Esha Deol

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Esha Deol
Esha Deol at event for TELL ME O KKHUDA.jpg

Deol at an event for Tell Me O Kkhuda, 2011
Born Esha Dharmendra Deol
2 November 1981 (age 34)
Bombay, India
Education Mithibai College
Occupation Actor
Years active 2002–present
Spouse(s) Bharat Takhtani (2012–present)
Parent(s) Dharmendra
Hema Malini
Relatives See Deol family

Esha Deol (born 2 November 1981) is an Indian film actress and older daughter of film actors Dharmendra and Hema Malini. She made her acting debut in Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe (2002). Deol was praised by film critics and her performance in the movie earned her numerous awards and nominations including the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.[1]

Deol earned critical acclaim for her performances and has mainly found success in multi-starrer movies. Deol’s breakthrough role was in the critically acclaimed Tamil film Aayutha Ezhuthu (2004) and its Hindi remakeYuva (2004).

Deol’s first commercial success was the multi-starrer action film Dhoom (2004) featuring her in a supporting role. It was followed by numerous multi-starrer movies including Dus (2005) and No Entry (2005) that were commercial successes at the box office and earned Deol critical acclaim. The majority of Deol’s films earned critical acclaim for her performances in films including Ankahee (2006), Darling (2007) until she took a hiatus from acting. Deol made her comeback to acting with a lead role in Tell Me O Kkhuda (2011).

Early life[edit]

Born to famous Bollywood actors Hema Malini and Dharmendra. She has a younger sister Ahana Deol. Her older step siblings are Bobby Deol, Sunny Deol, Vijeeta and Ajeeta, through her father’s first marriage toPrakash Kaur. Deol attended Mithibai College in Mumbai where she planned to become a fashion designer. Deol trained in the Odissi dancing style under Mumbai guru Rabindra Atibuddhi. She was trained by and performs classical Bharatanatyam dance with her mother.


2002–03: Debut[edit]

Deol decided to join the acting line of her parents and became a second-generation actress. She started her acting career in a lead role with Vinay Shukla‘s Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe (2002) opposite Aftab Shivdasani, with Sanjay Kapoor, Jaya Bachchan andAnupam Kher playing supporting roles. This movie was a box office failure. Deol received mixed reactions from critics upon her performance. Savera R Someshwar of Rediff wrote “Esha, as a person, exudes a confidence that almost borders on arrogance. She’s athletic and seems perfectly capable of looking after herself in any situation. Esha, on screen, is required to convey three emotions: Love, sorrow and fear. Especially fear. No wonder she flounders. She is just unable to look terrorised. Even her alleged romance with costar Aftab has not helped her shed her stern demeanour in her romantic scenes.”[2] Rakesh Budhu of Planet Bollywood wrote “She isn’t horrible, but given the hype, the demands and of course, comparisons, she surely isn’t up to the mark. Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe is just plain old mediocre in such a way that you end up noticing the flaws in Esha’s performance more. Her facial expressions need work, her attitude is beautiful but she seems too stern when it is not required. Of course, she is nowhere close to being a washout and if you are her fan you can appreciate the other aspects of her performances without completely losing faith in her future projects.”[3] Despite mixed reactions and box office failure, Deol won numerous awards for her performance including the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut at the 48th Filmfare Awards.[1][4]

Deol’s second film was Arjun Sablok‘s love triangle Na Tum Jaano Na Hum opposite Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan. The film flopped at the box office. Taran Adarsh of IndiaFm praised her acting and wrote “it is Esha Deol who surprises you with a mature performance. Although her looks are inconsistent, the youngster takes on the role with utmost sincerity and comes out with a natural performance. She has been better presented when compared to her debut film.”[5] Bhavna Giani of Rediff praised Deol’s acting and dancing and compared it to Deol’s mother Hema Malini. Giani wrote “As far as performances go, Esha is quite good, emoting clearly with her eyes. She makes the transition from bubbly schoolgirl to young woman waiting for her love easily. Her grace fills the screen. Dancing seems to come as naturally to her as it does to Hritik. A carbon copy of her mother Hema Malini, one cannot help but feel one is watching the Dream Girl all over again.”[6] Deol’s third and final release of the year was Sanjay Chhel‘s Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaaopposite Tusshar Kapoor. It was Deol’s third consecutive flop but she earned critical acclaim and Taran Adarsh observed that it was her better performance as compared to her previous two films.[7]

Deol’s first two movies of 2003: Kucch To Hai and Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne were box office failures. For Kucch To Hai, Deol earned mixed reviews from Taran Adarsh, who wrote “Esha Deol shows improvement in terms of performance as well as her overall appearance.”[8] Taran Adarsh considered Deol to be “alright” in Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne.[9] Ronjita Kulkarni praised her performance in Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne, writing “Chura Liya… was supposed to give Esha a makeover and re-launch her. Strangely, her role is similar to her debut, Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche. While the former had her terrified of her husband, Chura Liya… sees her terrified of three gangsters. The film gives her ample scope for histrionics, but she does not utilise it. Her dialogue delivery is good, but her performance is hyper.”[10] Deol was one of the heroines of J.P. Dutta‘s multi starrer war epic LOC Kargil and was paired with Abhishek Bachchan. Though Deol and all the other heroines could not get much scope, she earned critical acclaim for her performance.[11][12] The film became the sixth highest-grossing movie of the year.[13]

2004–08: Breakthrough[edit]

Deol at a press conference for Just Married, 2007

In 2004, Deol made her debut in Tamil cinema by playing a French teacher in Mani Ratnam‘s political film Aayutha Ezhuthu. She was paired with Suriya. She earned critical acclaim for her performance. Sify.com defined her as “surprisingly fresh and sparkling”.[14] In order to prepare for her role, Deol learned nuances of the language with Mani Ratnam’s assistant R. Kannan. After completing Aayutha Ezhuthu, Deol started filming the Hindi version of the movie titled Yuva.[15] In Yuva, Deol repeated the same role and was paired opposite Ajay Devgn. Prem Panicker of Rediff wrote “Esha Deol is the surprise package among the troika. While hers is the least developed character, she still manages to show flashes of her inherited acting genes.”[16] Taran Adarsh wrote “Esha Deol justifies her part, but her role doesn’t demand histrionics either.”[17] Both movies were released on the same date but could not attain success. Yuva had a below average opening and flopped at the box office.[18]

Deol finally got her breakthrough with Yash Raj Filmsaction film Dhoom opposite Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Uday Chopra and Rimi Sen. It was Deol’s first action role and she was paired opposite Chopra. The film had a decent opening and became a hit at the box office, becoming the fourth-highest grossing movie at the box office.[18] Deol did not get much scope in the film but her performance earned her a nomination for the IIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress at the 6th IIFA Awards.[19][20] Critics considered Deol and Rimi Sen’s performances to be nothing more than beauties and their purpose was defined as providing sex appeal. Surjyakiran Das of Planet Bollywood wrote “It’s most fitting to mention actresses Esha Deol and Rimi Sen while discussing the music and choreography; they seem to turn up in the film only when the heroes feel like crooning a tune and shaking a leg with a loved one. Both actresses do convincing enough work in their roles, but their real purpose is to provide sex appeal.”[21] Rajesh Karkera wrote “Esha Deol and Rimii Sen only need to look beautiful in their limited presence in this sweat ‘n’ leather flick.”[22]

After the success of Dhoom, Deol starred in Krishna Vamsi‘s war film Insan opposite Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Tusshar Kapoor and Lara Dutta. It was Deol’s first release of 2005. The film was a failure at the box office. Her next release was Main Aisa Hi Hoon. The film was a remake of the critically acclaimed Hollywood movie I Am Sam (2001). Deol played a supporting role and earned praise by Patcy N.[23] Subhash K. Jha of IANS also praised Deol, writing “Esha Deol as the fey unstable nomadic and maladjusted Maya is a mix of Zeenat Aman in Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Anooradha Patel in Ijaazat. Playing this zonked-out character Esha Deol comes into her own as an actress. Her far-way looks of pain anger neglect and insecurity remain with you long after the film. Yup she too has matured along with Hindi cinema.”[24]

In 2007, Deol’s portrayal of a notorious and vengeful ghost for Ram Gopal Verma‘s Darling was reviewed positively. Taran Adarsh from indiaFM noted that, “Esha Deol is excellent in a role that’s nothing short of a challenge. It would’ve boomeranged had it been entrusted to any inferior actor, but Esha is in terrific form here. This should be the turning point in her career.”[25]

2011–present: Comeback[edit]

Deol’s next film was Tell Me O Kkhuda in 2011 which was directed by her mother. She portrayed the lead role in the film opposite Arjan Bajwa, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor and her father Dharmendra.[26] She will also appear in Shivam Nair’s Ghost Ghost Na Rahawith Rahul Bose and Ayaz Khan.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Esha and Bharat Takhtani at their wedding ceremony at theISKCON temple

Esha Deol was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India on 2 November 1981. She was given the full name of Esha Dharmendra Deol. The name ‘Esha’ comes from the Upanishads and is derived from the Sanskrit language meaning “the divine beloved”. She is the elder daughter of Bollywood actors Dharmendra and Hema Malini. She has a younger sister named Ahana. She is the step sister of actors Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol and first cousin of actorAbhay Deol. She is half Punjabi and half Tamil and speaks Tamil with her mother and sister.

During her school days, she was passionate about football and played as a midfielder.[citation needed] She was the captain of her school football team, represented her college in handball at the state level and was also selected for the Indian national woman’s football team.[28]

Esha Deol got engaged to her boyfriend Bharat Takhtani,[29] a businessman on 12 February 2012 and married on 29 June 2012.[30]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Film Result
2003 Bollywood Movie Awards Best Female Debut Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe Won
Filmfare Awards Best Female Debut Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe Won
Star Screen Awards Most Promising Newcomer – Female Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe
Na Tum Jaano Na Hum
Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa
IIFA Awards Star Debut of the Year – Female Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe Won
2005 Best Supporting Actress Dhoom Nominated


Year Film Role Notes
2002 Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe Esha Singh Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut
2002 Na Tum Jaano Na Hum Esha Malhotra
2002 Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa Esha
2003 Kucch To Hai Tanya
2003 Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne Tina Khanna
2003 LOC Kargil Dimple
2004 Aayutha Ezhuthu Geethanjali Tamil film
2004 Yuva Radhika
2004 Dhoom Sheena
2005 Insan Heena
2005 Kaal Riya Thapar
2005 Main Aisa Hi Hoon Maya Trivedi
2005 Dus Neha
2005 No Entry Pooja
2005 Shaadi No. 1 Diya Saxena
2006 Pyare Mohan Preeti
2006 Ankahee Kavya Krishna
2007 Just Married Ritika Khanna
2007 Darling Geeta Menon
2007 Cash Pooja
2008 Sunday Herself Special appearance in song “Kashmakash”
2008 Money Hai Toh Honey Hai Herself Special appearance in song “Ta Na Na”
2008 One Two Three Jiya
2008 Hijack Saira
2011 Tell Me O Kkhuda Tanya R. Kapoor
2015 Care of Footpath 2 Meera Kannada film
2015 Kill Them Young TBC Hindi film
Year Television Role Notes
2015 Roadies X2 Gang Leader

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    1. Esha Deol
      Film actress
      Esha Deol is an Indian film actress and older daughter of film actors Dharmendra and Hema Malini. She made her acting debut in Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe. Wikipedia
      Born: November 2, 1981 (age 34), Mumbai
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