Kangana Ranaut (pronounced [kəŋɡənaː raːɳoːʈʰ]; born 23 March 1987) is an Indian actress and director who works in Hindi films. The recipient of several awards, including three National Film Awards and four Filmfare Awards, she has featured five times in Forbes India's Celebrity 100 list.
Born in Bhambla, a small town in Himachal Pradesh, Ranaut initially aspired to become a doctor at the insistence of her parents. Determined to build her own career path, she relocated to Delhi at age sixteen, where she briefly became a model. After training under the theatre director Arvind Gaur, Ranaut made her feature film debut in the 2006 thriller Gangster, for which she was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She received praise for portraying emotionally intense characters in the dramas Woh Lamhe (2006), Life in a... Metro (2007) and Fashion (2008). For the last of these, she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Ranaut featured in the commercially successful films Raaz: The Mystery Continues (2009) and Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010), though she was criticised for being typecast in neurotic roles. A comic role opposite R. Madhavan in the 2011 commercially successful Tanu Weds Manu was well-received, though this was followed by a series of brief, glamorous roles in films that failed to propel her career forward. This changed in 2013 when she played a mutant opposite Hrithik Roshan in the science fiction film Krrish 3 (2013), one of the highest-grossing Indian films. Ranaut went on to win two consecutive National Film Awards for Best Actress for playing a naive woman in the comedy-drama Queen (2014) and a dual role in the comedy sequel Tanu Weds Manu: Returns (2015), which ranks as the most successful Hindi film featuring a female protagonist. Following a series of commercial failures, she co-directed and played the titular role in the biopic Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019).
Ranaut is credited in the media as one of the most fashionable celebrities in the country, and she has launched her own clothing lines for the brand Vero Moda. Her reputation for expressing her honest opinions in public and her troubled personal and professional relationships have frequently sparked controversy.