Kriti Kharbanda (born 29 October 1990) is an Indian actress who predominantly works in Kannada, Hindi and Telugu language films. After beginning her career as a model, she made her acting debut with the Telugu film Boni (2009) and her Kannada debut with Chirru (2010). Kharbanda is a recipient of a SIIMA Award along with two Filmfare Awards South nominations.[1]

Kriti Kharbanda
Kharbanda in 2023
Born (1990-10-29) 29 October 1990 (age 33)
New Delhi, India
Alma materSri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College
  • Actress
  • model
Years active2009–present
PartnerPulkit Samrat

Following few unsuccessful films, Kharbanda received SIIMA Award for Best Actress - Kannada nomination for portraying a medical student in Googly (2013) and the leading lady in Super Ranga (2014), winning SIIMA Critics Award for Best Actress – Kannada for the latter.[2] She portrayed an IAS aspirant in Bruce Lee: The Fighter (2015), for which she received Filmfare and SIIMA Award for Best Supporting Actress – Telugu nominations. Kharbanda's other successful films include the Kannada films, Tirupathi Express, Belli both (2014) and Minchagi Nee Baralu (2015).

Kharbanda made her Hindi film debut with Raaz: Reboot (2016) and played a PCS Officer in Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana (2017). Her notable Hindi films include Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se (2018), Housefull 4 (2019), which is her highest-grossing release, Taish (2020) and 14 Phere (2021). For Taish, she received ITA Award for Most Popular Actress – OTT nomination.

In addition to her acting career, Kharbanda is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products. She also support a number of causes.[3]

Early life and education edit

Kriti Kharbanda was born on 29 October 1990[4][5] in a Punjabi Hindu family in New Delhi.[6][7][8] She has a younger sister Ishita Kharbanda and a younger brother Jaiwardhan Kharbanda, who is the co-founder of Paper Plane Productions. She moved to Bangalore in the early 1990s with her family.

Kharbanda was educated at Baldwin Girls' High School, Bangalore, and at the Bishop Cotton Girls' School, Bangalore.[9] She was graduated from Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College, Bangalore.[8] She also holds a diploma in jewellery designing.[10]

According to her, she was very active in cultural activities during school and college.[8] As a child, she was also featured in a number of advertisements and she continued modelling while in school/college, stating that she "always loved doing TV commercials".[11] Her prominent modelling campaigns during her college days were for Bhima Jewellers, Spar, and Fair & Lovely. Her photo on the Spar billboard caught the attention of NRI director Raj Pippala who was looking for a heroine for his film, and that paved the way for her acting career.[8] She said that she had initially no plans of becoming an actress and that it was only because of her mother's encouragement that she considered it seriously.[11]

Career edit

Early career (2009–2012) edit

Kharbanda at Filmfare Awards South in 2013

After being seen on the Spar billboard, Kharbanda was cast in a lead role for the Telugu film Boni opposite Sumanth.[8] Boni received negative reviews but fetched Kharbanda a positive response. While Sify wrote, "Kriti was a good choice and she had no tense moments despite her debut. Her looks are gorgeous and she has a lot of future if she plays her cards correctly",[12] Radhika Rajamani of wrote, "Kriti Kharbanda looks fresh and pretty and manages to play the part of Pragati in a fairly convincing way. She may have to work on her expressions a bit in future, though".[13] Although the film was unsuccessful at the box office,[14][15] she landed a prominent role in the Pawan Kalyan film Teen Maar. Her next release, however, was her debut Kannada film, Chirru. Her performance was mostly well received, with The Times of India writing that she "excels in her performance"[16] and stating that she "is very pretty and her expressions are good". IANS wrote that she "looks ravishing in song sequences" and "is good at dancing".[17] The film was a hit at the box office in 2010, and Kharbanda stated that it got her recognition and "a fair amount of admiration in the industry", resulting in her being offered numerous projects in Kannada.[18] However, she took a long time to sign her second Kannada film,[19] until October 2011, when she signed up for four films in a single month.[20]

In 2011, she was also seen in a guest role in the successful Telugu romantic comedy Ala Modalaindi,[14] before Teen Maar was released. She appeared in "retro scenes" in Teen Maar in which she had to "replicate heroines from the 70s" and revealed that she also chose the costumes and jewellery she wore in the film.[14] The film turned out to be an average grosser.[21] The following year, she acted in Mr. Nookayya alongside Manoj Manchu in Telugu, and in Prem Adda, a remake of the Tamil film Subramaniapuram, in Kannada.[22] The latter film featured her in a "completely de-glam" role, with the actress stating that her fair complexion posed a problem to her as she played a small town girl from the 80s.[20] She called Girija the most challenging character she had played till then, since it required a no-makeup look, get a tan and walk barefoot to attain "a raw look" like the role demanded.[23] For the film, she also designed her costumes along with her mother.[11]

Career progression and expansion (2013–2019) edit

Kharbanda had four releases in 2013, two each in Telugu and Kannada. Her first release was Galaate.[24] Times of India said, Kriti gives life to her role.[25] In her Telugu film, Bhaskar's Ongole Githa, opposite Ram Pothineni she played a "typical town girl",[26] Karthik Pasupulate of Times of India mentioned, "Kriti Kharbanda looks cute and does a decent job of holding her own despite playing a character with little scope to do any acting."[27] Her next release was Kalyan Ram's Om 3D, the first 3D action film in Telugu cinema, both films did not perform well at the box office.[28]

Kharbanda at an event

Kharbanda's career in Kannada, however, saw an upswing with the romantic comedy Googly, co-starring Yash. Her portrayal of a medical student was lauded by critics.[29] G. S. Kumar from Times of India said, "Kriti Kharabanda has given life to her character."[30] Sify, in particular, praised Kharbanda, calling her "The heart and soul of the movie...who emerges triumphant on the big screen with some fine acting".[31] The film went on to collect over 15 crores at the box office, emerging as one of the highest-grossing Kannada films in 2013.[32][33][34] She stated that she received a lot of offers after Googly including two Bollywood projects that she had to refuse since she was too busy shooting for her previously signed films.[35]

Kharbanda had three Kannada releases in 2014: Her first release was Super Ranga co-starring Upendra. Her performance in Super Ranga fetched her positive reviews. S. Viswanath of Deccan Chronicle wrote, "Kriti, simply adores the screen with her beauty and in the real sense, the beautiful kick for the audience."[36] She won the SIIMA Critics Award for Best Actress - Kannada.[37] as well as her first Filmfare Award nomination for Best Actress.[38] Her next film was Belli, in which she was paired with Shiva Rajkumar,[39] IB Times mentioned that, she is a treat to watch.[40] Her final release of the year was, Tirupati Express, a remake of the Telugu film Venkatadri Express,[41][42] Shashi Prasad from Deccan Chronicle wrote, "Kriti Kharbanda who has struck hat-trick opportunities after her Googly success, makes another 'beautiful' comeback while filling the much needed glamour quotient."[43]

In 2015, Kharbanda was first paired opposite Diganth in Minchagi Nee Baralu. She received special praise for her performance, with Sunayana Suresh of Times of India saying that she's the "biggest plus point of the film".[44] She next portrayed an IAS aspirant in the Telugu film Bruce Lee: The Fighter starring Ram Charan.[45] She received Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Telugu and SIIMA Award for Best Supporting Actress -Telugu nominations for her performance in the film.[46] A critic from Sify found her to be "apt" in her role.[47] In 2016, Kharbanda made her Hindi film debut with Raaz Reboot directed by Vikram Bhatt and co-starring Emraan Hashmi.[48] It was her only release of the year.[49]

In 2017, Kharbanda had four releases: She first made her Tamil debut opposite composer-turned-actor G. V. Prakash Kumar in the film Bruce Lee.[50] It received negative reviews from critics.[51] The same year, she played the lead in Maasthi Gudi a Kannada film, opposite Duniya Vijay.[52][53] Kharbanda also starred in two Hindi films. Firstly in the comedy drama Guest iin London opposite Kartik Aaryan.[54] Firstpost's Renil Abraham wrote, "Kartik Aryan and Kriti Kharbanda looks good and plays the role well. They've been styled well too."[55] She next portrayed a PCS officer in the romantic comedy Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana opposite Rajkummar Rao.[56] She received mentions for her performance. A critic from Bollywood Hungama wrote that she does a much better job here than her previous Hindi releases.[57] While Rachit Gupta of Filmfare stated that she gave her career's "best performance" in the film.[58]

Kharbanda had four releases in 2018 too. She first appearance was in Karwaan alongside Dulquer Salmaan.[59] Renuka Vyavahare found her to be "likeable" in her special appearance.[60] She next played the lead in the Kannada film Dalapathi starring Nenapirali Prem.[61][62] Times of India praised her and wrote, "Kriti Kharbanda looks like a million bucks, and one wonders why we don't see her on screen as often in Kannada films, given how she effortlessly charms the audience."[63] Her next releases was Veerey Ki Wedding with Pulkit Samrat, where she played a Punjabi girl.[64][65] Critic from Hindustan Times said that she as Geet is "effervescent and pretty", but sadly is "limited" by a badly written script. She delivers what is expected of her.[66] She then appeared in Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se alongside Bobby Deol.[67][68] Jyoti Sharma Bawa wrote, "Kriti Kharbanda plays a Gujarati surgeon who loves her booze and should have had her license revoked a long time back."[69]

Kharbanda in 2019

Kharbanda starred in two comdey ensembles in 2019. Her first release of the year was the reincarnation comedy Housefull 4, where she portrayed Rajkumari Meena and Neha opposite Bobby Deol and Riteish Deshmukh.[70] It became her highest grossing release with a worldwide gross collection of ₹296 crore.[71] Sreeparna Sengupta from Times of India said, "Kriti Kharbanda and Pooja Hegde are reduced to being props, owing to their limited screen time."[72] Monika Rawal Kukreja of Hindustan Times praised her and noted, "Kriti Kharbanda brings freshness to the screen but, her poor dialogue delivery is distracting."[73] Later that year, she appeared in Anees Bazmee's Pagalpanti alongside Pulkit Samrat.[74] Critic from Bollywood Hungama mentions, "Of all the heroines, Kriti Kharbanda gets to play an interesting character and she does justice."[75]

Recent work (2020–present) edit

Kharbanda's only release in 2020 was Bejoy Nambiar's Taish with Jim Sarbh and Samrat, whichreleased on ZEE5 as a feature film and six-episode series.[76] Bollywood Hungama mentions, "Kriti Kharbanda looks stunning and gives an impressive performance".[77] Pallabi Dey Purkayastha mentions, "Kriti Kharbanda, Sanjeeda Sheikh and Saloni Batra play three very different women standing at three crucial junctions in their respective lives. As Arfa, Kharbanda is a sucker for love and the peacemaker of the livid gang."[78]

In 2021, she appeared in ZEE5's 14 Phere, directed by Devanshu Singh opposite Vikrant Massey, playing a Jat girl.[79] Stutee Ghosh of The Quint wrote, "Kriti Kharbanda as Aditi, has a very thinly written character sketch, but she manages to be charming throughout."[80] Saptaparna Biswas stated, "While Kriti's screen presence is stunning, especially in the bridal and ethnic attires, she fails to match up to the skilled acting of Vikrant. Even as she tries hard to portray a bold and fearless Jatni, she is stuck with a poker face expression for most parts.[81]

Kharbanda will next appear in Abir Sengupta's Risky Romeo opposite Sunny Singh.[82]

Personal life edit

Kharbanda with Pulkit Samrat in 2022

Kharbanda is dating actor Pulkit Samrat, her co-star from Veerey Ki Wedding, Pagalpanti, and Taish. They have been in a relationship since 2019.[83][84]

Kharbanda has a keen interest in pole dance and is often seen practicing it. She says, "Pole dance has become a part of not just my fitness, but also my meditation."[85]

Off-screen work edit

Kharbanda decided to sponsor the education for 30 girls through her association with the NGO "Shiksha Seva Foundation", that works at educating girl child, on her 30th birthday in 2020.[86] She has also worked associated with an NGO that works towards the cause of animals, especially during summer, by providing them water and shelter.[87]

Kharbanda at an event

Kharbanda has been associated with Celebrity Cricket League.[88] Since 2011, she has supported "Karnataka Bulldozers" and other teams at the league. All the seasons of the league aim to create awareness about a social issue.[89][90] In 2022, Kharbanda indulged in an interactive session with actor Chris Hemsworth on "holistic wellbeing".[91] She has ramp walked in the Lakme Fashion Week and has been the cover model for several magazines.[92][93]

She has been outspoken on issues such as feminism. She said, "We say all are just equals. I believe there cannot be any discrimination between man and woman or that one of them can function without the other. However, I also believe women are stronger in terms of dealing with their emotions."[94]

Controversy edit

Kharbanda had criticised actress Hina Khan for her comment on "South Indian " actresses. Khan said, "South makers like to cast women who are on the heavier side". On this, Kharbanda lashed out at the actress and said, "Hina Khan is a very big name on television. That is not how you talk about people. There is no need to (say such things on national television). It's rather unfortunate that an actor is talking like that, and an actor of that caliber, that too." She also wanted to slap the actress for her comment.[95]

Artistry and public image edit

Kharbanda in 2018

Kharbanda has established herself as one of the most popular celebrities in Kannada cinema.[96][97] Post her film debut, she was termed "ebullient, beautiful and promising".[98] Following the success of Googly, she became a sought-after actress in Kannada cinema.[99] Kharbanda feels the film "changed her career overnight". She termed it as her favourite and said, "It's my favourite because I enjoyed working on that film. I felt I could do justice to the character and the character did justice to me."[100] In 2013, she was ranked 8th in Top Sandalwood Actresses List.[101]

Firstpost find her to be "a perfect blend" of solid acting chops, expressive face, arresting glamour, and a dazzling screen presence.[102] Kharbanda feels Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana is a film that "changed her life".[103] Kharbanda is known to be "extremely detail-oriented", when it comes to her craft.[104] On her work style, Kharbanda said that she is "grateful to have reached a position in her career", where she can refuse work that doesn't excite her and "rely on her instincts while choosing characters".[105] On getting typecast, she said,

"It's going to help me grow as an actor. Go ahead, typecast, I don't have any issue. Everyone who's looked at being typecast negatively, you've been challenged to outdo your own previous performance. That's the best kind of competition when you're competing with yourself".[106]

Kharbanda's rise to popularity resulted in her being voted Bangalore Times Most Desirable Women of 2013.[107][108] She also ranked 2nd in 2012 and 3rd in 2014 in its 25 Most Desirable Women,[109][110] and 2nd in 2017's 30 Most Desirable Women List.[111] She is subsequently featured in the Times' 50 Most Desirable Women List. She ranked 32nd in 2017, 37th in 2018, 18th in 2019[112] and 27th in 2020.[113] Apart from acting, Kharbanda is an endorser for several brands and products, including Oppo and PC Jeweller.[114] For Oppo, she also shot a short film with Sidharth Malhotra.[115] She is the brand ambassador of Pebble watches alongside Pulkit Samrat.[116] Kharbanda has over 8 million Instagram followers[117] and is widely known for her fashion style.[118]

Filmography edit

Films edit

Denotes films that have not yet been released
List of Kriti Kharbanda film credits
Year Title Role Language Notes Ref.
2009 Boni Pragathi Telugu
2010 Chirru Madhu Kannada
2011 Ala Modalaindi Simran Telugu Cameo appearance
Teen Maar Vasumathi
2012 Mr. Nookayya Anuradha "Anu"
Prem Adda Girija Kannada
2013 Galaate Ankitha
Ongole Gittha Sandhya "Sandy" Telugu
Om 3D Anjali
Googly Dr. Swathi Kannada
2014 Tirupathi Express Prarthana
Super Ranga Naina
Belli Sneha
2015 Minchagi Nee Baralu Priyanka
Bruce Lee: The Fighter Kavya Rao Telugu
2016 Raaz: Reboot Shaina Khanna Hindi
2017 Bruce Lee Saroja Devi Tamil
Maasthi Gudi Raani Kannada
Guest iin London Anaya Patel Shergill Hindi
Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana Aarti Shukla PCS
2018 Karwaan Rumana Salim Cameo appearance [119]
Dalapathi Vaidhehi Kannada
Veerey Ki Wedding Geet Bhalla Hindi
Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se Dr. Chiku
2019 Housefull 4 Rajkumari Meena / Neha Thakral [120]
Pagalpanti Janhvi Singh [121]
2020 Taish Aarfa Khan [122]
2021 14 Phere Aditi Karwasra [123]
2024 Risky Romeo TBA Completed [124]

Television edit

List of Kriti Kharbanda television credits
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2011 Celebrity Cricket League Guest Season 1 [125]
2014 Bigg Boss Kannada Season 2 [126]
2017 The Kapil Sharma Show Herself To promote Guest Iin London [127]
2019 To promote Housefull 4 [128]
To promote Pagalpanti

Accolades edit

List of Kriti Kharbanda awards and nominations
Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2015 Filmfare Awards South Best Actress – Kannada Super Ranga Nominated [129]
2016 Best Supporting Actress – Telugu Bruce Lee: The Fighter Nominated [130]
2022 Indian Television Academy Awards Most Popular Actress – OTT Taish Nominated [131]
2020 Lions Gold Awards Best Actress in a Comic Role Housefull 4 Won [132]
2019 Lokmat Stylish Awards Most Stylish Rising Star Won [133]
2014 South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actress – Kannada Googly Nominated [134]
2015 Super Ranga Nominated [135]
Best Actress Critics – Kannada Won [136]
2016 Best Supporting Actress – Telugu Bruce Lee: The Fighter Nominated [137]

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