Katrina Kaif is among the most stunning actresses in Bollywood today. Be it her flawless skin or well worked-out body, Katrina Kaif has always been known for her beauty and her body of work. As she celebrates her birthday today, here are some lesser-known facts about the lovely actress! (All photos/Katrina Kaif's official Instagram account)
Katrina Kaif was born in Hong Kong to a Kashmiri father and an English mother. Her birth name is actually Katrina Turquotte. Her parents divorced when she was very young.
Katrina went to France when she was 8, and later lived in countries including Switzerland, Poland, Germany and Belgium. She took up engineering in London, but did not find the subject interesting.
Katrina began her modelling career in Hawaii at the age of 14.
It is said that Katrina adopted the surname Kaif because cricketer Mohammad Kaif was very popular at the time when she wanted to change her surname.
Born to a Muslim father and Christian mother, Katrina Kaif was brought up to practise all faiths and says she is a "firm believer in God".
Katrina made her Bollywood debut with the 2003 film Boom which bombed at the box office. She admitted that she sought the help of Salman Khan initially to decide which films to do. "Not just Salman, I also took the advice of people like Sajid Nadiadwala and David Dhawan. But finally the films I did were my call," said Katrina who's transparently honest and unpretentious but who often tries to underplay her intelligence simply to fit into the 'Bharatiya Nari' mould.
Katrina Kaif shared her childhood memories in an interview, "I grew up in a large joint family filled with seven sisters and brothers. The atmosphere at home was very Indian. We were brought up on values that are very Indian. I guess that explains why I'm so Indian in my outlook, although I'm half-British and half-Indian by birth."
Katrina's struggle started in 2000 when she arrived in Mumbai. "I came to Mumbai to be a model. I had no inkling at that point of time that I was going to be an actress. I met photographer Farrokh Chothia who put me on to the right modelling agencies. Soon, modelling assignments began to trickle in." After her portfolio by glam-photographer Dabboo Ratnani was circulated, Katrina landed her first film project.
"When I did Boom in 2003, I was clueless about my intentions, camera angles, language, the works. I'd say my film career started with Ram Gopal Varma's 'Sarkar' in 2005, followed by 'Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya'. I was kinda getting bored with modelling and ramp walking. I sensed I had reached a saturation point there and needed to move on. Acting seemed the next natural step," Katrina Kaif said.
In 2004, she starred in the blockbuster Telugu romantic comedy Malliswari, in which she was paired opposite South superstar Venkatesh.
Katrina Kaif once described her early days in Mumbai as lonely. "To begin with, I lived in a two-bedroom flat near Rizvi College. The entire day I'd be visiting modelling agencies. In the evening, I'd return home to a lonely house. I'd miss my sisters' presence around me. But I didn't really had to struggle hard. And nothing untoward happened to me. No one made any sleazy suggestions," Katrina recalled.
Katrina Kaif's lack of knowledge of Hindi did not really bother her. "In any case, everyone in the modelling world spoke English. That wasn't a problem, except when I had to haggle with auto-rickshaw wallahs to avoid being cheated and to find addresses in Mumbai. That was tough."
What she found awkward were the gawkers. "Because I came from London, I dressed in a certain casual way that was not quite acceptable in Mumbai. You know, stuff like shorts and tops, or just the kind of clothes that are considered trendy among college kids, but somewhat bold for working girls. People would simply stare. I had to change the way I dressed," Katrina Kaif said.
Katrina Kaif hired a tutor to teach her Hindi and started taking Kathak lessons from a guru who also taught Priyanka Chopra.
Katrina Kaif starred in a couple of other South films as well - Allari Pidugu (Telugu) in 2005 and Balram vs. Taradas (Malayalam) in 2006.
After a few failed attempts in Bollywood, she finally tasted success with Vipul Shah's offbeat romantic comedy starring Akshay Kumar, 'Namastey London' (2007). Kumar and Katrina reunited in 'Welcome' (2007) and 'Singh Is Kinng', and both films did exceedingly well at the box office. Katrina's successful box office ventures with other stars include 'New York' (2009), 'Rajneeti' (2010), 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara' (2011), and 'Ek Tha Tiger' (2012).
Due to her poor Hindi, Katrina's voice was dubbed in most of her earlier films. But since 'New York', she has dubbed for all her films herself, except 'De Dana Dan'.
About her embracing Salman Khan's family wholeheartedly, Katrina Kaif says, "Salman guided me, helped me choose the right roles and was there for me constantly. With him and his family around, I never felt alone in Mumbai."
She says she often ends up "sub-consciously looking for a father- figure" in her male company. Katrina and her sisters grew up without a father in the house. "So I guess I do look for sensible, wise male company. I get bored with giddy-headed guys my own age," Katrina Kaif said.
And lastly, in a self-admitting confession, Katrina concludes, "It's very simple. I'm a friendly girl. I don't like to offend anyone. But in pleasing others and not offending them, I won't compromise with my own inbuilt sense of right and wrong. I know what I want in life. And I won't take any short cuts."
You have come a long way Katrina! Kudos to you and your efforts!
More power to you Katrina Kaif!
From starting her modelling career as early as 14 to doing big blockbusters in Bollywood, Katrina Kaif has an interesting career graph. As Katrina turns a year older today, here's a look at her photos from earlier times when she looked drastically different and few candid revelations like never-before, straight from the horse's mouth. We bet you haven't heard them before!
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