Kangana’s real name is Kangana Amardeep Ranaut and she was born on 23 March 1987 into a Rajput family. She was born in Bhambla (present-day Surajpur), a small place in the Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh. Her mother, Asha Ranaut, is a school teacher, and, her father, Amardeep Ranaut, is a businessman. She also has an elder sister, Rangoli, and a younger brother, Akshat. Her grandfather was an IAS officer and her grandmother was an MLA. She grew up in their ancestral haveli at Bhambla with a joint family.
Kangana described herself as stubborn and rebellious. She has stated that she rebels against stereotypes from her childhood when her father used to bring her a doll and her brother a plastic gun. She also had a bizarre fashion sense in her childhood according to her neighbours.
She got educated at the DAV School in Chandigarh in the science stream. She was very studious during her school years and intended to become a doctor. But in her twelfth grade, she failed her chemistry unit test, leading her to reconsider her life choices. At that time, she was preparing for the All-India Pre-Medical Test but did not show up for the exam because of having second thoughts about pursuing medical.
To find her passion, Kangana moved to Delhi and was selected by the “Elite Modelling Agency” as a model because of her looks. She did some modelling but was not passionate about that as she thought that it does not have scope for creativity. So, then she moved to acting and joined the “Asmita Theatre Group” and got trained by Arvind Gaur. She participated in various theatre performances and during one of the theatres, one male actor went missing so she played his role as well as her own role too. After getting great appreciation for this, she relocated to Mumbai to pursue a fruitful career in acting. So, this is how Kangana entered the Bollywood industry.
When Kangana moved to Mumbai, she was finalised for the movie “I Love You Boss”. The following year, she was introduced to Mahesh Bhatt and auditioned for the lead role in “Gangster: A Love Story”. But Mahesh Bhatt finalised Chitrangada Singh instead considering the maturity level required by the role. Unfortunately, Chitrangada was not available for the shoot so he signed Kangana for the movie. And this is how “Gangster: A Love Story” became the debut movie of Kangana Ranaut. She portrayed the role of an alcoholic woman at the age of only seventeen with great maturity. She was highly praised for her performance in the movie and earned the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.
Impressed by Kangana’s acting in her previous movie, she was cast for “Woh Lamhe...” and did a really good job. She received positive reviews but the movie failed to perform well at the box office. Then, in the following year, she was finalised for the musical thriller “Shakalaka Boom Boom” but that too turned out to be a flop. Later, she appeared in “Life in a… Metro” in a supporting role and was able to receive some appreciation from the audience for her performance. She also won the “Stardust Award for Breakthrough Performance – Female” for portraying her character in the film.
In 2008, Kangana appeared in a Tamil romantic thriller titled “Dhaam Dhoom” opposite Jayam Ravi. This movie got temporarily halted due to the death of the director of the film. Later, it was also opposed by the Delhi Commission for Women due to some inappropriate content but got released after some script narration. The most successful movie of Kangana during this time was “Fashion” alongside Priyanka Chopra and Mugdha Godse, for which she earned various awards in the supporting role category.
In 2009, she appeared in the supernatural horror “Raaz: The Mystery Continues” along with Emraan Hashmi and Adhyayan Suman, which proved a financial success. Later in the same year, she was cast in “Vaada Raha” and the Telugu action “Ek Niranjan”, but neither of them was notable. In 2010, she got the chance to be featured in a big project “Kites” alongside Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori. But after the completion of the film, she got involved in a dispute about making her role smaller than she had signed for. In the same year, she appeared in another gangster movie “Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai” alongside Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and Prachi Desai. This movie turned out to be one of the most successful releases of that year and Kangana was signed for the thriller “Knock Out” as well as for the comedy “No Problem”. But unfortunately, both these films failed to gain enough audience.
In 2011, she was cast as the lead actress opposite R. Madhavan in the romantic comedy film “Tanu Weds Manu” which was a big hit. She was finalised for this role to prove to everyone that she is a versatile actress and can play distinct types of roles other than those which she has performed earlier. Before this movie, she has been cast for only neurotic characters and “Tanu Weds Manu” has changed the entire perspective of the audience for Kangana. Later, she was cast in movies like “Game”, “Double Dhamaal”, “Rascals”, “Miley Naa Miley hum”, and “Tezz”. Among all these movies, only Double Dhamaal performed well at the box office and others were just failures.
Kangana Ranaut then appeared in a brief role in the crime thriller, “Shootout at Wadala” opposite John Abraham in 2013. Later, in the same year, she gained a huge recognition for her amazing character in the science fiction, “Krrish 3”. For this movie, she was cast alongside Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra and Vivek Oberoi, and the film became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood movies of all time. She played her role so brilliantly that the audience was able to feel her pain through her expressions.
Another successful venture of Kangana Ranaut was “Queen” released in 2014 for which she earned huge recognition and praise. She was cast opposite Rajkummar Rao and the movie became an iconic role in Kangana’s life. The movie was a box office hit and brought several awards for Kangana in the Best Actress category. This amazing performance helped her to be featured in the black comedy “Revolver Rani” and the political drama “Ungli”.
In 2015, she reunited with R. Madhavan for the sequel “Tanu Weds Manu: Returns” and portrayed double roles in the film. To portray the second character of an aspiring athlete, she got trained in the triple jump and also learned the Haryanvi dialect. Her performance in the film was highly praised and the movie was a big hit. But unfortunately, this successful period was followed by two failures namely, “I Love NY”, and “Katti Batti”.
After a small gap in her filming career, Kangana appeared as a 1940s heroine and stunt woman in “Rangoon” opposite Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor in 2017. She earned huge praise for her acting and the movie received positive reviews. In the same year, she was cast in “Simran” which is a crime comedy and she portrayed a Gujarati immigrant in the USA. Despite a great appreciation for Kangana’s performance in these two projects, the films failed at the box office.
In 2019, she portrayed the Indian freedom fighter Rani of Jhansi in the biopic “Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi”. Both, the movie and Kangana’s acting, were highly praised by the audience. Then later, the same year, she reunited with Rajkummar Rao for the black comedy titled “Judgementall Hai Kya”. She portrayed a mentally ill woman and was considered terrific in her role. In the next year, she appeared in a sports film, “Panga”, in which she portrayed a young mother who made her comeback in Kabaddi. In the same year, she also established her own production company, “Manikarnika Films”. The first film to be produced under this tag was “Thalaivii”.
In 2022, she appeared in the action film, “Dhaakad” as a spy. This turned out to be a box office failure reflecting Kangana’s weakening popularity. Her upcoming projects include “Tejas” in which she will portray an Indian Air Force pilot and “Emergency” in which she is cast for the role of Indira Gandhi. She will also produce a black comedy titled “Tiku Weds Sheru”.
Kangana has been a part of a few fantastic films. But she has given her best even in those films that failed to perform at the box office. Let’s see the list of movies featuring Kangana.
|#||Movie Name||Releasing Year|
|3||Life In A… Metro||2007|
|4||Shakalaka Boom Boom||2007|
|5||Raaz – The Mystery Continues||2009|
|7||Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai||2010|
|10||Tanu Weds Manu||2011|
|13||Miley Naa Miley Hum||2011|
|15||Shootout At Wadala||2013|
|20||Tanu Weds Manu Returns||2015|
|21||I Love NY||2015|
|25||Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi||2019|
|26||Judgementall Hai Kya||2019|
Kangana may be featured in only a few amazing movies, but she has achieved a lot through them. Following is a list of awards and achievements gained by Kangana.
|#||Award Name||Receiving Year||Received For|
|1||Global Indian Film Award for Best Female Debut||2006||Gangster|
|2||Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut||2007||Gangster|
|3||IIFA Award for Best Actress||2007||Gangster|
|4||Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female||2007||Gangster|
|5||Stardust Award for Breakthrough Performance – Female||2008||Life in a... Metro|
|6||Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress||2009||Fashion|
|7||IIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress||2009||Fashion|
|8||National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress||2009||Fashion|
|9||NDTV Indian of the Year Award for Actor of the Year||2014||_|
|10||CNN-IBN Indian of the Year Special Achievement Award||2014||_|
|11||Indian Film Festival of Melbourne for Best Actress||2014||Queen|
|12||Filmfare Award for Best Actress||2015||Queen|
|13||IIFA Award for Best Actress||2015||Queen|
|14||Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics)||2016||Tanu Weds Manu Returns|
|15||Times of India Film Award for Best Actor – Female||2016||Tanu Weds Manu Returns|
|17||National Film Award for Best Actress||2021||Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi and Panga|
|18||South Indian International Movie Award for Best Actress – Tamil||2022||Thalaivii|
Kangana lives in Mumbai with her sister, who has been an acid attack victim in 2006. She visits her home at Bhambla once a year. She is a practising Hindu and follows the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Kangana is a vegetarian and was listed as “India’s Hottest Vegetarian” by PETA in 2013. She is learning Kathak since 2009 and also enrolled herself in the two-month screenplay writing course in 2014 at the New York Film Academy for a better understating of filmmaking.
Kangana Ranaut has also been involved in various controversies. One of them is the affair with Aditya Pancholi which, she said, had left her physically and mentally damaged. In 2007, she filed a complaint against Aditya Pancholi for physically assaulting her and in 2008 Aditya confirmed their affair. The most popular controversy involving Kangana also includes Hrithik Roshan, happened in 2016. Hrithik filed a case against Kangana accusing her of harassment and cyberstalking. Kangana denied the charges and filed a counter-charge against him, claiming that his lawsuit was just to cover up their affair so he can have an advantage in his divorce proceedings.
Kangana Ranaut is considered a forthright woman who never stays behind in expressing her opinion on public issues whether related to films or feminism. She is commended for being a free spirit, original and creative. She has accused many celebrities of encouraging nepotism, especially after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. Kangana is also highly active on social media to express her political views and confront many things, leading to a permanent suspension of her Twitter account in May 2021.
This has been noted that she loves to challenge herself by signing tricky roles and adding a different dimension to the character. She chooses roles in which she can work in her own space and avoid being a prop in the male-dominated Bollywood world. After the great success of movies like “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” and “Queen”, she has been noted as one of the most bankable actresses in the industry. Following the release of “Rangoon”, she has been considered the finest actress working in the Hindi film industry to date, despite the movie’s failure to perform as expected.
Kangana has been frequently featured in several lists of the most attractive and stylish celebrities in India. She has also often ranked in the top 10 Most Desirable Woman list published by “The Times of India”. “Verve” has also listed her as the most powerful woman in 2010 while the Indian edition of “People” stated her as the “Best Dressed Personality” in 2012. Kangana has also collaborated with the popular fashion brand “Vera Moda” and launched two clothing lines, namely Marquee in 2015 and Venice Cruise in 2016.
Kangana struggled to establish her name in the industry. Initially, she was written off because of her funny accent and the negative publicity generated due to her troubled relationships. But she managed to build a strong career in the Bollywood industry with her choice of unconventional roles. She is a self-made woman who has put great effort to bring her name this far into the film industry. Sometimes she may be condemned because of her opinions and expression of her thoughts but she is a highly popular and talented actress in Bollywood.