New Delhi: All of two films old, 24-year-old Parineeti Chopra is being touted as the next big thing in Bollywood after turning in impressive performances in Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl and Ishaqzaade, both Yash Raj films. And yet, Priyanka Chopra's young cousin is as far removed from the standard Bollywood bombshell as it is possible for a lead actress to be. She's more girl next door than glamour doll, with no obvious oomph in evidence, and freely confesses to a battle with the weighing scale.
Parineeti is a small town girl, from Ambala. Her father is a business man and mother a homemaker. She has two brothers and is trained in Hindustani classical music.
Parineeti, made an impressive debut as the brash, loud mouthed Dimple Chaddha in Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl last year, one of the trail of broken hearts left by Ranveer Singh's character. The role fetched her a number of Best Debut awards and Best Supporting Actor award.
Her second role was as the female lead opposite new hero Arjun Kapoor. Her portrayal of feisty Muslim girl Zoya in Ishaqzaade pleased critics and audiences alike. Reviewers singled her out for praise as the scene stealer. Her Bollywood stock has risen sharply and she is said to have hiked up her price as an actress, and reportedly charges Rs 50 lakhs for an endorsement.
Parineeti says she's not averse to playing the bombshell, admitting that she would wear a bikini if required. But she's careful to mantain that what she really wants are the meatier roles. She says, "I am hungry for edgy films."
Parineeti has won almost all the Best Debutante awards up for grabs in her short career. These include the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut, the Star Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer, the Zee Cine Award for Best Female Debut, the Apsara Award for Best Female Debut, the Stardust Award for Superstar of Tomorrow and Best Debut Female at IIFA.
Not many know that this talented actress, a self confessed nerd, aspired to be an investment banker and studied finance in England before returning to India in 2009 as a casualty of the recession. She once said that if the recession had not happened she would have never landed in Mumbai. Parineeti joined Yash Raj Films as a publicist, later landing a three film contract with them. It all started when director Maneesh Sharma of Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl was casting for the film. Parineeti went for a dummy audition and was selected.
With fame came the inevitable speculation about her romantic liaisons. Parineeti's name has been coupled with actors Uday Chopra and Jackky Bhagnani but she vehemently denies both connections. "I am single. Look for a good guy for me but not a Ricky Bahl type please," she told NDTV's Puja Talwar during a visit to Delhi where she was announced the goodwill ambassador for HCL 's consumer computing products.
Parineeti, who now parties with the Chopras and the Khans, has reportedly signed her third film with Yash Raj Films. Titled Beshram, the film stars box office darling Ranbir Kapoor and reports also suggest that she is also being considered to play the lead opposite Imran Khan in Karan Johar's next production venture.