Parineeti Chopra (pronounced [pəriːniːt̪iː ˈtʃoːpɽaː]; born 22 October 1988) is an Indian actress and singer who appears in Hindi films. Chopra is a recipient of several accolades, including a Filmfare and National Film Award. She has been appearing in Forbes India's Celebrity 100 list since 2013.
|Alma mater||University of Manchester|
|Relatives||See Chopra family|
Chopra initially aspired to pursue a career in investment banking, but after obtaining a triple honours degree in business, finance and economics from Manchester Business School she returned to India during the 2009 economic recession and joined Yash Raj Films as a public relations consultant. Later, she signed a deal with the company as an actress. Chopra made her acting debut with an acclaimed performance in the 2011 romantic comedy Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, winning the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut and a Best Supporting Actress nomination. She followed it by garnering widespread critical acclaim for her starring roles in the box office hits— Ishaqzaade (2012), Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) and Hasee Toh Phasee (2014). The first of these won her the National Film Award – Special Mention while the first two of these earned her two nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. After a three-year hiatus from full-time acting, her career saw fluctuations with occasional successful films with the comedy Golmaal Again (2017) and the war drama Kesari (2019) in between. In 2021, Chopra earned renewed critical acclaim for her leading roles in the black comedy Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and the biographical sports drama Saina.
In addition to her acting career, Chopra is a humanitarian and is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products. She has sung several her songs, including Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin, which garnered her praise.
Early life and work
Parineeti Chopra was born on 22 October 1988 in Ambala, Haryana into a Punjabi Hindu family. Her father, Pawan Chopra, is a businessman and supplier to the Indian Army at Ambala Cantonment and her mother is Reena Chopra. She has two brothers: Shivang and Sahaj; actresses Priyanka Chopra, Meera Chopra and Mannara Chopra are her cousins. Chopra studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Ambala. In an interview published in The Hindu, she revealed that she was a very good student and had always wanted to become an investment banker.
At the age of 17, Chopra moved to England, where she received a triple honours degree in business, finance and economics from Manchester Business School. She used to take orientation classes for new students at the university. While studying, she worked part-time for the Manchester United Football Club as the team leader of the catering department. Chopra is also a trained Hindustani classical singer with a B.A. Honours in music. She used to perform on stage with her cousin, Priyanka, and their fathers in her childhood.
In 2009, she returned to India in the wake of the economic recession and moved to Mumbai to stay with Priyanka. During a visit to Yash Raj Films studio, Priyanka (who was filming for Pyaar Impossible!) introduced Parineeti to the head of the public relations team of the company. Chopra obtained an internship in the marketing department, joining the production company as a public-relations consultant. She considered it a perfect job, because she could use what she had learned and work in films. Chopra had disliked actors and acting; to her, the profession seemed like an excuse to wear too much makeup. This changed when she observed Priyanka's preparations for her role in 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), which highly influenced her and changed her perception towards acting and actors. Once she learnt more about filmmaking, her respect for the profession increased.
While working on promotions for Band Baaja Baaraat, Chopra realised that she wanted to become an actress and decided to resign from her executive position with Yash Raj Films to attend acting school. Film director Maneesh Sharma suggested signing Chopra to Aditya Chopra, chairman of Yash Raj Films. Appalled by the idea of recruiting someone from his marketing team as an actress, the vice-president refused. When Parineeti Chopra told Sharma she was leaving her job to attend acting school he advised her to meet the company's casting director, who asked her to do a "dummy audition for fun". Chopra remembered "fooling around with a camera" and delivering lines by the character Geet from the film Jab We Met, never expecting producer Aditya Chopra to see the tape. However, when the producer saw the tape he was impressed with her acting. With Sharma describing her "phenomenal" in the screen test, Chopra was signed to a three-film deal; Chopra's colleagues later told her she was a "misfit in an office situation".
Debut and breakthrough (2011–2014)
In 2011, Chopra made her screen debut in the romantic comedy Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, in a supporting role with Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma. The film describes how three girls who are tricked by a con artist take revenge on him by plotting the same trick for him. Chopra played the Delhi-based "rich and spoiled brat" Dimple Chadda, who is betrayed by the film's central character. The film received mixed reviews from critics, and was moderately successful at the box office. Chopra's performance was highly praised by film critics. Komal Nahta said, "Of the three other girls, Parineeti Chopra is undoubtedly the best. She has the best role, the best lines and hers is the best performance among the three." Priyanka Roy of The Telegraph described Chopra as "natural" and wrote "Among the ladies, debutante Parineeti almost steals the show from Anushka." The film earned her several awards, including the Filmfare Award, the Screen Award, the Producers Guild Film Award and the IIFA Award for Best Debut. Chopra also received nominations in the supporting actress category, including Filmfare, and won the Producers Guild and IIFA Awards in the same category.
Chopra's second release was Habib Faisal's romantic drama Ishaqzaade in which she played a leading role opposite Arjun Kapoor. The film revolves around two political families, whose rivalry (and mutual hatred) go back generations. Chopra played the boisterous and feisty tomboy Zoya, a Muslim girl who marries a Hindu boy and gives birth to new rivalry in both families. The film received positive reviews from critics, and Chopra earned critical acclaim for her performance. Taran Adarsh observed, "Parineeti Chopra is simply fantastic [...] Playing the part of a spirited gun-toting girl, she is not the regular timid, decorous, withdrawn Hindi film heroine. She portrays the violent behavior coupled with the audacious and brash attitude with aplomb", and Rajeev Masand labelled her the "biggest strength of the film". The film grossed over ₹46 crore (US$6.4 million) at the domestic box office, and was termed a super hit by Box Office India. Chopra earned a National Film Award – Special Mention at the 60th National Film Awards, and received first nominations for the Producers Guild, Screen and Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
Chopra next appeared alongside Sushant Singh Rajput and Vaani Kapoor in the romantic comedy-drama Shuddh Desi Romance (2013), her second collaboration with Maneesh Sharma. The film, set in Jaipur, received positive feedback from the critics and Chopra's portrayal of Gayatri, an outspoken and rebellious girl, was particularly praised. CNN-IBN noted that the film belonged to Chopra, who "turns Gayatri into the most real woman one have encountered on screen", and the critic Mayank Shekhar added "Parineeti's act in the film's first half is nothing short of National Award winning material." Shuddh Desi Romance collected ₹46 crore (US$6.4 million) at the domestic box-office and emerged as a commercial success. Chopra garnered several Best Actress nominations, including her second Filmfare nomination for Best Actress.
Chopra's first of three releases of 2014 was Dharma Productions' romantic comedy Hasee Toh Phasee, her first role outside the Yash Raj Films banner. She featured in the role of a mad scientist alongside Sidharth Malhotra and Adah Sharma. Directed by Vinil Matthew and jointly produced by Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar, the film was a moderate success and received generally positive reviews. Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV wrote that Chopra was "pitch-perfect with her goofball act" and Hindustan Times published that she re-defined the concept of a Bollywood heroine with the film.
Habib Faisal's dowry-based social comedy film Daawat-e-Ishq marked Chopra's second collaboration with Faisal. She was cast as Gulrez "Gullu" Qadir, a middle-class salesgirl from Hyderabad alongside Aditya Roy Kapur and Anupam Kher. The film received mixed reviews though Chopra was praised. Film critic Sarita A Tanwar from Daily News Analysis found Chopra to be "the best thing about the film" and added, "She shines in every scene. She does what she does every single time — rises head and shoulders above the film and her costars." Chopra next played her first "glamorous role" in Shaad Ali's crime film Kill Dil, co-starring Govinda, Ranveer Singh and Ali Zafar. Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com found the film to be a "disaster" and wrote that "Chopra is terribly miscast and wears clothes that should have never left the wardrobe". Both Daawat-e-Ishq and Kill Dil were unsuccessful at the box office.
Hiatus and return to acting (2015–2020)
After a three-year sabbatical from full-time acting, Chopra returned to screen in 2017 with Yash Raj Films' romantic drama Meri Pyaari Bindu opposite Ayushmann Khurana. The film tells the story about a writer who uses his heartbreak as fuel for his next book and Chopra played the titular character, Bindu (an aspiring singer), whose story is told from the writer's perspective. Anisha Jhaveri of IndieWire praised Chopra for "grounding Bindu with flickers of genuine sensitivity and vulnerability [...] hinting that there’s more to the character behind that flighty surface." Rajeev Masand called her performance as "sincere" but felt that the actress was given very less to work it thanks to the "flighty and fickle" nature of her character. The actress also made her playback singing debut with the song Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin and received praise for her vocal performance and singing. She received a nominations for the Screen Award for Best Female Playback Singer and the Mirchi Music Award for Upcoming Female Vocalist of The Year. The actress next starred opposite Ajay Devgn in Rohit Shetty's comedy Golmaal Again, the fourth installment in the Golmaal film series. The film broke several box office records and was eventually declared a blockbuster, thus becoming her highest-grossing film to date. It grossed over ₹311 crore (US$44 million) at the box office to become one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.
Chopra's only release of 2018 was the romantic comedy Namaste England, alongside Arjun Kapoor. The film marked Chopra's second collaboration with Kapoor after Ishaqzaade. The film was a critical and commercial failure. Shilpa Jamkhandikar of Reuters felt the actress was "sleepwalking through a role that didn’t have too much meat in the first place" and Nandini Ramnath of Scroll noted that Chopra's usual spikiness was missing.
The first film appearance of Chopra's of 2019 was in a brief role opposite Akshay Kumar in the historical war film Kesari directed by Anurag Singh. It told the story of the events leading up to the Battle of Saragarhi, a battle between 21 soldiers of the 36th Sikhs of the British Indian Army and 10,000 Afridi and Orakzai Pashtun tribesmen in 1897. Chopra played the role of Jeevani Kaur, the wife of Ishar Singh, the leader of the Sikh soldiers, appearing in his imaginary conversations before and after the battle. Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com felt that Chopra had "precious little to do" in the film. However, Rachit Gupta of The Times of India noted her "small but impactful role", writing "it’s her character’s fun banter with Akshay that puts a smile on your face and her tears break your heart." The film was a commercial success, grossing over ₹201 crore (US$28 million) at the box office. Chopra also recorded the female version of the song Teri Mitti for the film.
Her second release of the year was Jabariya Jodi with Sidharth Malhotra, a romantic action comedy, based upon the tradition of groom kidnapping, prevalent in Bihar. The film received negative reviews and was a box office flop. Writing for NDTV, film critic Saibal Chatterjee felt that Chopra "punctuates her perky, no-nonsense girl persona with moments of demure docility" but "all the effort that she makes to traverse the gamut quickly ceases to convey any meaning in the absence of cohesion and clarity in the character's motives." Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express wrote that "Chopra, togged out in the most outlandish clothes Patna may have been witness too, seems to have got stuck in a rut of familiarity."
Renewed critical acclaim (2021–present)
In 2021, her first film The Girl on the Train, a Hindi remake of British film of same name based on the novel of the same name by British author Paula Hawkins, was released on 26 February 2021 on Netflix. The film was directed by Ribhu Dasgupta featuring Chopra as an alcoholic and troubled divorcee who gets embroiled in a murder investigation. It also featured Avinash Tiwary, Aditi Rao Hydari and Kirti Kulhari. The Firstpost review noted her performance as "sincere", writing "She manages to embed herself in Mira’s tortured mind, giving this film its one selling point." Bollywood Hungama opined "Parineeti Chopra delivers a brilliant performance and is sure to benefit from this film." Chopra also sang the unplugged version of the song "Matlabi Yariyan" for the film.
Chopra next starred opposite Arjun Kapoor in Dibakar Banerjee's black comedy Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar. Her performance was widely praised with several critics noting her as "the best part of the film". Anupama Chopra of Film Companion wrote "Parineeti seems to have got her groove back. She lets go of that synthetic sheen that marred her more recent performances and finds the anguish of being a woman with brains and courage". Filmfare felt that the screen belonged to Chopra, writing "She’s the epicentre of the drama and has a multi-layered character that she plays around with. She swiftly moves from a strong unbreakable woman to a broken and vulnerable victim."
The biographical sports drama Saina was the Chopra's final film of the year. Directed by Amol Gupte, the film saw her portraying the popular badminton player Saina Nehwal. Her performance received critical acclaim. Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express noted that she "serves, drops and smashes as [the] badminton champ", writing "[Chopra] gives us a good, solid Saina Nehwal. When she raises her racket after a hard-fought win, you cheer." Film critic Anna M. M. Vetticad applauded her for rising to the challenge of playing the sports icon, writing "The actor plays down her naturally vivacious personality and sparkling eyes for the not-so-showy character she plays here. Most impressively, she gets the body language of a sportsperson right and actually looks the part on court."
In the media
In addition to acting in films, Chopra is active in charity work and supports a number of causes. She walked the ramp at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week to support the Shabana Azmi Mijwan Welfare Society, an NGO dedicated to empowering girls. Chopra said, "I don't want it to be just about ramp walk, but I seriously and genuinely feel for what Mijwan and what Manish and Shabanaji are doing. For such an initiative, I just could not say no. I had to be a part of it." She also appeared on NDTV's Greenathon, an initiative to support eco-friendliness and investigate poor electricity supplies in rural villages, to lend her support. Apart from charity work, she serves as an ambassador for a number of brands. Chopra endorses brands such as Kurkure, Nivea, Maaza and Spinz, WeChat, Pantene and Mahindra scooty. She became the first Bollywood star to endorse products from both Coke (Maaza) and PepsiCo (Kurkure) at the same time. Parineeti Chopra became the brand ambassador of ADEX India. She also endorses Indian soap brand Medimix, Dabur's Pudin Hara, Bajaj Almond Drops Hair Oil, SugarFree and Skin Care Product - The Dermo Co.
The actress' roles and performances have been studied by critics. NDTV noted, "[Chopra]....is as far removed from the standard Bollywood bombshell as it is possible for a lead actress to be. She's more girl next door than glamour doll, with no obvious oomph in evidence, and freely confesses to a battle with the weighing scale". Following her debut, she has been widely regarded as one of the most promising actresses in Hindi cinema. The Indian Express labelled her the "most brightest and talented" newcomer of this generation, noting "her infectious amount of energy". While discussing her career in a 2013 article, CNN-IBN noted, "[she]....is one of the few actresses in the current lot who has a strong screen presence which demands absolute attention from the viewer. When she is on screen, one can't notice other actors—Parineeti engages you in such a way". In a 2013 interview with Hindustan Times, Chopra revealed that she intends to do films where she has lot to perform, and not the films which has high production value. The actress appeared on Verve's list of most powerful women in 2011. In 2012, she featured on Rediff.com's annual list of Bollywood's Best Actresses.
Parineeti Chopra was appointed as the brand ambassador for the 'Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao' campaign to promote the cause of girl child by the Haryana government in 2015. In August 2016, she performed in various cities of America for the "Dream Team 2016" tour, alongside Johar, the actors Dhawan, Malhotra, Roy Kapur, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, and the singer Badshah. In 2017, Chopra became the first Indian woman ambassador for Tourism Australia in ‘Friends of Australia’ advocacy panel by Tourism Australia. According to the India Entertainment Marketing Report 2019, Indian visitors to Australia has grown at an average of 21 percent since the appointment of Parineeti as a ‘Friend of Australia’ (a catchphrase used by the authorities instead of Brand Ambassador), in comparison to 15 percent growth experienced during the prior six months.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2011||Ladies vs Ricky Bahl||Dimple Chaddha|
|2013||Shuddh Desi Romance||Gayatri|
|2014||Hasee Toh Phasee||Meeta Solanki|
|Daawat-e-Ishq||Gulrez "Gullu" Qadir|
|2016||Dishoom||Muskaan Raza Qureshi||Cameo appearance|
|2017||Meri Pyaari Bindu||Bindu Shankarnarayanan|
|Jabariya Jodi||Babli Yadav|
|2021||The Girl on the Train||Mira Kapoor||Netflix film|
|Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar||Sandeep "Sandy" Walia|
|2022||Untitled Ribhu Dasgupta's film||TBA||Filming|
|2014||India's Best Cinestars Ki Khoj||Mentor||Singing Reality show|
|2015||Man's World||Doctor||Mini web-series|
|2017||Meri Pyaari Bindu||"Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin"||Sachin-Jigar|
|"Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin" (Duet)||Sonu Nigam|
|2019||Kesari||"Teri Mitti" (Female)||Arko|
|2021||The Girl on the Train||"Matlabi Yariyan" (Unplugged)||Vipin Patwa|
Awards and nominations
Chopra is a recipient of a National Film Award – Special Mention for Ishaqzaade (2012) and a Filmfare Best Female Debut for Ladies vs Ricky Bahl (2011). Additionally, she has been nominated for three more Filmfare Awards: Best Supporting Actress for Ladies vs Ricky Bahl (2011) and Best Actress for Ishaqzaade (2012) and Shuddh Desi Romance (2013).
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