Nargis Fakhri is an American actress, singer, and model who works in Bollywood and Hollywood.
Nargis Fakhri was born on Saturday, 20 October 1979 (age 40 years; as in 2019) in the Queens Borough of the New York City, US. Her zodiac sign is Libra. She did her B.A. with a Major in Fine Arts and Minor in Psychology from Queens College, City University of New York.
Height: 5′ 9″
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Hair Colour: Black (dyed red, blonde, and brown)
Family & Ethnicity
Nargis Fakhri’s father, Mohammed Fakhri was a Pakistani, and her mother, Marie Fakhri, a Czech, is a former mechanical engineer and drafter. She has a younger sister, Aliya. When she was six years old, her parents got divorced, and her father died a few years later.
Nargis recognizes herself as a Global Citizen because of her mixed Pakistani-Czech ethnicity and American citizenship. According to Nargis, she does not follow any religion. Explaining her stance, she says,
I don’t follow a particular religion. I am a very spiritual person. You will see a lot of Buddha and Ganesha idols in my house, though. I am very attached to anything that represents spirituality or a higher being. I pick up a lot of stuff whenever I am traveling.
She was once rumoured to be in a relationship with Ranbir Kapoor.
She was in a relationship with the actor and filmmaker, Uday Chopra. The news about her relationship surfaced the internet when the photos of the two, spending a vacation together got leaked. Reportedly, the duo began dating in 2014 and broke up at the end of 2017.
In 2018, she confirmed her relationship with the American filmmaker and video editor, Matt Alonzo through her Instagram handle. The couple broke up in 2019.
At the age of 16, Nargis Fakhri started her career as a model. She contested for the second and third cycles (seasons) of the American reality television show “America’s Next Top Model” (2004). In the contest, she was selected for the first two challenges of both the cycle, but she failed to make it up to top twelve contestants in the third challenge.
Subsequently, she modelled professionally in America and worked for a freelance agency and appeared on fashion shows. She rose to fame after her appearance in the Indian print campaign for the 2009 Kingfisher Calendar.
Her appearance on the Kingfisher Calendar garnered the attention of the Indian filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, who decided to cast Nargis in his film “Rockstar” (2011). Nargis made her acting debut with the film “Rockstar” as ‘Heer Kaul.’ The film is the first film in India to show a Kashmiri Pandit wedding. Due to her poor diction in Hindi, her voice in the film was dubbed by the Indian voice-over artist and singer, Mona Ghosh Shetty. She even won a Filmfare nomination for Best Female Debut for the film.
She has received praise for her role in the films, Madras Cafe (2013), Main Tera Hero (2014), Azhar (2016), Amavas (2019), and more. She made her Hollywood debut with Paul Feig’s (American Actor & Director) directorial “Spy” (2015) in which, she played the role of ‘Lia.’
In 2018, she appeared in her second Hollywood film “5 Weddings” as ‘Shania Dhaliwal’ opposite Rajkummar Rao.
In 2017, she made her singing debut with the single “Habitaan Vigaad Di” featuring Indo-Canadian singer Parichay and Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall.
In 2017, she sang her second single “Woofer” featuring the famous American rapper Snoop Dogg, British musician Dr.Zeus, and Zora Randhawa. Talking about her experience on working with Snoop Dogg, Nargis said,
I really enjoyed working with Dr. Zeus and Zora and the entire BeingU team. This was a really awesome experience. For me, I grew up listening to Snoop Dogg so when this came my way, I was completely thrilled to give it a shot and sing with someone as iconic as him.”
Awards & Achievements
- IIFA Awards for Hottest Pair (shared with Ranbir Kapoor) for the film “Rockstar” in 2012
- Life OK NOW Awards for Best Supporting Actor-Female for the film “Main Tera Hero” in 2015
- Bollywood Life Awards for Most Motivational Celeb on Social Media for the film “Main Tera Hero” in 2015
- Filmfare Glamour and Style Awards for Ciroc Not The Usual Award for the film “Main Tera Hero” in 2015
- In 2014, it was reported that she was honoured with the Gaurd of Honour by the Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) for her campaign for endangered tigers. However, this became an outrage amongst wildlife conservationists, as the award was meant to be given out to only ministers or high ranking officers.
- In 2015, after her advertisement for Pakistani mobile carrier, Mobilink, appeared on a leading Pakistani newspaper, Jang, Pakistanis showed their outrage on social media, where they called the advertisement cheap and absurd. Many people including journalists, condemned the obscenity of the advertisement that showed Nargis in a red dress, lying down with a phone in her hand.
- In 2019, it was reported that Nargis left the promotions of the film “Amavas” (2019) mid-way and left the country. Reportedly, she got irritated of the media because they kept on asking about her personal life (break up with Matt Alonzo and Uday Chopra). Clearing her stance in the controversy, Nargis said,
The entire experience promoting this film, albeit brief, has been extremely taxing because of their (producer Sachin Joshi and the film’s team) total lack of communication and planning. They were given seven days for promotions by my team well in time which they used. So I don’t know where this debate about my leaving early etc comes in. To be honest, I wasn’t informed about the film’s release being pushed nor was I updated on their promotional plans and activities. Despite that, I ensured I was present and promoting the film within the mutually agreed upon time. And now, seeing them release statements like that about my professional commitment is something that is extremely disheartening and unacceptable when it’s the film team who haven’t held up their end of the bargain.”
- Food: Butter Chicken, Dal Gosht, Tacos, Pizza, Churros, Tom yum Soup, Paella, Pad thai, Zucchini Pasta with Avocado cream sauce
- Cuisines: Malvani, Japanese
- Dessert: Gajar Ka Halwa, Chocolate chip ice-cream, Red velvet cake, Gulab Jamun, Kheer, Bengali Sweets
- Restaurant: Olive in Mumbai, JW Marriott in Juhu, Wasabi at The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, Blue Jade at Ritz Carlton in Dubai
- Films: The Chronicles of Narnia Series, Beauty and the Beast (1991), Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
- Song: ‘Nobody Knows The Troubles I’ve Seen’ by Louis Armstrong
- Travel Destination: Greece, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Denmark
- Nargis Fakhri likes doing gardening, travelling, and yoga.
- Nargis’s mother was born in former Czechoslovakia and was a mechanical engineer and drafter by profession. Her mother dreamt of seeing the world, and in the process, left her country and moved to New York City and started living in a refugee camp. Her mother didn’t know English, and her professional credentials were not accepted, therefore, she started working as a cleaner at a restaurant.
- While working at the restaurant, her mother met her father. Unfortunately, things did not work out well between her parents, and they got separated, and her mother was left with two daughters to raise. Her mother used to go to school to learn language during the day, worked during the night, and took care of Nargis and her sister.
- Nargis grew up in Projects in Queens, and her family was very poor.
- When she was 12 years old, her mother put Nargis and her sister in a summer camp, which was meant to be for the children of low-income families. Talking about the difficulties of those times, she said,
It was in upstate New York where we had to live in tents, fetch water, cook our meals, and even dig our own toilet bowls. At the end of our 14-day camp, a bear came and broke our tents and pooped all over it. So we had to travel to a new spot and sleep in sleeping bags. I’m really grateful for those experiences because I met a lot of amazing adults.”
- Slowly, she started to work for her living. She did jobs like shovelling snow, cleaning an old lady’s house, collecting bottles, and even bagging groceries.
- She funded her own education and did her BA with a Major in Fine Arts and Minor in Psychology. Initially, she wished to be a teacher or do art therapy for the elderly. As she liked to travel, she eventually, chose modelling as her career.
- During her modelling days, she lived in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Germany, the UK, Greece, Costa Rica, Cape Town, and Denmark.
- Nargis was living in Copenhagen with her boyfriend when Imtiaz Ali (who had come to Prague for some work) contacted her to cast in his film “Rockstar.” Imtiaz Ali invited her to join the audition in India. She came to India in 2010 and was selected for the film. She was given only two months of time to learn Hindi, learn about the culture of India, and learn acting.
- Nargis decided to move to India in 2012. Talking about her experience of India, she said,
When I first arrived, there were a lot of things that reminded me of my Dad, certain smells, the food, the colours and even the clothes, but it was a culture-shock for sure. My father did not raise me, so I was extremely American and unaware of how things were in India. It took me a long time to adjust and digest the changes, but that is the beauty of it all. I am totally OK now and I call Mumbai home”
- After coming to India, she spent her time learning Kathak and Bollywood dance, and Hindi diction.
- In an interview, she revealed that during her modelling days, she was offered a huge sum to pose naked for Playboy Magazine, but she turned down the offer because she was not comfortable baring it all for an adult magazine. Talking about it, she said,
When I was modelling, there was this college edition Playboy magazine thing. My agent said they are asking for girls, they have chosen to see you if you would want to do something like that. I was like, Playboy is so huge and the money was so much! But I said no thanks, I’m good”
- Talking about her professional life and friends, she said,
Bollywood is a part of the larger journey — I don’t spend a lot of time here and hardly have more than two friends. My real friends are in the US, Europe, Dubai, and Thailand.
- She has gone through cosmetic surgery. Talking about her surgery, she said,
I accept ladies need to feel and look delightful at any age. Along these lines, I don’t believe there’s anything the issue with picking surgeries or different medications. Each vehicle needs upkeep and I’m not against up keeping.
- In an interview, she confessed that if not an actress, she would have been a naturopathic or ayurvedic doctor.
- In 2019, she shared her inspiring story of losing 179 lbs (81.2 kg) to 152 lbs (69 kg) in just six months, on her Instagram account, through her workout videos from the gym. One of her Instagram posts read,
Nothing in life comes easy. We all have to work for it. The key is being consistent. Have discipline and the ability to stay focused and you can reach any goal. I was 179 lbs but today i am 152lbs. It’s taken about 6 months or more to lose that weight the right way! But I’m doing it. I’m on my way to a fitter me!
- She is an avid dog lover and owns a pet dog.