Katrina Kaif (pronounced born Katrina Turquotte; 16 July 1983) is a British film actress and model. Primarily known for her work in Bollywood films, Kaif has also appeared in Telugu and Malayalam films. In addition to being one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actresses, she is considered one of India’s most attractive celebrities by the media.
Born in British Hong Kong, Kaif and her family lived in several countries before she moved to India. She received her first modelling assignment as a teenager and later pursued a career as a fashion model. At a fashion show in London, filmmaker Kaizad Gustad spotted Kaif and decided to cast her in Boom (2003), a critical and commercial failure. While filming in India, Kaif received modelling assignments and established a successful modelling career. However, filmmakers were hesitant to cast her due to her poor command of Hindi. After appearing in the Telugu film, Malliswari (2004), Kaif earned commercial success in Bollywood with the romantic comedies Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? (2005) and Namastey London (2007). She followed with a series of box-office hits, but was criticised for her acting, repetitive roles and inclination to male-dominated films.
According to an India Today article, despite her dissimilarity to a conventional Bollywood heroine, Kaif “turned every adversity into opportunity and climbed the slippery pole of stardom”. Although she is one of the most commercially successful actresses in contemporary Bollywood, she has received mixed reviews for her acting prowess.Writing for Firstpost, Anuya Jakatdar wrote that Kaif needed to “take on role that actually challenge her” instead of “coasting on her co-star’s box office appeal” and criticised her inclination towards glamorous roles. Kaif’s dancing ability is better appreciated, with Meena Iyer of The Times of India calling her “one of Bollywood’s best dancers”. Kaif’s Bollywood success has sparked an influx of foreign talent hoping to establish themselves in the industry.