Ranbir Kapoor | The Captivating Journey of a Bollywood Star


Born into a family of legendary actors, Ranbir Kapoor was destined to become a shining star. However, his journey to stardom was not without its fair share of trials and triumphs. From the highs of critical acclaim and box office success to the lows of failure and public scrutiny, he has experienced it all, emerging as a resilient and versatile artist. Here, we will explore the world of Ranbir Kapoor's life and career, digging into the key milestones that have shaped him into the powerhouse performer he is today. We'll unravel the stories behind his most iconic films, dissect his choice of roles, and celebrate the unique artistic choices that have set him apart from his contemporaries.

But there's more to Ranbir Kapoor than just his on-screen charisma. Behind the spotlight, Ranbir has been actively involved in philanthropy and social causes, lending his voice and support to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged. We'll delve into his endeavours to create a positive impact on society, showcasing his commitment to giving back and inspiring change.


Ranbir Kapoor, born on 28 September 1982 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India, comes from a prominent family deeply rooted in the Hindi film industry. Ranbir belongs to the renowned Kapoor family, known for their fantastic contributions to Indian cinema. He is the great-grandson of Prithviraj Kapoor, a legendary actor, and the grandson of the celebrated actor-director Raj Kapoor. The Kapoor lineage is widely respected and admired in the film industry. His parents, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, are both renowned actors. Rishi Kapoor was known for his versatile performances, while Neetu Singh was a popular leading actress during her time. Ranbir's family background has had a significant influence on his career choice and shaped his upbringing. In addition to his parents, Ranbir has an elder sister named Riddhima Kapoor Sahni, born in 1980. Riddhima has pursued a successful career as an interior and fashion designer.

Ranbir's uncle, Randhir Kapoor, is also an actor who has made significant contributions to the Hindi film industry. Randhir Kapoor's daughters, Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor , are Ranbir's first cousins. Both Karisma and Kareena have established themselves as leading actresses in Bollywood.

Ranbir Kapoor's family background is a rich tapestry of talent and creativity. However, his childhood was not without its challenges. Ranbir has spoken openly about the troubled marriage of his parents and how it affected him as a child. He recalls witnessing intense fights between his parents that would last for hours, often leaving him sitting on the steps with his head between his knees until the arguments subsided. These experiences left a deep impact on him and contributed to a reservoir of emotions building up inside him.

Despite the difficulties he faced, Ranbir maintained a close bond with his mother throughout his early years. However, his relationship with his father was described as dysfunctional. It was during his teenage years that Ranbir had the opportunity to work as an assistant director to his father on the film "Aa Ab Laut Chalen" (1999). This experience provided a turning point in their relationship and helped them develop a closer bond.


Ranbir Kapoor's educational journey reflects his diverse interests and his eventual path towards a career in the film industry. While he didn't find much interest in academics during his school days at the Bombay Scottish School, he discovered his passion for sports, particularly football, where he excelled.

After completing his pre-university education at the H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, Ranbir decided to pursue his interest in filmmaking. He moved to New York City and enrolled at the School of Visual Arts to learn the art and craft of filmmaking. Additionally, he further sharpened his acting skills at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, known for its emphasis on method acting techniques. During his time at film school, Ranbir had the opportunity to direct and star in two short films: "Passion to Love" and "India 1964." Although he found the experience of living alone in New York City to be lonely, he considered his time at film school somewhat "useless" in terms of practical learning. However, it was during this period that Ranbir’s desire to pursue a career in Bollywood was ignited.

Returning to Mumbai, Ranbir landed a job as an assistant director to renowned filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the film "Black" in 2005. Despite the demanding nature of the job, which involved long hours and various tasks, Ranbir cherished the experience as a tremendous learning opportunity. He mentioned that he was involved in all aspects of filmmaking, from cleaning the floor to fixing lights, and that each day provided him with valuable lessons. Interestingly, Ranbir’s decision to work on "Black" as an assistant director was driven by his desire to impress Bhansali and secure an acting opportunity in one of his films. This determination to prove himself and his passion for the industry eventually led him to embark on his successful acting career.

Bollywood Career

Ranbir Kapoor's journey in Bollywood has seen its fair share of ups and downs, but he has managed to establish himself as one of the most talented actors in the industry. After making his debut in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Black" as an assistant director, he got his first leading role in Bhansali's 2007 film "Saawariya." The film was a tragic romance in which he starred alongside Sonam Kapoor and Rani Mukerji. "Saawariya" was highly anticipated as it was the first Indian film to be produced by a Hollywood studio, Sony Pictures Entertainment. However, it received mixed reviews from critics, with many considering it a disappointment. Despite the film's commercial failure, Ranbir’s performance was praised for his affable charm and star quality. He was honoured with the Best Male Debut award at the Filmfare Awards.

Following the setback of "Saawariya," Ranbir found success with the 2008 romantic comedy "Bachna Ae Haseeno". The film portrayed Ranbir as a womanizer involved with three women at different stages of his life, played by Bipasha Basu, Minissha Lamba, and Deepika Padukone . While reviews of his performance were mixed, his puppy-dog sweetness and charm were acknowledged as qualities that would serve him well as a Bollywood leading man.

In 2009, he had three film releases, and it proved to be a significant year for his career. In Dharma Productions' "Wake Up Sid," Ranbir played the role of Siddharth "Sid" Mehra, a lazy teenager whose life undergoes a transformation after an encounter with an ambitious journalist, played by Konkana Sen Sharma. Ranbir even came up with the film's title when the director narrated the script to him. Initially doubted by the media due to its unconventional storyline, "Wake Up Sid" emerged as a sleeper hit and received critical acclaim. Ranbir’s performance was particularly praised, solidifying his position as one of the best actors in the industry.

Then he starred opposite Katrina Kaif in the slapstick comedy "Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani". The film emerged as one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of the year, showcasing Ranbir’s flair for comedy. However, some critics criticized his "over-excited husky baritone" in the film. Later the same year, he appeared in the drama "Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year." He portrayed a Sardar who aspires to be a salesman. Although the film received critical acclaim, it struggled to perform at the box office, leaving Ranbir disappointed. Nevertheless, critics praised his "astonishingly sincere" performance in the film.

In 2010, Ranbir starred in Prakash Jha's political drama "Raajneeti." The film, inspired by the Indian epic Mahabharata and Mario Puzo's novel "The Godfather," featured an ensemble cast. Ranbir’s portrayal of Samar Pratap, the youngest heir of a political dynasty, drew praise for his nuanced performance. While some critics found his performance stony, others appreciated his growth as an actor. "Raajneeti" proved to be a major commercial success, earning over ₹1.43 billion worldwide. Later, he teamed up with Priyanka Chopra for "Anjaana Anjaani," a comedy-drama about two strangers who plan to commit suicide on New Year's Eve. The film achieved moderate financial success but received mixed reviews.


Ranbir Kapoor's Bollywood career has been characterized by his charm and versatility as an actor. In 2011, he portrayed Janardhan "Jordan" Jakhar in Imtiaz Ali's "Rockstar," a film that follows the journey of an aspiring musician. Ranbir’s portrayal in the film was widely praised by critics, with many considering it one of Hindi cinema's most accomplished performances. He received multiple awards, including Best Actor at the Filmfare Awards, for his compelling portrayal of the complex character. "Rockstar" was also a commercial success, grossing over ₹1.07 billion (US$13 million).

The following year, he starred in the romantic comedy "Barfi!" directed by Anurag Basu. In the film, he played the titular character, a deaf and mute man who falls in love with two women. His performance, inspired by actors like Charlie Chaplin, received high acclaim from critics, who praised his ability to channel Chaplin's tone and effect. He won several awards for his exceptional performance in the film, including consecutive Best Actor awards at the Filmfare, Screen, and IIFA ceremonies.

In 2013, he starred in the romantic comedy "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani," co-starring Deepika Padukone, Aditya Roy Kapoor, and Kalki Koechlin. It emerged as one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time, solidifying Ranbir’s success at the box office. Critics praised his chemistry with Deepika, labelling it as unsurpassable, despite some clichés in the film. His performance earned him another Best Actor nomination at the Filmfare Awards.

Highs and Lows

Ranbir Kapoor faced a series of setbacks in his Bollywood career during a particular phase. In 2013, "Besharam," an action-comedy film in which he played a petty thief. received overwhelmingly negative reviews and was deemed a failure. In 2015, he starred in "Roy," a romantic thriller where he played a mysterious thief. The film received negative reviews from critics, with many considering it boring, exhausting, and pretentious. This was followed by "Bombay Velvet," a crime drama, alongside Anushka Sharma . Despite Ranbir’s efforts in portraying an ambitious boxer drawn towards a life of crime, the film failed to resonate with audiences and received mixed reviews.

In the same year, Ranbir reunited with Deepika Padukone in Imtiaz Ali's "Tamasha," a romantic drama. The film failed to make a significant impact at the box office and received mixed reviews from critics. However, Ranbir’s performance was praised for his portrayal of a man who struggles with the monotony of his life. Critics acknowledged his ability to balance assertive theatricality with subtle emotion. Despite the film's commercial disappointment, Ranbir’s career prospects briefly improved in 2016 with the release of "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil." Co-starring Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan , the romantic drama emerged as one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of the year. Although Ranbir’s performance received mixed reviews, the film's commercial success helped re-establish his stardom.

In 2017, he ventured into production with the film "Jagga Jasoos". The musical comedy-mystery faced multiple challenges during its production, including script changes, reshoots, and rumours of animosity between Ranbir and his co-star Katrina Kaif . The film received mixed reviews, with critics praising Ranbir’s dedication but criticizing the decision to cast him as a teenage schoolboy. "Jagga Jasoos" did not perform well commercially, leading Ranbir to regret his foray into production.

However, Ranbir’s career took a significant turn in 2018 when he portrayed actor Sanjay Dutt in the biopic "Sanju." The film delved into Sanjay Dutt's troubled life, including his relationship with his father, drug addiction, and legal troubles. Ranbir extensively prepared for the role, interacting with Sanjay Dutt and undergoing physical transformations for each phase of the actor's life. Despite some criticism for making Sanjay Dutt too sympathetic, Ranbir’s portrayal was widely appreciated. "Sanju" became a massive success, emerging as one of the highest-grossing Indian films and reaffirming Ranbir’s stardom.

Continuing Success

Ranbir Kapoor's present charm in the film industry can be seen through his recent projects and upcoming ventures. After a four-year pause, Ranbir made a comeback in 2022 with two highly anticipated films: "Shamshera" and "Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva." He explained his absence from the screen was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of his father, and the extensive production time required for these big-budget films.

In "Shamshera," a period action film set in the 1800s, Ranbir portrayed a dual role. Unfortunately, the film received poor reviews, and he was advised to be more critical when selecting scripts. Despite the negative reception, Ranbir’s charm and talent remain undeniable. He then appeared opposite Alia Bhatt in the fantasy film "Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva." This film, which took five years to complete and is part of a planned trilogy, had a massive production and marketing budget, making it one of the most expensive Indian films to date. While reviews were mixed, with criticism aimed at Ranbir’s performance and chemistry with Alia, the film emerged as the highest-grossing Hindi film of 2022.

In 2023, Ranbir starred alongside Shraddha Kapoor in Luv Ranjan's romantic comedy "Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar." The film marked his return to the genre and was received positively by critics. Although it may not have been a blockbuster, it achieved moderate commercial success, further highlighting Ranbir’s versatility as an actor.

Looking ahead, Ranbir is set to star in a crime drama "Animal," a film he has described as taking him out of his comfort zone. This upcoming project showcases Ranbir’s willingness to explore different genres and push the boundaries of his acting abilities, adding to his present charm in the industry.

Movies List

# Movie Name Releasing Year
1 Saawariya 2007
2 Bachna Ae Haseeno 2008
3 Wake Up Sid 2009
4 Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani 2009
5 Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year 2009
6 Raajneeti 2010
7 Anjaana Anjaani 2010
8 Rockstar 2011
9 Barfi! 2012
10 Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani 2013
11 Besharam 2013
12 Roy 2015
13 Bombay Velvet 2015
14 Tamasha 2015
15 Ae Dil Hai Mushkil 2016
16 Jagga Jasoos 2017
17 Sanju 2018
18 Shamshera 2022
19 Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva 2022
20 Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar 2023


Civilian Awards

# Award Name Receiving Year Received For
1 Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut 2008 Saawariya
2 IIFA Award for Star Debut of the Year – Male 2008 Saawariya
3 Star Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Male 2008 Saawariya
4 Star Guild Award for Best Male Debut 2008 Saawariya
5 Stardust Award for Star of the Year – Male 2009 Bachna Ae Haseeno
6 Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Critics) 2010 Wake Up Sid Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year
7 BIG Star Entertainment Award for New Talent of the Decade – Male 2010
8 Star Guild Award for Entertainer of the Year 2010
9 BIG Star Entertainment Award for Most Entertaining Film Actor – Male 2011 Rockstar
10 Stardust Award for Best Actor – Drama 2011 Raajneeti
11 Filmfare Award for Best Actor 2012 Rockstar
12 Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Critics) 2012 Rockstar
13 IIFA Award for Best Actor 2012 Rockstar
14 Star Screen Award for Best Actor 2012 Rockstar
15 BIG Star Entertainment Award for Most Entertaining Film Actor in a Romantic Role – Male 2012 Barfi!
16 Filmfare Award for Best Actor 2013 Barfi!!
17 IIFA Award for Best Actor 2013 Barfi!!
18 IIFA Award for Hottest Pair 2013 Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani!
19 BIG Star Entertainment Award for Most Entertaining Film Actor – Male 2013 Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani!
20 Star Screen Award for Best Actor 2014 Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
21 BIG Star Entertainment Award for Most Entertaining Film Actor in a Romantic Role – Male 2015 Tamasha
22 Stardust Award for Best Actor of the Year (Male) 2015 Tamasha
23 Filmfare Award for Best Actor 2019 Sanju

Personal Life

Ranbir Kapoor's personal life has been a subject of interest and speculation in the media. He has been open about the lessons he learned from his parents' marriage, acknowledging the complexities of relationships. Ranbir’s romantic journey started early, as he had his first serious relationship in the seventh grade, which ended in depression when it came to an end.

During the filming of "Bachna Ae Haseeno" in 2008, he entered into a relationship with his co-star Deepika Padukone. Their relationship garnered significant media attention, with rumours of an impending engagement. However, the couple broke up after a year. Ranbir stated that the split was good-natured, although there were widespread reports of infidelity on his part. He later admitted to his past mistakes, attributing them to immaturity, inexperience, and callousness. By 2015, both Ranbir and Deepika had moved on from the conflict and resolved their differences.

There were also rumours of Ranbir’s affair with actress Katrina Kaif, which first surfaced during the production of "Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani" in 2009. While Ranbir initially remained silent about the relationship, he confirmed it in 2015, stating that they were sure about their bond and not discussing it would disrespect their relationship. However, in February 2016, media reports indicated that they had broken up.

Ranbir has also been open about his struggles with addiction to smoking and drinking, highlighting his willingness to address personal challenges. In 2018, he began dating Alia Bhatt, his co-star in the film "Brahmastra." The couple kept their relationship relatively private, but in April 2022, they surprised fans by getting married in a private ceremony at their Mumbai residence. In November 2022, Alia gave birth to their daughter, Raha Kapoor.

Ranbir’s Popularity

Ranbir Kapoor's media image has been shaped by various factors throughout his career. Being born into a renowned family of actors, he faced high expectations and the media spotlight from a young age. Despite the initial failure of his debut film, "Saawariya," Ranbir quickly gained recognition and praise for his compelling performances in movies like "Raajneeti," "Rockstar," and "Barfi!" His success and talent led to him being hailed as one of the most bankable actors of his generation. In a relatively short career span, Ranbir achieved remarkable success, with his films making significant business gains. The media, including The Economic Times, credited him as the most bankable actor of his time.

However, after the success of "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani," Ranbir experienced a series of underperforming films at the box office. Trade journalists criticized his film choices, noting his inclination towards experimental projects that may have negatively impacted his commercial appeal.

Despite the ups and downs in his career, Ranbir remains one of the most popular and high-profile celebrities in India. Forbes featured him in its Celebrity 100 list in 2012 and 2013, recognizing his income and popularity. He consistently ranked among the top twenty celebrities in India. Additionally, he has been consistently featured in Rediff.com's annual listing of "Bollywood's Best Actors."

Ranbir Kapoor has been hailed as one of the most attractive Indian celebrities, featured on The Times of India's "Most Desirable Man" list from 2010 to 2015, consistently ranking in the top ten. People magazine named him the "Sexiest Man Alive" in India in 2009, and he topped Filmfare's poll of the "Most Stylish Young Actor" in 2013. He has received accolades such as the "People of the Year" award from the Limca Book of Records in 2013 and being voted the "Sexiest Asian Man" by Eastern Eye in 2010.

Ranbir’s popularity and charisma have also made him a sought-after celebrity endorser for various brands and services. He has associated himself with renowned companies such as Pepsi, Panasonic, Renault India, Lenovo, and FC Barcelona, further enhancing his media image and influence.

Social Work

Ranbir Kapoor is not only dedicated to his acting career but also actively involved in social work and supporting charitable causes. He demonstrates his passion for football by being the vice-captain of the All Stars Football Club, a celebrity football team that raises funds for various charities. In 2013, he participated in a game to raise money for the Magic Funds Organisation, an NGO working towards the betterment of underprivileged children. In 2014, Ranbir, along with chartered accountant Bimal Parekh, acquired ownership rights for Mumbai City FC, a football team in the Indian Super League. This venture showcases his commitment to promoting sports and providing opportunities for aspiring footballers in India.

Ranbir’s involvement in social causes extends beyond sports. He supports the empowerment of girls and serves as the goodwill ambassador for the Mijwan Welfare Society, an NGO founded by Shabana Azmi that focuses on empowering women. Additionally, he is actively engaged in environmental charities, having donated to the Community Water Initiative in 2011, which works towards providing clean and safe drinking water to communities in need. Breast cancer awareness is another cause close to Ranbir’s heart. In 2012, he participated in a short film by Zoya Akhtar to raise awareness about breast cancer and highlight the importance of early detection and treatment.

Ranbir’s philanthropic efforts also include fundraising initiatives and campaigns. He has been associated with NDTV's Marks for Sports, a nationwide initiative promoting fitness and health in India. In 2013, he took part in an auction on eBay, offering an opportunity for interaction with him, with the proceeds donated to Save the Children, a non-profit organization supporting flood-affected households in Uttarakhand.

Furthermore, he has been actively involved in creating awareness and raising funds for various causes. He participated in a commercial produced by the National Film Development Corporation of India to promote children's education. He engaged in eBay auctions to support the redevelopment of flood-ravaged states in Kashmir and Assam and collected donations for the victims of the Nepal earthquake in 2015. Additionally, he presented raincoats to the Mumbai Traffic Police as a gesture of appreciation for their service during the heavy monsoon season.

In 2018, Ranbir collaborated with Aamir Khan's Paani Foundation, which works towards solving water scarcity issues in Maharashtra's drought-prone regions. His involvement aimed to support local farmers and villagers affected by drought conditions.

Ranbir Kapoor's dedication to social work showcases his commitment to making a positive impact beyond the realm of entertainment. Through his involvement in various charitable causes, he strives to bring about positive change and contribute to the betterment of society.

Wrapping Up

As we wrap this fascinating journey through the life and career of Ranbir Kapoor, one thing becomes abundantly clear: he is a true artist who has left an indelible mark on the landscape of Indian cinema. From his early struggles to his meteoric rise, Ranbir has navigated the highs and lows of the industry with grace and resilience, continually reinventing himself with each role he takes on. Beyond the screen, his dedication to philanthropy and social causes is truly commendable. His involvement in charities and initiatives aimed at empowering the underprivileged demonstrates his commitment to using his fame and influence for the greater good.

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