Talented actress Sonam Kapoor has got herself noticed with good performances on the big screen, her striking looks and eye-catching outfits that have turned her into a style icon. The appeal of the Bollywood star is such that she is in demand with production houses, big commercial brands and fans who just can’t get enough of that million-dollar smile.
Sonam Kapoor celebrated her birthday recently. Eastern Eye decided to put together an alphabetical guide to an actress never far away from the headlines.
A is for Anil Kapoor: The actress is the daughter of renowned Bollywood star Anil Kapoor and shares a close bond with him. She wants to carry on her father’s impressive legacy in cinema and said: “I have a lot of fears, but the biggest is not to live up to my father’s name.
” B is for Black: Sonam initially wanted to be a writer/director and landed a job working as an assistant on critically acclaimed film Black (2005). The film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali spotted Sonam’s potential and offered to cast her in the lead role of his next film Saawariya (see S). She weighed around 80 kilos at the time and was advised to lose weight (see W).
C is for Charity: The big-hearted actress has done a lot of philanthropic work and has raised awareness about a number of social causes including animal rights and breast cancer. She has participated in events including charity fashion shows raising money for the less fortunate and donated clothes for auctions generating money for good causes. A lot of her good work has remained secret. She once said: “I will never use charity as a publicity stunt.
” D is for Dream role: When asked about dream roles, the actress said: “My dream role is either Annie Hall or Rosie from Guide – Waheeda Rehman’s character. Something interesting like that. I feel that black and white is very easy to play; it is grey characters that are the most difficult. The real ones.
” E is for endorsements: The popular star makes more money from endorsements than she does from acting. She has been paid huge sums of money to endorse everything from household products to fashion houses and being a brand ambassador for events. Perhaps her most high-profile endorsement is being an Indian ambassador for international cosmetics manufacturer L’Oreal.
F is for Favourites: Some of Sonam’s hobbies include reading, dancing and playing sports. Thai cuisine is the food she enjoys most and chocolate is her all-time guilty pleasure. She enjoys romantic films, citing Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Titanic, Devdas, Romeo and Juliet and Gone With The Wind as some of her favourites. When not working, she most likes spending time at home with her family.
G is for Gowns: The eye-catching outfits the actress wears on the red carpet generate headlines around the world. Sonam has become such a huge style icon (see Q) that the biggest fashion designers line up to dress her for the red carpet at high-profile events including the Cannes Film Festival. Last year she was invited to be on the front row in Paris at the Armani Privé Couture show in a gorgeous outfit designed by the legendary Italian fashion icon.
H is for Hollywood: Sonam harbours ambitions to follow her father Anil’s footsteps of working in the west. She has actively been looking for a good project and says she will take up an offer from Hollywood if the right one comes along.
I is for Influences: Sonam admires a number of leading ladies including those currently working in cinema, but her three biggest influences as an actress are Waheeda Rehman (above), Meryl Streep and Katherine Hepburn.
J is for Jewellery: The style icon isn’t just in demand to wear striking outfits, but has done a number of high-profile jewellery endorsements. Sonam has been a brand ambassador for India International Jewellery Week. Earlier this year, she signed a big-money deal to replace Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as the brand ambassador for leading jewellery company Kalyan.
K is for Khoobsurat: The most in-demand Pakistani actor in Bollywood, Fawad Khan, was launched as the lead opposite Sonam in her home production Khoobsurat (2014). She championed the actor, saying he had the kind of masculinity that was lacking in a lot of new actors in Indian cinema.
L is for Love life: Although she has been linked with various high-profile men, Sonam has always guarded her private life and never commented about any specific relationships. “I have kept my personal life pristine and private,” said Sonam.
M is for Mumbai: Sonam was born in the Mumbai suburb of Chembur on June 9, 1985. Her family moved to the affluent Juhu area when she was a one month old.
N is for Neerja: Sonam’s last release was a huge critical and commercial success. Many feel her portrayal of airhostess Neerja Bhanot in the drama based on real-life events was a careerbest performance. She is sure to be a frontrunner at award ceremonies next year.
O is for Outspoken: Over the years, the actress has generated a lot of headlines through comments she has made including some not-so-kind words about fellow stars, but Sonam does not think she is controversial. She said: “I don’t think I am outspoken. I am straightforward and honest.”
P is for Producing: Although her sister Rhea takes the lead role in producing, Sonam is actively involved in her home production company and plays the lead roles in the projects, which so far have included Aisha and Khoobsurat. Her next home film is Battle For Bittora, which is based on the novel of the same name.
Q is for Queen: She may not have reached the top spot as far as acting is concerned, but Sonam is undoubtedly the style queen in Bollywood. Her eye-catching sense of style has turned Sonam into a fashion icon and inspired her to launch her own range. She has an in-depth knowledge of international designers and collaborates closely with Rhea when it comes to fashion. Some of her style influences include classic leading ladies Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn. Talking of fashion she said: “One should wear the outfit; the outfit should not wear you. You have to enjoy dressing up.”
R is for Relatives: The actress comes from a famous film family and has a number of high-profile relatives including first cousin Arjun Kapoor, aunt Sridevi, second cousin Ranveer Singh, uncle Sanjay Kapoor and younger brother Harshvardhan, who is due to make his Bollywood debut in big-budget film Mirziyan.
S is for Saawariya: After a lot of training in acting and getting into shape, Sonam was launched opposite fellow debutante Ranbir Kapoor in Saawariya (2007). The big-budget romantic drama turned out to be a major critical and commercial failure, but still got Sonam a Filmfare Award nomination for Best Female Debut.
T is for Twitter: Sonam is very active on social media and has nearly nine million followers on Twitter. When it comes to expressing an opinion on the micro-blogging site, she doesn’t hold back and has previously sparked controversy with contentious tweets. U is for United World College: Sonam enrolled into the collage in Singapore when she was 15 to study theatre and arts. “It’s so easy to be a teenager in Singapore because you can make mistakes and still be safe. It’s a safe city and you’re stupid at that age,” said Sonam.
V is for Video: Sonam makes a quick cameo appearance in Coldplay’s recent music video Hymn For The Weekend, which has more than 273 million views on YouTube. Defending her blink-andyou- miss-it moment, Sonam said: “First of all, I am in a Chris Martin video and I am a huge fan of Coldplay. When I was in high school, I grew up listening to Oasis, Coldplay and U2. And if somebody told me at 16 that I was going to be in a video, I would go, ‘shut up’.”
W is for Weight loss: The actress has been open about being overweight as a teenager and was just over 80 kgs (176lbs) when her debut film Saawariya was offered to her. She lost 35 kilos to get herself ready for the film.
X is for Xavier: Earlier this year, Sonam inaugurated a special plaque dedicated to the memory of Neerja Bhanot at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai. Neerja, whom Sonam portrayed in the movie of the same name, was a student of Xavier’s Institute of Engineering.
Y is for Younger: Before becoming famous, Sonam worked as a waitress when she was a teenager to earn some extra money. She also confessed to having a rebellious streak as a youngster.
Z is for Zodiac: Sonam is a Gemini. The main traits of the star sign include being energetic, witty, imaginative, adaptable, curious and intellige