sent a letter to the Mumbai Municipal Commissioner asking for an end to horse-drawn carriage rides in Mumbai.[73] In early 2013, she asked the consulate general of the Philippines, William John T Perera in Colombo, to hasten the transfer of an elephant from its inadequate housing at the Manila Zoo to a humane sanctuary.[74] Later that year, she auctioned a breakfast in Mayfair, London, where she raised around £4000 for the Pratham NGO, which helps children's primary education.[75] In 2014, Fernandez was named "Woman Of The Year" by PETA (India) for advocating the protection of animals.[76] The following year, she auctioned her outfits on an online portal for a philanthropic cause. Some of her outfits included the ones she wore in the song "Party On My Mind" (from Race 2) and "Hangover" (from Kick).[77]

Fernandez has participated in several concert tours and televised award ceremonies. In 2013, she performed at the Temptations Reloaded in Auckland, Perth, and Sydney alongside Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, and Madhuri Dixit.[78][79] She also performed at the live talent show "Got Talent World Stage Live" with Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Varun Dhawan the following year.[80] In July 2014, Fernandez opened a restaurant in Colombo, Kaema Sutra, in collaboration with chef Dharshan Munidasa, which specialises in contemporary Sri Lankan cuisine.[81][82]

In the media[edit]

Jacqueline Fernandez poses for the camera.
Fernandez unveiling the New HTC One.

In the early 2013, Fernandez became the ambassador for HTC One, which she endorses in India.[83] She was the face of Indian Bridal Fashion WeekIBFW of 2013.[84] Later that year, she became the spokesperson for Gareth Pugh's designed Forevermark Diamonds in Mumbai,[85] and was at the inaugural opening of the Forever 21 store in Mumbai.[86] That year, she also launched Gillette Shaving System with Arbaaz Khan and Aditya Roy Kapur.[87] While analysing Fernandez's career, India TV noted: "Slowly and steadily Jacqueline Fernandez is climbing up the ladder of success [...] Jacqueline is comfortably grasping every aspect of the work, which an actress is required to do and is accordingly giving results."[88] On the contrary, Charu Thakur of India Today criticized her acting skills, but remarked that: "[she has] managed to find her feet in Bollywood now by banking on glamorous roles".[55]

In 2008 and 2011, Fernandez featured in the UK magazine Eastern Eye‍‍ '​‍s "World's Sexiest Asian Women" list, ranking twelfth.[89][90] She was ranked third on The Times of India‍‍ '​‍s listing of the "Most Desirable Woman" in 2013 and 2014, after being ranked eighth, seventh and fourteenth, respectively, in the preceding three years.[91] In 2013, placed her on their list of "Bollywood's Best Dressed Actresses".[92] The following year, she held the sixty second position in the Indian edition of the Forbes' Celebrity 100, a list based on the income and popularity of India's celebrities.[93] She has been the cover model for many Indian editions of magazines, including: Vogue,[94] FHM,[95] Maxim,[96] Cosmopolitan,[97] Grazia,[98] Elle,[99] Verve,[100] Harper's Bazaar,[101] Women's Health,[102] and L'Officiel among others.[103]


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes
2009 Aladin Jasmine
2010 Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai Tara
2010 Housefull Dhanno Special appearance in song "Aapka Kya Hoga (Dhanno)"
2011 Murder 2 Priya
2012 Housefull 2: The Dirty Dozen Bobby Kapoor
2013 Race 2 Omisha
2013 Ramaiya Vastavaiya Unknown Special appearance in song "Jaadu Ki Jhappi"
2014 Kick Shaina Mehra
2015 Roy Ayesha / Tia (Dual Role)
2015 Bangistan Rosanna "Rosie" Cameo Appearance
2015 Brothers Jenny Fernandes
2016 Definition of Fear Film has yet to be released Sarah Fording Hollywood film
2016 According to Mathew Film has yet to be released Daphne Reynolds English-language film


Year Organisation Award Film Result Ref.
2010 IIFA Awards Star Plus Debut of the Year – Female Aladin Won [19]
2010 Stardust Awards Exciting New Face Aladin Won [104]
2012 Stardust Awards Best Actress (Thriller/Action) Murder 2 Nominated [105]
2013 IIFA Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role Housefull 2 Nominated [31]
2013 15th Asianet Film Awards Most Stylish Bollywood Actress N/A Won [106]
2015 BIG Star Entertainment Awards BIG Star Most Entertaining Dancer Kick (for the song "Jumme Ki Raat") Won [107]
2015 Stardust Awards Style Diva Kick Won [108]
2015 Screen Awards Best Actress (Popular Choice) Kick Nominated [109]
2015 Filmfare Glamour & Style Awards Emerging Face of Fashion (Female) N/A Nominated [110]


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Rozanne Diasz
Miss Universe Sri Lanka
Succeeded by
Aruni Madusha