“My father Jagdeep is a businessman and a Sindhi. My mother is half- Brit and half-Muslim. I am thus a cocktail of mixed blood,” says Kaira whose latest movie Laxmii was released on November 9.
“Let’s celebrate humanity by breaking gender stereotypes and extend our support to the third gender with the Laal Bindi – a symbol of equal love and respect,” Kaira Advani, the Bollywood actress, said in one of her recent Tweets. Her latest film ‘Laxmii’, a comedy horror movie starring Akshay Kumar was released on November 9, 2020.
She has played as the wife of Akshay Kumar in horror comedy Laxmii, an adaptation of the Tamil film Kanchana. Instead of theatres, Laxmii was directly released online owing to COVID-19 pandemic.
Alia Advani (born 31 July 1992), known professionally as Kiara Advani, appears predominantly in Hindi films. After making her film debut with the 2014 poorly received comedy Fugly, Advani had her first commercial success with a brief role in the 2016 sports biopic M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. Her career advanced with starring roles in the Telugu political drama Bharat Ane Nenu (2018) as well as the Hindi romantic drama Kabir Singh and the comedy Good Newwz (both 2019).
Kaira Advani was born to Jagdeep Advani, a Sindhi businessman and Genevieve Jaffrey, a teacher whose father was a Muslim from Lucknow and a mother who was Christian of Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, and Spanish ancestry; and had a Bengali godmother. Born as Alia Advani, she changed her first name to Kiara prior to the release of her first film ‘Fugly’ in 2014. In some interviews to media, she stated that it was Salman Khan’s suggestion to change her name from Alia to Kiara, as Alia Bhatt was her contemporary. “The name was inspired from Priyanka Chopra’s character Kiara in the film Anjaana Anjaani,” she said.
The elder of two siblings, Kaira 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 is her aunt.
“My nana, who is Saeed Jaffrey’s brother, married twice. My first nani (my mom’s mom) was a Britisher. Even though he was a Muslim, he divorced her to marry my second nani (Bharti Ganguly), who is Ashok Kumar’s daughter. While my first nani went travelling around the world, it was my second nani who raised my mom from when she was 13. While my nana died a few years back, my first nani is back in India and we are all one big, happy family,” Kaira Advani said in an interview to Times of India in 2014 when her first film was released.
About connection with Salman Khan, Kaira Advani told: “My mom knew Salman sir as they grew up together in Bandra. He would often tell my mother Genievev Advani how one day he would be a star. They have been friends for the longest time and would go cycling together. She introduced my mausie Shaheen to him and Salman sir and Shaheen mausie dated each other long back. It may have possibly been their first relationship. I have met him a few times at his house for lunch. He is very warm and friendly. My mother had come once on my shoot when Salman sir was on the set to shoot the title promotional song for Fugly. She had actually come to see him and not me, but he thought she had come for me and said, ‘You better give Kiara space. Don’t tag along with her as her mother’.”
“I was born and brought up in South Mumbai. My father Jagdeep is a businessman and a Sindhi. My mother is half- Brit and half-Muslim. I am thus a cocktail of mixed blood. From the time I remember, I wanted to be an actress. I was Miss Wanting Attention all the time. If my mother was taking pictures, I never wanted her to take the camera off me ever. When I look at my videos from when I was even just two, I would be playing ballerina. My mother is a teacher and runs her own play school, so she was clear that I needed to complete my graduation. I studied at Cathedral School, where a lot of kids go abroad after Class XII. But I was clear that I wanted to be an actress and thus, even though I got 92% in my board exams, I applied only to Jai Hind College for Mass Communication and got in and completed my graduation. I did short courses of acting with Anupam Kher and Roshan Taneja and started meeting the right people through my mom. I gave a few auditions and was getting restless when I got a call from Anuradha Patel (my second nani’s daughter) asking me to send my pictures to one of her friends, Kabir Sadanand, who was making a film with newcomers. I auditioned and bagged my first role in Fugly, where I played a Delhi girl. I was thrilled as I had had no friends or exposure to Delhi and for me it was a big thing that I am playing this Delhi girl, that in reality I am not,” she stated.
On her family background, Kaira Advani said, “I come from a protected family and even in school people assumed that I would be this snooty without-a-brain South Mumbai girl, who came to school in a chauffeur-driven car. But my father watched 3 Idiots and decided that he would let his kids do whatever they were passionate about.”
“My parents dated each other seven years before they married and Juhi Chawla aunty and they have been friends since then. She has seen me since I was born. We would always be together on our Diwalis and Holis at either her house or ours. I was the eldest amongst the kids and would be always asked to perform for our parents and would be happy to be the center of attraction. Juhi aunty is a very warm person and pretty much like my parents, is proud of me doing this film,” Kaira said.
She continued: “Till when I was 13, my younger brother and I used to share a room and we would fight all the time so much so that my mom could not handle us. It’s only when she would go and sit on the side and close her eyes that we would imagine that she had collapsed and then would stop fighting. If we had to go to a relative’s house, she would need to bribe us with extra TV time allowance or with extra pocket money so that we would not fight there. Now, we both have our own rooms but we land up spending more time together. He is younger to me but he is the person who inspires me. He is a topper at Cathedral and is very focused and dedicated. I always wanted him to look up to me as an older sister, but he would always criticize me. But after doing film, I know that he has started respecting me.”
Kaira Advani began the year 2018 by appearing in the anthology film Lust Stories, a Netflix production consisting of four segments dealing with female sexuality. She featured in Karan Johar’s segment, playing a newly married wife whose husband, played by Vicky Kaushal, fails to recognize her sexual dissatisfaction.
According to India Today, last year Kiara Advani revealed that she was extremely nervous the night before she had to shoot the vibrator scene in Karan Johar’s lust stories.
On Neha Dhupia’s chat show, Neha asked how she was able to “climax so beautifully on camera,” Kiara answered, “Karan Johar showed me how to do everything, but that scene. He wanted me to be uninhibited. He made sure there was a very small unit on screen. He didn’t want me to laugh. I was so nervous the night before, and I had actually googled how people use a vibrator. I watched a couple of scenes from films like The Ugly Truth, to see what it was all about.”
She next made her debut in Telugu cinema with Koratala Siva’s political drama Bharat Ane Nenu, which is about a student, played by Mahesh Babu, who unexpectedly becomes the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. The film had worldwide earnings of US$32 million, making it one of Telugu cinema’s highest grossers. Also that year, Advani appeared in a music video titled “Urvashi”, sung by Yo Yo Honey Singh, opposite Shahid Kapoor.
In 2020, Kaira Advani starred in ‘Guilty’, a Netflix thriller film about sexual assault. Ektaa Malik of The Indian Express considered the film to be a “lost opportunity” and added that Advani’s character had been “reduced to the ‘tortured-artistic-creative’ types” while Rohan Naahar of Hindustan Times wrote, “Kiara delivers an absolutely electric performance as the unreliable Nanki, a fiery college student with a fondness for Faiz.”
Advani is portraying the title role in Indoo Ki Jawani, a T-Series production. This will be followed by her female lead role opposite Kartik Aaryan in Anees Bazmee’s 2021 horror comedy Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. She has finished shooting for Karan Johar’s 2021 production Shershaah, a patriotic war drama also featuring Sidharth Malhotra.
In November 2020, Advani began the filming of Raj Mehta’s Jugg Jug Jeeyo, a comedy with Varun Dhawan, Anil Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor. She has so far done 17 movies.