Parineeti Chopra (pronounced [pəriːniːt̪iː ˈtʃoːpɽaː]; born 22 October 1988) is an Indian actress who appears in Hindi films. She has received several awards and nominations, including a Filmfare and National Film Award. In addition to her acting career, Chopra is a humanitarian and is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products.
The cousin of actress Priyanka Chopra, 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. She made her acting debut with an acclaimed performance in the 2011 romantic comedy Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, which earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut and a nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2012, she garnered wide critical acclaim for her starring role in the box office hit romantic drama Ishaqzaade, winning the National Film Award – Special Mention and several Best Actress nominations including the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She subsequently received praise for her performances in the successful romantic comedies Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) and Hasee Toh Phasee (2014). Her prime accomplishments have made her one of the most promising new actresses in India.
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 Saraj; actresses Priyanka Chopra, Meera Chopra and Mannara Chopra are her cousins. Chopra received her early education at the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Ambala Cantonment. 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 London, where she received a triple honours degree in business, finance and economics from Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom. 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.
In 2009, she returned to India in the wake of the economic recession and moved to Mumbai to stay with her cousin, Priyanka. During a visit to Yash Raj Films studio, Priyanka (who was shooting 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; however, Chopra’s performance was 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. In fact, she provides a lot of light moments in the first half and, more importantly, in the second half too”. Priyanka Roy of The Telegraph described Chopra as “natural” and wrote “Among the ladies, debutante Parineeti almost steals the show from Anushka. As a spoilt and nouveau-riche Delhi girl.” The film earned her several awards, including the Filmfare Award, the Screen Award, the Apsara Award and the IIFA Award for Best Debut. Chopra also received nominations in the supporting actress category at Filmfare) and won the Apsara 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 in this high-voltage drama. 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$6.8 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 Filmfare Award for Best Actress, Screen and Apsara Awards.
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$6.8 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 Kapoor 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.
As of March 2017, Chopra completed filming for Yash Raj Film’s romantic drama Meri Pyaari Bindu opposite Ayushmann Khurana which is directed by debutant Akshay Roy. She has been cast as the titular character, Bindu (an aspiring singer), and will be making her singing debut in the film, with the song “Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin”. She is currently filming for Rohit Shetty‘s comedy Golmaal Again, the fourth installment in the Golmaal film series, alongwith an ensemble cast, including Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi and Tabu–Chopra will be paired opposite Devgan in the film. In addition, she has also signed Homi Adajania‘s drama Takadum opposite Sushant Singh Rajput.
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.
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.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2011||Ladies vs Ricky Bahl||Dimple Chaddha||Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress
|2012||Ishaqzaade||Zoya Qureshi||National Film Award – Special Mention
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actress
|2013||Shuddh Desi Romance||Gayatri||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actress|
|2014||Hasee Toh Phasee||Meeta Solanki|
|Daawat-e-Ishq||Gulrez “Gullu” Qadir|
|2015||Man’s World||Doctor||Mini web-series
|2016||Dishoom||Muskaan Qureshi||Cameo appearance|
|2017||Meri Pyaari Bindu||Bindu||Post Production|
|2014||India’s Best Cinestars Ki Khoj||Mentor||Singing Reality show|