Pooja Bhatt (born 24 February 1972) is an Indian film director, actress, voice over artist, model and film maker. The recipient of several accolades, including two National Film Awards.
Born into the Bhatt family, she is the daughter of Indian filmmaker, Mahesh Bhatt. Bhatt played her first leading role in Mahesh Bhatt’s television film Daddy in 1989. For the film, she won the Filmfare Award for Lux New Face of the Year for Best Female Debut.
Bhatt was born on 24 February 1972 to Mahesh Bhatt and Kiran Bhatt (born Loraine Bright). On her father’s side, Bhatt is of predominantly Gujarati descent and on her mother’s side, she is of English, Scottish, Armenian, and Burmese ancestry. She is the step-daughter of Soni Razdan. She has a brother, Rahul Bhatt and half-sisters Shaheen and Alia Bhatt. Her cousins are Hitarth Bhat and Emraan Hashmi.
Bhatt made her acting debut at age 17, in 1989 with Daddy, a TV film directed by her father Mahesh Bhatt. In the film she portrayed a soul-searching teenage girl in an estranged relationship with her alcoholic father, played by actor Anupam Kher.
Her biggest solo hit and her big screen debut came with the musical hit Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991) which was a remake of the Oscar-winning Hollywood classic It Happened One Night. Pooja Bhatt appeared in many bold shoots like Stardust.
Her most well-known films in the 1990s included Sadak opposite Sanjay Dutt (1991), Junoon, Jaanam, and Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee opposite Rahul Roy, Sir (1993) and Guneghar (1995) opposite Atul Agnihotri, Tadipaar (1993) and Naaraaz (1994) opposite Mithun Chakraborty, Hum Dono opposite Rishi Kapoor, Angrakshak opposite Sunny Deol (1995), Chaahat opposite Shah Rukh Khan (1996), Tamanna (1997), the super-hit and multi-starrer Border (1997) and Zakhm (1998), opposite Ajay Devgan. Bhatt has also acted in some popular hit regional Indian films.
Bhatt (right) with her father Mahesh Bhatt and actress Mallika Sherawat in 2004.
Her last film appearance was in the English language film Everybody Says I’m Fine! in 2001. She has since focused on producing and directing. She made her directorial debut with Paap in 2004, starring John Abraham and Udita Goswami. Since then, she has made four more directorial ventures: Holiday (2006), Dhokha (2007), Kajraare (2010) and Jism 2 (2012).
Pooja is set to return to acting after almost two decades in Sadak 2, a sequel to the hit 1991 film. The film will see her and Sanjay Dutt reprising their roles from the original and her sister Alia Bhatt and Aditya Roy Kapur joining the cast. Her father will be returning to directing with this film after 20 years and it is set for release in 2020.
Mahesh Bhatt became the talk of the town and was slammed by fans after the filmmaker shot for a magazine cover which showed him and his daughter Pooja kissing each other on the lips. However, the quote which further fuelled the fire was: “If Pooja wasn’t my