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Randeep Hooda

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Randeep Hooda
Randeep Jism 2 conference.jpg
Hooda at a press conference for Jism 2
Born (1976-08-20) 20 August 1976 (age 39)[1]
Rohtak, Haryana, India
Nationality Indian
Alma mater Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram
Years active 2001–present

Randeep Hooda (pronounced [rɳd̪iːp huːɖaː]; born 20 August 1976) is an Indian film actor who appears in Hindi-language films. Hooda began acting in school productions at a young age. After completing his studies in Melbourne, Australia, he returned to India and began modelling and acting in theatre.

Hooda made his Bollywood debut with Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding in 2001. However, after a good performance in the film he waited four years for a second project, Ram Gopal Varma's D (2005), which earned him critical acclaim. After D, Hooda worked on a series of critically and commercially unsuccessful projects until he featured in Milan Luthria's Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010).

For his performance in romantic thriller Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster (2011), Hooda earned his first nomination for the IIFA Awards in the Best Supporting Actor category and was subsequently noted for his role in Imtiaz Ali's drama Highway (2014) for which he won the Stardust Award for Best Actor. Other notable film roles include Jannat 2 (2012), Jism 2 (2012), John Day (2013), Sajid Nadiadwala's Kick (2014), Rang Rasiya (2014) and Ungli (2014). In addition to acting in film and theatre, Hooda regularly participates professionally in equestrian sports such as polo and show jumping. He is a social activist and a blogger.

Early life and background[edit]

Hooda was born Randeep Singh Hooda on 20 August 1976, in Rohtak, Haryana, to Dr. Ranbir Hooda (a surgeon) and Asha Hooda (a social worker).[3] He also has an elder sister, Dr. Anjali Hooda Sangwan, a US-trained obesity medicine specialist[4][5] and a younger brother, Sandeep Hooda, a Software Engineer working in Singapore.

Hooda belongs to a Jat family.[6] As a child Hooda studied at the Motilal Nehru School of Sports (MNSS), a boarding school in Rai, Sonepat, Haryana.[5] He was involved in swimming and equestrian sports (including tent pegging and show jumping) winning medals at the national level.[7] Hooda later developed an interest in theatre and participated in school productions, directing one. In an interview with, he said that he loved appearing in front of people. However, his family wanted him to be a doctor and he was transferred to Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram in New Delhi.[7][8] Hooda described the transition from an environment where he was popular to one in which he was unknown as "difficult".[7] Instead of acting in school productions, he became mischievous to fit in with the other boys in his hostel. He later recalled, "If anybody had to skip school, leave school, get drinks, get their exam papers done by someone else, I was the guy who arranged all that ... I was a bit short-tempered and a bit frustrated in school so all that contributed [to the attitude]."

After completing his schooling, Hooda moved to Melbourne in 1995 and received a bachelor's degree in marketing and a master's degree in business management and human resource management.[7] During that period, he worked in a Chinese restaurant, a car-wash, waited tables and drove a taxi for two years.[9] In 2000, Hooda returned to India and worked in the marketing department of an airline. He subsequently started modelling and working in amateur theatre in Delhi. While rehearsing for his first play he received a call from director Mira Nair, who wanted him to audition for a part.[10]

Film career[edit]

2001–09: Debut and struggle[edit]

Hooda made his acting debut in Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding (2001), playing a non-resident Indian from Australia. Although the film was a critical and commercial success,[7] he waited four years for a second project.[11] In the meanwhile, Hooda worked in theatre and did television commercials to support himself financially.[12] He also attended (and assisted) an imagination and improvisation workshop conducted by Naseeruddin Shah at the National School of Drama in New Delhi.[7]

In 2005 Hooda was cast as the male lead in Ram Gopal Varma's gritty gangster film D, allegedly based on the life of Dawood Ibrahim.[13] His performance in the film received positive reviews; Taran Adarsh wrote, "D wouldn't be what it is without Randeep. He changes his expressions like a chameleon changes colors and that's where he scores."[14] After D, Hooda appeared in a series of critically and commercially unsuccessful films such as Darna Zaroori Hai (2006), Risk (2007), Ru Ba Ru (2008), Rang Rasiya (2014), Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye (2009), Karma Aur Holi (2009) and Love Khichdi (2009).[15][16]

2010–present: Breakthrough[edit]

Smiling, bearded man in a white shirt
Hooda at party for Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster

In 2010 Hooda appeared in Milan Luthria's Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, a period action drama depicting the rise of organised crime in Mumbai. Co-starring alongside Ajay Devgan, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut and Prachi Desai, Hooda played ACP Agnel Wilson.[17] His performance in the film was appreciated by critics, and proved to be a turning point in his career.[18][19] Sudish Kamath of The Hindu wrote, "In the few scenes he gets, Randeep chews the scenery around him with his Bachchan-like presence, his baritone firing away dialogue as if he were born to play this role."[20] Komal Nahta described him as a "revelation".[21] The film was a critical and commercial success, earning over 780 million (US$11 million) in India.[22] Hooda later attributed his success to this film: "Things have really changed for me professionally because before Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai I did take a hiatus from acting, but that film brought me back in a big way. Now other directors and production houses look at me as an actor who can carry bigger parts and a longer screen presence."[23]

The following year, Hooda featured in Tigmanshu Dhulia's romantic thriller Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster with Jimmy Shergill and Mahie Gill. The film (and his portrayal of a gangster who falls in love with a married woman while working as her driver) earned rave reviews from critics. In an interview with Digital Spy, Hooda said "My inspiration for this character went back to my roots in Haryana, to the time I grew up and people I observed. My uncles were drivers and I thought of those times and people around me."[23] Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India called him "absolutely mesmerising";[24] Garauv Malani wrote, "Randeep Hooda plays the best character of his career so far and gets immense scope to show his performance prowess. The passion, obsession, emotions and expressions he brings to his character is simply outstanding."[25]

Hooda's first film in 2012 was Kunal Deshmukh's crime thriller Jannat 2, a sequel to Jannat (2008). While the film received mixed reviews from critics, Hooda was praised for his performance. Taran Adarsh wrote, "the actor delivers yet another knockout performance. He dominates in several sequences, making you realize that if given an opportunity, the guy can steal the thunder from the best of actors."[26] Sonia Chopra of Sify said, "Randeep Hooda is the best thing about the film."[27] It was a commercial success, with a domestic revenue of over 410 million (US$6.0 million).[28] Hooda's next appearance was in Pooja Bhatt's erotic thriller Jism 2 opposite Sunny Leone. The film, and Hooda's performance, received mixed reviews from critics. Lisa Tsering of The Hollywood Reporter said that Hooda "smolders to the best of his ability in the role of a violent criminal".[29] Rajeev Masand wrote, "The usually dependable Hooda, goes a little overboard with all the feeling; alternating clunkily between melancholic and hyper, Hooda constructs a wildly implausible character that inspires most of the unintended laughs in this film."[30] Jism 2 was a moderate commercial success, earning 350 million (US$5.2 million) in India.[31]

Hooda's final film of the year was Madhur Bhandarkar's drama Heroine, starring Kareena Kapoor, in which he played cricketer Angad Paul. Before the start of principal photography, Arunoday Singh was chosen for the role but was dropped for unknown reasons.[32] Media reports began speculating about several actors (such as Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan and Prateik Babbar),[33] although Bhandarkar later confirmed that he selected Hooda after seeing his performance in Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster (2011). The film received mixed to negative reviews, but Hooda's performance was appreciated by the critics.[34] Kanika Sikka of Daily News and Analysis wrote, "Randeep, as usual does justice to his role."[35] The film was eventually declared a below-average grosser due to its poor performance at the domestic and international box offices.[36]

Aditi Rao Hydari, Randeep Hooda and Sara Loren promoting Murder 3.

In 2013, Hooda starred opposite Aditi Rao Hydari and Sara Loren in Vishesh Bhatt's Murder 3, an official remake of the 2011 Colombian thriller The Hidden Face.[37] The film and his portrayal of Vikram (a fashion and wildlife photographer) garnered mixed to negative feedback from critics.[38] A review from Mint said that Hooda "is hundreds of shades below his ability to enact a character."[39] The film earned a worldwide gross of 250 million (US$3.7 million) in ten days, and was an average grosser.[40]

As of March 2013, Hooda featured in John Day and in the anthology film Bombay Talkies (in the segment directed by Karan Johar) alongside Rani Mukerji and Saqib Saleem.[41] In 2014 he appeared opposite Alia Bhatt in Imtiaz Ali's Highway. For Highway, Randeep Hooda prepared for his role with such sincerity that in order to keep the initial distance with Alia Bhatt's character, he didn't speak to her for about 25 days. Parmita Uniyal for Hindustan Times writes," He delivers a nuanced yet controlled performance. He perfects the Haryanvi accent to lend authenticity to his character. He's able to get into the skin of his character Mahabir Bhati. His character opens up and frees himself from the self-imposed shackles towards the end." He has been praised for his performance in Sajid Nadiadwala's Kick which emerged as one of the biggest blockbuster of 2014. His last release of 2014 was Karan Johar's much anticipated Ungli along Emraan Hashmi and Kangana Ranaut which was a flop.

Upcoming projects[edit]

He has completed work on Prawaal Raman's, Main Aur Charles opposite Richa Chadda, on the life of Charles Sobhraj and the jail break of 1986 slated to release on 13 March 2015.[42] As of June 2015, he is filming for Do Lafzon Ki Kahani in Kuala Lumpur.[43]

Other ventures[edit]


Hooda has been associated with theatre since the beginning of his acting career, and is an active member of Naseeruddin Shah's Motley Theatre Troupe.[44][45] In an interview with Daily News and Analysis, he recalled "My first stint with theatre was in school, where I was asked to wear a lion mask and roar for several minutes. My parents came to see me with a lot of expectations and sadly, they couldn't even recognise me on stage because of the mask."[45] During his years in the film industry, Hooda has continued to participate in a number of theatrical productions. He said, "Juggling between the two [theatre and films] does get difficult, but I don't see myself ever give up theatre. It's got a deeper connect with who I really am. So, if films give you the wings to fly, theatre is a reality check, it keeps you grounded. Films can give you the satisfaction of feeling like a hero, but theatre gives you the real satisfaction of being an actor."[46] Hooda has appeared in Kali Shalwar Aur Kuchchh Kahaniyan (a play based on Saadat Hasan Manto's short stories), To Teach His Own and Arms and The Man. He described the latter as a typical George Bernard Shaw play: "It is complete with elements to entertain an audience. It delves into true love, heroism and some confused relationships that are pretty baffling even in the current social structure."[45] Hooda made his theatrical debut as a writer, adapting Lee Blessing's A Walk in the Woods in an Indian context. Naseerudin Shah appeared, and Ratna Pathak directed the play.[47][48]

Equestrian sports[edit]

Young man in a hat and a dark T-shirt, leaning on a fence
Hooda at the Raymond National and Junior National Equestrian Championship.[49]

Hooda is the only Bollywood actor who regularly participates in professional equestrian sports, including polo and show jumping.[50] He was coached by Colonel SS Ahalawat and Brigadier Bishnoi in show-jumping and dressage.[51] Hooda described riding as his "passion": "My first stint with horses happened when I was in class eight at the Motilal Nehru School of Sports in Haryana, but thereafter I didn't ride horses for 17 years."[51] He keeps six horses at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai.[52] In an interview with Deccan Herald, he explained "Jats take to horses like fish to water. My taking to polo in big way was only natural. Today, polo is not just restricted to the royalty and the Indian Army, many companies and firms too patronise the sport. The superb synchronisation between man and his horse, the amazing speed, the brute power with the backdrop of green arena makes polo the most exclusive and glorious sport of all requiring mental and physical strength. Even if you do not get the chance to play, there is every chance of being able to watch the sport as an observer—which is almost as good as playing. There is something extremely satisfying about watching men on their horses as they pursue the ball with their sticks with skill and adroitness."[50] In December 2008, Hooda underwent surgery after suffering a severe ankle injury in a fall from his horse during a polo match in Mumbai.[53] The following year, he won a silver medal at an open dressage event organised by the Equestrian Federation of India in Delhi.[54] Hooda has also won medals at equestrian events in Mumbai and Delhi, where he participated with riders from the Indian Army.[55][56]

Column-writing and blog[edit]

In 2009 Hooda was a guest contributor to the "In The Script" column, published by Asian Correspondent.[57] His article, entitled "Racism against Indians in Australia ..." discussed the violence against Indians in Australia controversy. Hooda shared his experience of living in Australia, during which he was subjected to racial discrimination, and how he handled the situation: "My experiences were not in my mind incidents of racial discrimination but more a challenge of individual assertion of mental and physical superiority." In conclusion, he wrote "The point is to get tough inside out, play a sport apart from cricket, have heart and stand up in unity and say "we'll not take shit". All it needs is a few pioneers and I'm proud to say that I tried [and will continue to do so] and I hope a few others do that too."[57] In 2011, Hooda began a blog in the Hindustan Times to interact with his fans and share his experiences.[58]

Social activism[edit]

In September 2010 Hooda and Jackky Bhagnani walked the ramp in a charity show for Khushi, Kapil Dev's NGO to improve poor communities in rural and urban areas of India.[59] The following year, Hooda raised public awareness of chronic hunger in India. He presented a video to the cast and crew of Jism 2, who shared it on their social-media accounts.[60] In December 2012 Hooda participated in an anti-suicide initiative with Imtiaz Ali, Rahul Bose, Mahesh Bhupati and Nishikant Kamath, speaking to local students and parents. Hooda, who had failed Class 12, told the children not to give up. He said, "Don't accept defeat. Fight back adversities. Failure is a myth. Every experience is a just fodder for the future. Suicide doesn't solve the problem, It ends you."[61]

Image and personal life[edit]

Unsmiling, bearded young man in purple-and-white jacket
Hooda walks for Nivedita Saboo at the Pune Fashion Week.

Apart from his reputation as an intense actor, Hooda is also considered one of the most attractive celebrities in India due to his rugged good looks.[62] In 2010, he ranked 21st in The Times of India's annual list of the 50 most desirable men of 2009.[63] In 2011, a global online survey conducted by Internet Movie Database (IMDb) ranked him seventh on its list of the "20 sexiest men in the world".[64] Although surprised and grateful,[65] Hooda maintained that he is not swayed by such labels: "I want people to know me for my body of work, than just my body ... Being sexy can always just be an added advantage, not the be-all and end-all for an actor."[66] During an interview with Mid Day, Hooda said that during his early years in the industry people saw him as an "explosive Jat boy" and had a calculated approach to him due to his attitude.[12][67] He added, "Now, I'm a bit more careful. I've changed the way I express myself."[12]

Having lived in a hostel from a young age, Hooda said "I've always had a good time, it's something that gives me my spirit and fuels my spirit as well. Now I want my parents to live with me, I want to enjoy their company more."[68] Speaking about his parents (who live in Faridabad, Haryana), Hooda said that he shares a great relationship with them and their openness to everything has helped him in life.[68] He considers Naseerudin Shah as his "mentor, friend and confidant": "He's an inspiration and somebody who has helped nurture me as an actor not necessarily my career but my craft. He's also the one who opened my eyes to the world of acting."[67]

Hooda was in a relationship with former Miss Universe and actress Sushmita Sen from 2004 to 2006.[69][70] He later said that ending their relationship changed his career. "The break-up was the best thing that happened to me and I realised that I gave it too much time in my life. It freed my energy to do things for myself."[69] Hooda owns a stray dog named Candy who, he says, energises his life.[68]


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Monsoon Wedding Rahul Chadha
2005 D Deshu
2006 Darna Zaroori Hai Ajay Doshi
2007 Risk Suryakant Satam
2008 Ru Ba Ru Nikhil
2009 Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye Jai
2009 Karma Aur Holi Dev
2009 Love Khichdi Vir Pratap Singh
2010 Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai ACP Agnel Wilson
2011 Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Lalit / Babloo
2012 Jannat 2 ACP Pratap Raghuvanshi
2012 Cocktail Kunal Ahuja (Special appearance)
2012 Jism 2 Kabir Wilson
2012 Heroine Angad Paul
2013 Murder 3 Vikram
2013 Bombay Talkies Dev
2013 John Day ACP Gautam
2014 Highway Mahabir Bhati
2014 Kick Police Officer Himanshu Tyagi
2014 Rang Rasiya Raja Ravi Varma
2014 Ungli Abhay
2015 Beeba Boys Jeet Johar
2015 Main Aur Charles Charles Sobhraj
2016 Do Lafzon Ki Kahani Film has yet to be released Suraj Filming[43]
2016 Ya Laal Rang Film has yet to be released TBA
2016 Sultan Film has yet to be released Coach Filming[71]
2016 Sarbjit Film has yet to be released Sarabjit Singh Release date: 19 May 2016[72]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Film Award Category Result Ref.
2011 Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Lions Gold Awards Favourite Actor in a Supporting Role Won [73]
2012 Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated [74]
2012 Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated [75]
2013 Jannat 2 Stardust Awards Best Actor Nominated [76]
2014 Highway Stardust Awards Best Actor Won [77]
2015 Rang Rasiya Filmfare Awards Best Actor Nominated [78]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Randeep Hooda's Biography". Koimoi. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Ghosh, Sankhayan (21 February 2014). "Why Randeep Hooda didn't speak to Alia Bhatt for 25 days during Highway shoot". Indian Express. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "Randeep Hooda biography". OneIndia Entertainment. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Nutrition Specialist Delhi - Clinical Nutrition Specialists | Obesity Specialist in Delhi | Metabolic Medicine Specialist". 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
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  6. ^ "I was too full of myself: Randeep Hooda". NDTV. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Hoodlum, Hunk, Star". Rediff. 10 April 2002. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
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  9. ^ "Randeep Hooda Bio". OneIndia Entertainment. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
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  13. ^ Unnithan, Sandeep (13 September 2004). "Double click". India Today. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  14. ^ Adarsh, Taran. "D Movie Review". Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
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  47. ^ Vats, Rohit (2 August 2012). "Randeep Hooda wants to become a sex symbol with 'Jism 2". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
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  57. ^ a b Hooda, Randeep (17 October 2009). "Racism against Indians in Australia ...". Asian Correspondent. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  58. ^ "Randeep Hooda's Blog". The Hindustan Times. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  59. ^ Sharma, Garima (16 September 2010). "Randeeps walks the ramp for Charity". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  60. ^ "Jism 2 in news again, this time for". Dainik Bhaskar. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  61. ^ K Jha, Subhash (22 December 2012). "Bollywood denizens join hands for anti-suicide initiative". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
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  63. ^ "2009 Most Desirable Men: Randeep Hooda – No 21". The Times of India. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
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  65. ^ Naval-Shetye, Aakanksha (8 February 2011). "Randeep Hooda is surprised being included in the 20 sexiest men list". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  66. ^ Naval-Shetye, Aakanksha (25 August 2012). "There's more to me than my body: Randeep Hooda". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  67. ^ a b Shetty, Shakti (30 July 2012). "I have changed, says Randeep Hooda". Mid Day. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  68. ^ a b c Bharathi (December 2011). "An Equestrian Date With Randeep Hooda". The Film Street Journal. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  69. ^ a b Uddin, Zakia (18 January 2013). "Randeep Hooda: 'Break-up with Sushmita Sen changed my life'". Mid Day. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  70. ^ Bollywood Hungama (30 March 2005). "The new man in Sushmita's life". Sify. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
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External links[edit]