Parineeti Chopra (pronounced [pəriːniːt̪iː ˈtʃoːpɽaː]; born 22 October 1988) is an Indian actress and singer who appears in Hindi films. 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, she starred in the comedy Golmaal Again (2017), one of the highest-grossing Indian films of the year, and appeared briefly in the war drama Kesari (2019).
Chopra is a recipient of several accolades, including a Filmfare and National Film Award. In addition to her acting career, she is a humanitarian and is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products.
Early life and work
Parineeti Chopra was born on 22 October 1988 in Ambala, Haryana into a Punjabi 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.
Debut and breakthrough (2011–12)
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".
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$6.7 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.
Recent work (2013–present)
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$6.7 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.
After a three-year sabbatical, Chopra returned to screen in 2017 with Yash Raj Films' romantic drama Meri Pyaari Bindu opposite Ayushmann Khurana. She played the titular character, Bindu (an aspiring singer), and made her playback singing debut with two versions of the song "Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin". Chopra 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$45 million) at the box office to become one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.
In 2018, she appeared in romantic comedy film Namaste England, alongside Arjun Kapoor. The film marked Chopra's second collaboration with Kapoor after Ishaqzaade. In a negative review, film critic Suhani Singh from India Today wrote that ''Kapoor and Chopra strike the Titanic pose on a couple of occasions but they cannot salvage this sinking ship of a film.'' While film critic Saibal Chatterjee from NDTV concluded that ''Seriously, one more film of this quality and the careers of Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra could be in grave jeopardy. Hopefully, these two young actors know better.'' The film was a critical and commercial failure.
In 2019, Chopra's first release was Historical war film Kesari opposite Akshay Kumar In which she played a character of Havildar Ishar singh's wife was well received from critics despite having a limited screen presence. Later,the movie opened to positive reviews and became commercially successful at box office . As of April 2019, Chopra has several projects under various stages of production. She has completed Dibakar Banerjee's Sandeep aur Pinky Faraar alongside Arjun Kapoor. Chopra is all set to reunite with Sidharth Malhotra in yet another romantic comedy Jabariya Jodi. She is appearing alongside Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt and Sonakshi Sinha in war drama film Bhuj: The Pride of India, slated to release in August 2020. As of June 2019 she has two films in pipeline, a biographical film Saina, based on the life of Saina Nehwal and the other, an official Hindi remake of British film The Girl on the Train, in which she is essaying titular role played by Emily Blunt.