Lara Dutta (born 16 April 1978) is an Indian actress, model and the winner of the Miss Universe 2000 pageant, she previously crowned Miss Intercontinental 1997. In her career, she has primarily worked in Hindi films. She is the recipient of several accolades including a Filmfare Award.
Dutta made her debut with Andaaz (2003), which won her a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She appeared in several commercial successes, including Masti (2004), No Entry (2005), Fanaa (2006), Bhagam Bhag (2006), Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007), Partner (2007) Housefull (2010), And Don 2 (2011).
Dutta was born to a Punjabi father and an Anglo-Indian mother in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Her father is Wing Commander L.K. Dutta (retired) and her mother is Jennifer Dutta. Her eldest sister Sabrina, is a freelancer in English Communication skills and her other elder sister Cheryl Dutta served in the Indian Air Force. Nitin Sawhney, who is a music composer and DJ is Dutta's cousin.Leena Jaitley
The Dutta family moved to Bangalore in 1981 where she completed high school from St. Francis Xavier Girls' High School and the Frank Anthony Public School. She graduated with a degree in economics and a minor in communications from the University of Mumbai. She is fluent in English and Hindi and can also speak Punjabi and Kannada.
Dutta won the annual Gladrags Megamodel India competition in her native India in 1995, thus winning the right to enter the 1997 Miss Intercontinental Pageant. She was later crowned as Miss Intercontinental 1997. In the year 2000, she took part in the Femina Miss India contest, where she won the first place and earned the title – Femina Miss India Universe.
At Miss Universe 2000 in Cyprus, she achieved the highest score in the swimsuit competition and her finalist interview score was the highest individual score in any category in the history of the Miss Universe contest, as her interview saw a majority of the judges giving her the maximum 9.99 mark.
After her final question, in which she delivered a defense of the Miss Universe contest (and other beauty pageants), she became the second Indian Miss Universe. Dutta's win led to her appointment as a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador in 2001. In the same year, Priyanka Chopra and Dia Mirza won their respective Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific titles which gave India a rare triple victory in the world of beauty pageants. As a miss universe she visited 42 countries
Lara was also elected as 'Miss Grand Slam 2000' by the pageant portal, Global Beauties besting all the delegates from the Grand Slam beauty pageants of the year 2000. She is the first beauty pageant winner from India to win this title. She is the second woman from India to be crowned Miss Universe, and has been the only delegate from India to win the crown since. She received the highest score in the swimsuit competition and her finale interview score is the highest individual score in any category in the history of the Miss Universe contest.
Lara Dutta has been a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador since 2001, shortly after her Miss Universe win. Dutta stated that - "Celebrities with the power to affect their impressionable minds therefore have a moral responsibility to impart positive messages. I am committed to using any influence I may have to do just that as a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)".
Early works (2001–2004)
She signed up for the Tamil film, Arasatchi in 2002, but due to financial problems, it was only released in mid-2004. She made her Hindi debut in 2003 with the film Andaaz which was a box office success and won her a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. However, In the movie Dutta's voice was dubbed by Mona Shetty as the filmmakers wanted two distinct characters for the female leads and they needed Kajal, Dutta's character, to have a high-pitched voice. At the beginning of 2004, Dutta made a cameo appearance in Khakee in the song Aisa Jadoo which went on to become a chart buster upon release . She then went on to appear in Bardaasht, which failed to do well at the box office. Her next release Aan: Men at Work was also a flop in India. Insan, Elaan and Jurm also ended up failing to do well at the box office. She later appeared in Masti which did well at the box office.
Lara Dutta revealed in an interview that she was offered a role in The Matrix franchise but turned down the offer due to her mum's illness at the time.
Before making her debut in movies, Dutta made an appearance in singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya's video of the song titled 'Tu Chalu Hai Re'.
Initial success (2005–2010)
In 2005, Dutta appeared in Kaal, which was a moderate success at the box office. Dutta then appeared in 2005's biggest hit, No Entry opposite actors Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Fardeen Khan, Bipasha Basu, Esha Deol and Celina Jaitley. She next appeared in Dosti: Friends Forever which was only an average grosser in India but became the biggest hit of the year in overseas markets. Dutta along with Sania Mirza participated in Kaun Banega Crorepati (season 2) as celebrity guests, on 13 November 2005.
Lara Dutta made a cameo in the Yash Raj Films film Fanaa in a scene that featured both leads Aamir Khan and Kajol. Dutta stated in an interview that she agreed to feature in Fanaa as she had previously turned down a cameo in Yash Raj's Hum Tum.
In December 2006, Dutta played Munni, a lady with suicidal tendencies alongside Akshay Kumar in Bhagam Bhag, which was one of the biggest hits of the year, as it collected over ₹400 million (US$5.6 million) in India alone. Her first release of 2007 was Shaad Ali's Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. The film was a box office Well And overseas, especially in the United Kingdom. Dutta however received praise for her performance as Anaida in the movie
Her later release, Partner where she starred opposite Salman Khan became a "Blockbuster" in India and became the third biggest grosser of the year. Dutta made a special appearance in Om Shanti Om. Dutta also presented a documentary film titled 'Sold: An MTV EXIT Special by Charmaine Choo' which followed the tragedy of trafficking in South Asia where thousand of young girls and boys are sold into modern-day slavery.
In 2008, Dutta lent her voice for the animated film, Jumbo. However, the film failed to do well at the box office. She made a special appearance in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi in the song Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte where she payed tribute to Helen, colorfully dressed, with jewels and feathers in a high hair bun. The underlying tune is "O Haseena Zulfon Wale" from the 1966 movie Teesri Manzil.
Her 2009 release, Blue, was one of the most expensive movies of Indian cinema. Dutta had initially walked away from the project because the movie was entirely shot in the ocean and she didn't know swimming. However the male protagonist Akshay Kumar encouraged her in learning how to swim and she immediately started training with a special coach. Blue was released on 16 October 2009. She stated that "The moment I got to know of it, I called Akshay and told him that I wouldn't be able to accept the assignment. He knew the reason behind my decision. Not many people are aware that I had almost drowned while shooting for Andaaz, Akshay had rescued me. When I reminded him I couldn't swim, he told me to forget my phobia and learn swimming pronto," said Dutta. "Today, I feel Blue has not merely made me overcome my phobias, but has also taught me something that will stay with me for the rest of my life". Despite a promising opening, the film failed to do well at the box office.
She also appeared in Do Knot Disturb, which took a good start at the box office, however dropped in the coming days and failed to do well. Her 2010 release Housefull was a major commercial success across India. She starred opposite Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Rampal, Jiah Khan and Riteish Deshmukh. It was the fifth biggest hit in the country at that time as it collected ₹1.14 billion (US$16 million) at the box office.
Recent work (2011–present)
In 2011, her first movie as a producer, Chalo Dilli was released. The film was a decent success, as it was made on a modest budget of ₹50 million (US$700,000). Moreover, Dutta's performance in the film was praised by prominent critics. She did an item number in the song 'Zara Dil Ko Thaam Lo' alongside Shah Rukh Khan and had an extended special appearance in the movie Don 2 and the film was a major success especially Lara's item number.
Following her post-pregnancy break from Hindi cinema, Dutta signed a movie titled David. Filming started by August 2012 and she will have a very important role in the movie according to its director, Bejoy Nambiar. The film released 1 February 2013 and receive mixed reviews. She signed a No Entry sequel titled No Entry Mein Entry.
In 2015, she starred in the movie Singh Is Bliing. The film became a financial success, grossing over ₹1.16 billion worldwide.. Her comic timing in the movie was praised by critics She played the role of 'Leena Becker' in the movie Fitoor, released in 2016. She played a crucial supporting role in the sports drama film Azhar In 2018, she appeared in the film Welcome to New York.
In June 2019, Dutta appeared in the ITV 6-part drama, Beecham House where she played the role of Begum Samru.
Talk Show Appearances
In 2006, Lara Dutta made an appearance in the show Rendezvous with Simi Garewal hosted by actress Simi Garewal. Dutta has made three appearance in Koffee with Karan hosted by film producer and director Karan Johar. She first made her appearances in the first season alongside Bipasha Basu and second season with Katrina Kaif. Her last appearance on the show till date was in 2010 alongside her husband Mahesh.
Lara Dutta also made an appearance in the season 1 finale of 10 Ka Dum hosted by Salman Khan alongside fellow actress Rani Mukerji.
Lara Dutta has hosted the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards 5 times. She first hosted the 3rd IIFA Awards in 2002 and subsequently the 7th IIFA Awards with Fardeen Khan in 2006, 8th IIFA Awards with Boman Irani in 2007 and the 10th IIFA Awards and 11th IIFA Awards in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The last two times she co-hosted with both Boman Irani and Riteish Deshmukh.
She was featured as a talent judge for the reality show High Fever. Dutta was also appointed as a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador in 2001
Lara Dutta is active in yoga, and offers a number of videos on YouTube, particularly for pre-natal yoga. During her pregnancy in 2012, she launched her own DVD which consisted of prenatal routines and meditation techniques.
In 2017 Lara Dutta began mentoring contestants of the Miss Diva contest. She stated “It's exciting to be a part of this journey in finding the perfect representative who is the Indian face of beauty, who possesses elegance, confidence, poise and intelligence. This journey has always been close to my heart and I hope this season is the one that brings us that exceptional girl who will bring the Miss Universe crown back to India.”
In 2019, Lara Dutta launched her own line of beauty care products named Arias which is a vegetarian beauty line informed by her own experiences as an actor, model and a mother
Lara Dutta has often been regarded as one of the most stylish actresses in Bollywood. Her modelling background open up opportunities to play not only glamorous roles but also character driven roles in movies like Billu. She is also known for her sense of humor, and a talent for writing.
Dutta has also been a vocal supporter of the Me Too movement in India. Dutta stated that "I think it is about time. It is fantastic as I feel the difference today is that women are standing up for women. I think that comes from a generation shift. The older generation was taught the fact that women don't speak up, they don't come to the forefront because they should be homemakers. Women today still do all of that. We always manage home, take care of family, we are still the troubleshooters, we wear multiple hats in a day, we juggle a million works, and we don't let any of them drop. But this generation of women have become more vocal, and they are empowering each other. I cannot stress enough about how essential it is to have a sisterhood, to support other women that are speaking up. Be unafraid and unapologetic about the stand that you take."
In September 2010, she got engaged to Indian tennis player, Mahesh Bhupathi. They married on 16 February 2011 in a civil ceremony in Bandra and followed it with a ceremony on 20 February 2011 at Sunset Point in Goa. On 1 August 2011, Dutta confirmed that she was pregnant with their first child. Their daughter Saira Bhupathi was born on 20 January 2012.
Awards and nominations
|2004||Filmfare||Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut (joint winner with Priyanka Chopra)||Andaaz||Won|
|IIFA Awards||Star Debut||Nominated|
|Star Screen Award||Star Screen Award Most Promising Newcomer - Female||Won|
|Zee Cine Awards||Best Female Debut||Nominated|
|2005||Stardust Awards||Exciting New Face||Khakee||Won|
|2005||BBC Film Café Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Bardaasht||Nominated|
|2006||IIFA Awards||Best Supporting Actress||No Entry||Nominated|
|2008||Zee Cine Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Jhoom Barabar Jhoom||Nominated|
|Annual Central European Bollywood Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Stardust Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Rajiv Gandhi Awards||Contribution to Film Cinema||Won|
|2009||Stardust Awards||Best Actress||Billu||Nominated|
|2011||Zee Cine Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Housefull||Nominated|
|Stardust Awards||Best Actress in an Ensemble Cast||Nominated|
|2012||Searchlight Awards – Best Actress||Chalo Dilli||Nominated|
|FICCI Young Achievers Award||Won|
|L’Oreal Femina Women Award||Face Of A Cause||Won|
|2015||BIG Star Entertainment Awards||BIG Star Most Entertaining Actor in a Comedy Role – Female||Singh Is Bliing||Nominated|
|2016||Lux Golden Rose Award||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Azhar||Won|