After winning the title of Miss India World and later becoming Miss World 2000, Chopra made her acting debut with the Tamil film Thamizhan (2002). The following year, she made her Bollywood debut with Anil Sharma’s The Hero: Love Story of a Spy and had her first commercial success with her second release, Andaaz from the same year, for which she won a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award. Becoming the second woman to win the Filmfare Best Villain Award for her critically acclaimed performance in Abbas-Mustan’s Aitraaz (2004), Chopra later went on to deliver commercial success with films like Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004), Krrish (2006), her biggest commercial success so far, and Don – The Chase Begins Again (2006). In 2008, Chopra earned the Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance in Fashion, thus establishing herself as a popular actress.
She was born in Jamshedpur, Jharkand to Ashok Chopra and Madhu Akhauri, both doctors by profession. Chopra spent her childhood in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh; Newton, Massachusetts; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her father was in the army and thus her family moved quite frequently.
Her father hailed from a family of Punjabi Khatri origin, settled in Bareilly and her mother comes from a Malayali family settled in Jamshedpur. She also has a brother, Siddharth, who is seven years younger than she.
Chopra studied at St. Maria Goretti in Bareilly and La Martiniere Girls’ School in Lucknow as a young girl. These frequent re-locations took place as Ashok was a doctor in the Indian Army. She subsequently re-located to the U.S. where she studied in Newton’s Newton South High School in Newton, Massachusetts and then in John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She returned to India and did her high school at Army School in Bareilly. She began college at Jai Hind College in Mumbai but left after winning the Miss World pageant.
Chopra was crowned Miss India World and later Miss World in 2000. In the same year, Lara Dutta and Dia Mirza, both also from India, won the Miss Universe and Miss Asia Pacific crowns, in a rare triple victory for one country.
When Chopra won the Miss World crown, she became the fifth Indian woman to win the title, and the fourth Indian woman to win in a span of seven years.
After winning the Miss World title, Chopra became an actress. She made her debut in the 2002 Tamil film Thamizhan alongside Vijay, in which she also sung playback, before moving on to Bollywood. In 2003, her first Bollywood film, The Hero: Love Story of a Spy released and won her good reviews. Despite being given a below average status, the film went on to become one of the highest grossing films of that year.
Her next film, Andaaz opposite Akshay Kumar was a success, earning her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award and a nomination for Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.
Her next few films performed poorly at the box office.
In 2004, her film Mujhse Shaadi Karogi was released, and became the third highest grossing film of that year.
Her next release, Aitraaz, was a Hindi remake of the Demi Moore vehicle Disclosure. It was her first “negative” role, where she played the villain. Her performance won critical acclaim and earned a Filmfare Best Villain Award. She also received a second nomination for Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. In the same year, she participated in a world tour titled Temptations 2004 with several of Bollywood’s leading stars, including Shahrukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta and Arjun Rampal.
In 2005, several of her films were released, though most did not do well at the box office.
In 2006, Chopra starred in two of the most successful films of the year – Krrish and Don – The Chase Begins Again.
Nikhil Advani’s ensemble piece, Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To Love was Chopra’s first release in 2007. The movie failed to do well at the box office. Chopra’s next release, Big Brother also underperformed. Her other releases in 2008 included Love Story 2050, God Tussi Great Ho, Chamku and Drona, all of which were considered flops. However, her most recent releases, Fashion and Dostana, have succeeded at the box office, and her performance in the former garnered her critical acclaim, winning her the Filmfare Best Actress Award as well as numerous other awards.
In 2009 she will be appearing in Vishal Bharadwaj’s Kaminey, Ashutosh Gowariker’s What’s Your Raashee? and Jugal Hansraj’s Pyaar Impossible.