‘Heroine’ is director Madhur Bhandarkar’s birthday gift to his leading lady Kareena Kapoor and whisking her off to London for a romantic weekend is her fiance Saif Ali Khan. tabloid! has no such extravagant gestures. But as Kapoor turns 32 this Friday, we run you through the many things that you may have forgotten about the birthday girl.
1. Her name was derived from the book Anna Karenina, which her mother read while she was pregnant with her. But her family and close friends call her Bebo.
2. She is Bollywood royalty and is the granddaughter of veteran actor Raj Kapoor and great-granddaughter of the legendary showman Prithviraj Kapoor.
3. Her actor father Randhir Kapoor wasn’t too keen on his daughter joining films. But her mum Babita, a former actress, thought differently. Her parents separated and her mother raised Kareena and her elder sister Karishma single-handedly.
4. Kapoor joined Mumbai’s Mithibai College to pursue a degree in commerce. She discontinued this course and switched to law. In between, she also enrolled into Harvard University for a three-month summer course in microcomputers.
5. Kapoor was slated to make her debut with Hrithik Roshan in the blockbuster Kaho Na Pyaar Hai (2000). But she opted out when performance-oriented Refugee, opposite the then-newcomer Abhishek Bachchan, came along. Her loss proved to be Ameesha Patel’s gain. Roshan Jr and Patel became overnight stars but Refugee didn’t too well at the box-office.
6. Her first commercial success was the sleeper hit Mujhe Kuch Kehna in 2001 opposite Tusshar Kapoor. She stole the thunder from Jeetendra’s son.
7. She played the popular college snob Poo in Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham and was billed as Bollywood’s answer to Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. We are not crazy about it, but K3G remains one of the biggest blockbusters in her career.
8. Bend It Like Beckham director Gurindher Chaddha did the unthinkable. She offered Kapoor the chance to play second fiddle to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and courted her for a role as the leading lady’s younger sister. Naturally, A-lister Kapoor turned down the miniscule role. It eventually went to model Piya Rai Chowdhary.
9. She’s not a gadget person and considers her smartphone a slick innovation she happens to own.
10. She’s usually diplomatic, but say the name Priyanka Chopra and her catty side emerges. Her latest claim: “My Heroine is better than Fashion”. For all those in the dark, Fashion remains Chopra’s biggest hit and she also won the National Award for it. While Chopra hit back saying “sour grapes”, Kapoor made snide remarks about PC’s posh accent.
11. She’s not a fan of Bipasha Basu either and their rivalry dates back to Ajnabee (2001) days. Reports claim the fight peaked when the Kapoor girl called Basu a “kaali billi” (black cat), alluding to her dusky complexion.
12. Rumour has it that she wasn’t thrilled about her fiancé Saif Ali Khan acting alongside Bipasha Basu in Race 2 in Turkey. Her discomfort increased because rumours indicate that Khan hooked up with Basu for an alleged fling during the shoot of the original Race. The alleged affair didn’t last long.
13. From 2004 to 2007, heart-throb Shahid Kapoor was Kapoor’s constant arm-candy. They broke up in 2007 during the making of their hit romance Jab We Met. Their scandal to remember? A picture of them french kissing doing the rounds on mobile phones. Interestingly, Jab We Met, released after their break-up, remains one of their biggest blockbusters.
14. It’s believed she turned vegetarian in 2006 just like her former boyfriend Shahid Kapoor. But she didn’t make the lifestyle change to impress her squeeze, but to fit into clothes.
15. In 2008, Kapoor began the size-zero trend in Bollywood. Even at her thinnest (48kilograms), she was not waif-like but showcased her new-found body in skimpy outfits in Tashan.
16. Kapoor credits yoga as her favourite fitness activity. According to her yoga instructor, she is a star pupil and can do 50 surya namaskars and hold complex poses for long than 30 seconds.
17. Her favourite cuisine is Italian and her favourite dish is sphagetti. A self-titled foodie, Kapoor believes in portion control and small meals throughout the day.
18. She turned singer in the film Dev. Though the film failed to create box-office magic, her song Jab Nahi Aaye The was appreciated by all.
19. Who said you need a man to buy you a gigantic solitaire ring? Kapoor gifted herself a seven-carat rock in 2010. She said in an interview that the ring was bought based on the advise of an astrologer who said sporting a seven-carat biggie would bring stability and happiness in her life.
20. She is known to be partial to Mercedes S class cars. She also owns a fleet of cars including an SUV and a Lexus LX 470.
21. She believes that two actresses in the same league can never be best friends. Her pal is failed actress Amrita Arora.
22. Kapoor has zero tolerance to infidelity and has voiced her stand on this issue several times. Unlike star-wives, who turn their backs on their star spouse’s transgressions, Kapoor will have none of that. “I will slaughter him”, she warned.
23. On paper, she is known to have dated only two men: Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan. But rumour has it that her affair with Hrithik Roshan is the industry’s well-kept secret.
24. She started dating Saif Ali Khan in 2007 soon after she officially broke up with her long-time boyfriend Shahid Kapoor. They are billed as Bollywood’s answer to Brangelina and are called Saifeena. It’s a term that they both dislike.
25. She’s the only heroine who can boast of starring in four hits that have grossed over Rs1 billion each.
26. On October 27, 2011, Kapoor’s wax statue was unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool in the UK.
27. Kapoor never misses an opportunity to head to Europe to unwind. Swiss skiing destination Gstaad and London is her current favourite vacation spots.
28. Kapoor is said to be the highest paid actress in Bollywood today. She reportedly commanded a neat Rs80 million for her latest film Heroine.
29. Kapoor is billed as the most sought-after face on the brand endorsement front. She has a whopping 16 brands — ranging from beverages to biscuits.
30. She’s one of the few actresses who can boast of having hits with the all the ruling Khans in the Bollywood. Think 3 Idiots with Aamir Khan, Bodyguard with Salman Khan and Kabhie Khushie Kabhie Gham with Shah Rukh Khan.
31. After years of speculation, Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan have finally set a wedding date. Though the star couple is secretive about it, Khan’s mother Sharmila Tagore says the D-day will be on October 16.
32 Kapoor’s favourite designer Manish Malhotra has been called upon to design her wedding trousseau.