At five feet ten inches tall, Shila Shetty is often recognized as one one the tallest Indian actresses in Bollywood films. Shila Shetty also claims the often cited title of, “The Best Body in Bollywood.” This rising international star has gained fame and fortune along her extensive film career, which began at the age of fifteen, when Shila posed for her first modeling pictures. By the age of seventeen, Shilpa Shetty had already made it to the big screen, with her first lead role in the movie, Gaata Rahe Mera Dil. Today, the name Shilpa Shetty is becoming known around the world, after Shila’s much celebrated win on the United Kingdom’s, Celebrity Big Brother.
The Many Talents of Shilpa Shetty
Shilpa Shetty may be one of the most loved Bollywood actresses, but there is much more to Shilpa Shetty than just a pretty face, and a resume that includes upwards of 50 Bollywood movies. Shilpa also speaks several languages. Hindi, English, Marathi, Gujrati, Telegu, and Tamil are some of the languages that Shilpa Shetty speaks. She also knows a little French.
Shilpa’s dedication to the AIDS cause, has led her to become an AIDS Activist. Shilpa was given applause for her role in Phir Milenge (2004), where she played a woman who was HIV-Positive. In addition to her work as an AIDS Activist, Shilpa is also an avid supported of PETA. Shilpa was featured in a PETA advertisement against using wild animals in the circus. Her committment to both campaigns is notable.
One of Shilpa Shetty’s best qualities is her determination to succeed in Bollywood. In spite of a series of early films, which scored poorly at the box office, Shilpa Shetty did not give up. A nomination by Filmfare in 1993, for her role with Shahrukh Khan and Kojol, in Baazigar may have given Shipa some incentive. Other nominations followed suit, including the nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance as Tamanna Sahani in Phir Minage (2004).
Real Life Dramas
Shilpa Shetty’s life outside of Bollywood films, has been a bit more dramatic. In 2000, Shilpa Shetty sued Stardust India, a magazine which published rumors and reports about Shilpa’s romantic relationship with former boyfriend, Akshay Kumar. Shilpa met Akshay early in her career, around 1994, and had a romantic relationship with him until 2000, when it was rumored, and apparently confirmed by Shilpa, that Akshay had an affair with Shilpa’s friend, Twinkle Khanna.
Shilpa’s parents, Surendra and Sunanda Shetty, were the subject of more drama when they were brought forward on charges of being linked to Indian mafia connections. Shilpa managed to steer away from her parents’ situation and continue her acting career. Shilpa’s younger sister, Shamita Shetty, has followed Shilpa’s acting path in Bollywood and both were featured together in the 2005 Bollywood movie, Fareb.
The biggest drama in Shilpa Shetty’s life appeared in 2006, when she was cast on the UK Celebrity Big Brother reality television show. A series of racist remarks were broadcast for the world to hear, by Shilpa’s conniving castmates, Jo O’Meara, Danielle Lloyd, and Jade Goody. The contoversial targeting of racist comments caused an uproar that reached all the way up to the House of Commons. British-Indian relations were strained as a result, and certain advertising companies for the show threatened to pull out of their advertising contracts.
Shilpa maintained her integrity on UK Celebrity Big Brother despite the fact that she has a black belt in Karate. Ultimately, Shilpa Shetty rose to victory, by winning the 2007 UK Celebrity Big Brother contest. Shilpa garnered a record 63% of all votes and on January 28, 2007, became the first Indian to win the contest.
Shilpa Shetty’s Future
Shilpa currently resides in Mumbai, India, near the heart of Bollywood film productions. She continues to make Bollywood films, and one of her latest films, Apne(2007) is expected to premiere in the next few months. After gaining international attention with the UK Celebrity Big Brother racism scandal, Shilpa’s career is on the upswing. Rumor has it that she may be turning her attention temporarily away from Bollywood, towards the lights of Hollywood. One thing is certain, however. Wherever Shilpa Shetty decides to continue her acting career, Shilpa Shetty will continue to shine as one of India’s hottest actresses.