Kiara Advani (born Alia Advani on 31 July 1992) is an Indian actress who appears in Hindi and Telugu films. She made her acting debut with Kabir Sadanand’s comedy film Fugly (2014), a critical and commercial failure, and then starred in the biographical sports drama M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), which proved to be her first commercial success.In 2018, Advani appeared in the Netflix anthology film Lust Stories, and made her Telugu debut with the political drama Bharat Ane Nenu, which ranks among the highest-grossing Telugu films. Her highest-grossing Bollywood release came with the romantic drama Kabir Singh (2019), which ranks among the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.
Kiara Advani was born to Jagdeep Advani, a Businessman and Genevieve Jaffrey, a teacher of Sindhi, Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, and Spanish ancestry. Born as Alia Advani, Advani changed her first name to Kiara prior to the release of her first film, Fugly. The elder of two children, Advani has a younger brother, Mishaal. She is also related to several celebrities via her maternal family. Actors Ashok Kumar and Saeed Jaffrey are her step-great-grandfather and great-uncle, respectively, whereas model Shaheen Jaffrey and actress Juhi Chawla are her aunts.
Early work (2014—2017)
Advani at an event for M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story in 2016Advani made her acting debut with Kabir Sadanand’s comedy-drama Fugly (2014), in which she featured alongside an ensemble cast including Mohit Marwah, Arfi Lamba, Vijender Singh, and Jimmy Sheirgill. Her performance met with positive comments; Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama said: “Kiara Advani catches you completely unaware” and has the “combination of looks and talent”, whereas Mehul S Thakkar of Deccan Chronicle noted her performance as being “very striking” and said she “shows a lot of promise,” along with praising her versatility and range as an actor. However, the film received mixed reviews, and despite the hype, it emerged as a commercial disappointment grossing ₹148 million (US$2.1 million) on a budget of ₹180 million (US$2.6 million).Advani’s next film role was in the Neeraj Pandey-directed biographical sports drama M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), about the life of MS Dhoni, an Indian cricketer who was the former captain of the Indian cricket team. Cast opposite Sushant Singh Rajput (who essayed Dhoni’s character in the film), Advani played the real-life character of Sakshi Rawat (a hotel manager who and Dhoni fall in love and later get married). Her performance and chemistry with Rajput was well appreciated by critics and the film was highly anticipated. With gross earnings of over ₹2.16 billion (US$31 million) in worldwide ticket sales, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story proved to be a major economic success, and was one of the highest-grossing Indian films of that year.The following year, Advani appeared opposite newcomer Mustafa Burmawalla in Machine (2017), an action romantic thriller from the director duo Abbas–Mustan, narrating about two racing enthusiasts, Sarah & Ransh (played by Advani and Burmawalla respectively), who fall in love and get married after the death of Sarah’s friend. Machine met with mixed to negative reactions, and Advani’s performance was also largely criticised. Due to these reactions, Machine failed to recoup its ₹300 million (US$4.3 million) investment.
2018 was a critically and commercially successful period in Advani’s career, as she was cast in two successful films, the first of which was the anthology film Lust Stories, a Netflix film consisting of four segments dealing with woman sexuality. She featured in Karan Johar’s segment, playing Megha, a newly married wife whose husband (played by Vicky Kaushal) fails to recognize her sexual dissatisfaction. The film was a financial success, and Advani’s role earned her positive reviews from critics. Later that year, she made her debut in Telugu cinema with Koratala Siva’s political thriller Bharat Ane Nenu, about the story of a student (played by Mahesh Babu) who unexpectedly becomes the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. The film had worldwide earnings of ₹225 crore (US$33 million), becoming one of Telugu cinema’s highest grossers, but Advani’s portrayal of Vasumati, the love interest of Babu’s character, met with mixed reviews. Her chemistry with him was also well received by critics. Also that year, Advani appeared in a music album titled Urvashi, sung by Yo Yo Honey Singh, opposite Shahid Kapoor.Boyapati Srinu’s Telugu action drama Vinaya Vidheya Rama was Advani’s first release of 2019. She played the role of Ram Charan’s fiancée. The film met with a negative response and flopped at the box office both Indian and abroad. Advani then returned to Bollywood by appearing as Lajjo, a courtesan, in a song “First Class” of Abhishek Varman’s period drama Kalank, which also fared poorly at the box office. Her next appearance was in Sandeep Vanga’s romantic drama Kabir Singh alongside Shahid Kapoor. An adaptation of Vanga’s 2017 Telugu movie Arjun Reddy, it was about the titular medical student (played by Kapoor) who goes on a self-destructive path and becomes an alcoholic surgeon after his lover (played by Advani) marries someone else. Despite receiving mixed reviews for glamorizing misogyny and toxic masculinity, Kabir Singh emerged as an economic success and Advani’s highest-grossing Bollywood release, with a domestic gross of over ₹2 billion (US$29 million).As of June 2019, Advani has four upcoming projects. She will star in Raj Mehta’s directorial debut Good News—a comedy about surrogacy co-starring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Diljit Dosanjh—and team with Kumar in Raghava Lawrence’s horror comedy Laxmmi Bomb—a remake of the 2011 Tamil film Muni 2: Kanchana. She will also portray the real-life character of Dimple Cheema opposite Sidharth Malhotra in Shershaah—a biopic based on Vikram Batra—and star as the titular protagonist in Bengali filmmaker Abir Sengupta’s directorial debut—the coming-of-age dramedy Indoo Ki Jawani.