After making a quiet modeling debut, Katrina Kaif stepped into Bollywood and has now become the toast of the industry. She is known as the lucky mascot for stars like Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan who also happens to be her boy friend. In 2008, she was ranked number one among all the actresses in Bollywood.
Katrina grew up in Hawaii but brought up in London. She is one of eight siblings, all girls, from a British mother who is a Caucasian and a father who was previously from Kashmir, but has since acquired British citizenship.
Katrina started modeling accidentally when she was in Hawaii at the tender age of 14, when she was approached for a jewellery campaign. Thereafter, she continued modelling in London and later got her first break in Bollywood with Boom directed by Kaizad Gustad. Though the film bombed, two other Telugu movies Malliswari and Pidugu did get her noticed. She grossed Rs 70 lakhs for Malliswari - making her top the list of the highest paid South Indian actresses at the time. Not done with South Indian movies, she also signed a Tamil movie Bheema opposite National Award Winner Vikram.
Her innocent baby face, hour-glass figure and drop-dead gorgeous looks have helped her along the way. She started off as a model with photographer Atul Kasbekar and went on to endorse brands like LG, Cola, Fevicol, Lakme and Veet. It was the Lakme commercial that got her noticed.
Unlike other artistes from foreign lands, Katrina did not experience any difficulties in getting a visa or extending her stay in India. Although linguistically challenged, Katrina puts up a bold face and states that other Bollywood artistes like Sridevi, who did not know Hindi, did get offers from Bollywood film-makers, and she is no different.
She is learning Hindi and taking dancing lessons to fit in with the Bollywood culture. Despite her soft gorgeous looks, she is not easily intimidated. However, she admits that she is very emotional, almost an incurable romantic, wears comfortable non-revealing clothes when at home, hates to do her hair, and above all dislikes make-up.
Katrina was flooded with modelling assignments the minute she set her foot on Indian soil. She has now made Mumbai her base, and doesn't mind singing and dancing around trees while she's at it, and has made it big in Bollywood.
Katrina is half British and half Indian.
She has 7 siblings, of which 6 are sisters and 1 is a brother.
She was born in Hong Kong, moved to Hawaii till she was about 14, then she moved to London. She now lives in Mumbai.
Despite coming from foreign countries, she had no difficulties in finding a visa and getting it extended in India.
She had her first modelling experience at age 14, as a model for a jewellery company.
When moving to India, she worked with photographer Atul Kasbekar and did commercials for Veet, Lakme and Fevicol.
Although she wears sexy clothes, she prefers comfortable, non-revealing clothes in personal life.
Katrina hates makeup!
She refuses to talk about her personal life to the media, stating that she is only responsible to them for her professional life.
Katrina has also been the stunning face of Estelle jewelry, Lakme, Pantene, Veet, Kodak cameras, L'Oreal, Samsung, LG etc.
She doesn't do ramp shows anymore.
Katrina was chosen as the face of the year for the Lakme India Fashion Week (2005).
Her favourite Indian designers are Rocky S.,Rina Dhaka, Tarun Tahiliani.
Her favourite international designers are Armani, Miu Miu, Prada, Versace.
Her favorite actors are Johnny Depp, Shah Rukh Khan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan.
Her favourite actresses are Kajol and Madhuri Dixit.
Her favourite cricketer is Irfan Pathan.
Her favourite Indian food is dahi and rice.
Her favourite movies are Umrao Jaan (1981), Casablanca (1942), and Gone with the Wind (1939).
Her favourite perfume is Gucci Rush.
She prefers acting over modelling.
She enjoys going to spas, playing chess, painting, watching movies, going to the gym, cooking, meeting new people, and getting together with friends.
I can read and speak Hindi quite well now and that's quite an achievement considering I didn't know the language at all when I came down here
Salman Khan is a senior actor and I have learnt a lot from him during the making of the film. He is very focussed and dedicated.
(On being voted the most luscious lips in the film industry): It feels funny to hear such things
I find a face beautiful, good looking, attractive, and all the terms you want to use, once I know them.
Although I haven't met Madhuri Dixit in person, I find her very beautiful on screen. I also find Manisha Koirala beautiful.
I am moody... and a Cancerian to boot. Even a small thing can change my entire mood, but I'm working on that. Besides, I'm also loyal and possessive.
(On avoiding to talk about Salman Khan): We respect each other's privacy. I'm answerable to the media for my professional life, not my personal life.
It's not my style to either wear minimum clothes, to strip or to even be comfortable with a sex-symbol label. I just want to do good work instead of sporting such meaningless tags. Sex sells, but to a small extent, not always. And this is what filmmakers have to accept. The exposure has to be relevant to the film and its characters and not forced for the sake of titillation. On the contrary, some of the greatest Indian films have been devoid of all these sexual trappings. I know my comfort zone in today's Indian culture and society.
I have no complaints. I think I'm especially lucky. As you said, I've come from outside and I'm not even anywhere closely connected. But I have absolutely no problem here. People have been more than welcoming, even before I was ready.
There was a time when I felt that I needed to take time to understand more about the industry, the workings of it. I was doing my modelling, which I really wanted to do at the time. So that's why even my entry into films was later than people expected.
I've been very blessed, I think, or what do you call it... mmm... lucky to get at this stage that I have. It's not like I've come from acting school and done work at an academy or something. I feel I've been given a very huge chance and opportunity.