Zareen Khan (born 14 May 1987), also known as Zarine Khan, is an Indian actress and model who mainly works in the Hindi film industry, though has also appeared in Punjabi films.
Zareen Khan made her screen debut with a leading role in the 2010 Anil Sharma’s period film Veer co-starring with Salman Khan for which she was nominated for the Zee Cine Award for Best Female Debut. Khan garnered recognition from her item number “Character Dheela” in Ready, which was one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2011. Khan earned commercial success in Bollywood with Sajid Khan’s Housefull 2. The following year, Khan made her Tamil debut in the Tamil film Naan Rajavaga Pogiren, in which she did an item number in the song “Malgove”.
She achieved further success for her leading role in the 2014 romantic thriller Punjabi film Jatt James Bond, a box office success and followed it with a leading role in the highly successful Vishal Pandya’s film Hate Story 3. In 2019, she made her Telugu debut with the action thriller film Chanakya.
Zareen Khan was born on 14 May 1987 in Mumbai, into a Muslim Pashtun (also known as Pathan or Afghan) family. She speaks Hindi, Urdu, English and Marathi, and some Pashto. She completed her intermediate at Rizvi College of Science, Mumbai.
2010–2011: Film debut and early work
Khan’s acting career began while visiting the set of Yuvraj at Subhash Ghai’s film school Whistling Woods. Salman Khan noticed her and decided to cast her for his friend Anil Sharma’s film Veer because, he said, “She looks the character – the sweet princess she is playing in Veer”. After a screen test, Khan was given the lead role of Princess Yashodhara. She gained eight kilograms in order to be more convincing as a 19th-century princess. The film revolves around the 1825 Pindari movement of Rajasthan, when India was ruled by the British. Veer did not do well at the Box office; however, her performance received mix reviews from both critics and public. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama observed that “Zarine resembles Katrina Kaif, but wears one expression all through”. Nikhat Kazmi of Times of India concluded that “Zarine is unimpressive”. Rediff.com mentions that “Zarine is average”. Critic Subhash K. Jha called her performance a “Zarine’s charm adds to her adorable screen presence.” Khan was nominated for Zee Cine Award for Best Female Debut.
In 2011, Khan did the item number “Character Dheela” with Salman Khan in Anees Bazmee’s Ready, parodying characters from Mughal-e-Azam, Sholay and Shri 420 and it was the highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2011.
Khan walked the ramp as showstopper for jewellery brand YS18 at India International Jewellery Week (IIJW), 2012.
Khan’s second release was Sajid Khan’s comedy film Housefull 2, a sequel of Housefull and Hindi remake of the Malayalam film Mattupetti Machan. The film revolves around two cousins Henna and Bobby, the two daughters of the Kapoor family who hate each other very much, a model Jlo love interest of Jolly, the son of Jagga Daku and four Best friends Sunny, Max, Jolly, and Jai who fall in love with her. Khan played the role of JLo, a model who is in love with Jolly, played by Ritesh Deshmukh and featured her alongside an ensemble cast including Akshay Kumar, Asin, John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez. Khan earned critical acclaim for her performance, with Taran Adarsh stating, “Zarine act more as eye candy. She appears typical sultry and enticing selves; and is befitting in her own space.” Housefull 2 was among the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2012.
In 2013, Khan made her Tamil debut in Vetrimaaran’s Naan Rajavaga Pogiren, in which she did an item number in the song “Malgove” alongside Nakul Jaidev. She was appreciated for the song. Taran Adarsh commented, “Zarine Khan’s song is high on energy.”
2014–present: Shift to leading roles
Khan’s first release of 2014 was Rohit Jugraj’s Punjabi film Jatt James Bond, her first role outside Bollywood. She featured in the role of a Lalli, an innocent Punjabi woman alongside Gippy Grewal. The film received positive reviews from critics, and her performance was particularly praised. Film critic Komal Nahta wrote “Zarine Khan delivers an award-winning performance. She is extraordinary and lives the role of Lalli, making every scene in which she appears immensely watchable for her brilliance!”
In 2015, Khan appeared in erotic thriller film Hate Story 3, in which she played Siya. The film was a commercial success and got Khan further recognition. She then appeared in a music video “Pyaar Manga Hai” with Ali Fazal. The song was sung by Armaan Malik and Neeti Mohan. In 2016, Khan did an item number in the film Veerappan. The same year, she also appeared in another item song named “Mahi Ve” in the film Wajah Tum Ho.
In 2017, Khan appeared in Aksar 2. In the film, she was seen romancing with Gautam Rode, and the first poster of the movie was released on 4 August 2017 on YouTube. Umesh Punwani from Koimoi.com wrote, ”Zareen Khan does good in parts but sadly she is majorly used for the skin show. Years into Bollywood she still can’t emote her expressions properly.” Bollywood Hungama disliked Khan’s performance and wrote, ”Zareen Khan is strictly okay and though she is sizzling, it’s done just for the heck of it. She tries to be the female Emraan Hashmi but it doesn’t work for her. Performance-wise, she doesn’t give her best shot.” The film did not perform well at the box office.
In 2018, Khan starred in Vikram Bhatt’s horror film 1921, the fourth installment in 1920 film series. Shikta Sanyal of Koimoi.com called it ”Khan’s best performance till date.” Although the film received mixed reviews, it managed to recover its cost and became an ”average grosser.” In January 2018, Khan signed Ashok Nanda’s action film One Day: Justice Delivered, in which she was set to portray the role of a police officer. She was eventually replaced by Esha Gupta.
In 2019, she made her Telugu debut with action-thriller film Chanakya, which received mixed reviews from critics and performed poorly at the box office. The same year, she appeared in Punjabi film Daaka, which also received mixed reviews.
Khan will next star in film Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele with Anshuman Jha, which revolves around a unique love story about two homosexuals and is scheduled to release in 2020.