Priyanka to Manushi Chhillar: 5 Former Miss World Winners and Their Film Debuts
Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar made her film debut with 'Samrat Prithviraj' opposite Akshay Kumar.
The Quint DAILY
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Former Miss World Manushi Chhillar recently made her acting debut in Bollywood with Yash Raj Films’ Samrat Prithviraj. The historical drama hit the theatres on 3 June. The model-turned-actor plays the role of princess Sanyogita in the film opposite Akshay Kumar.
Here’s a look at a few Miss World winners from the past, who went on to make their acting debuts in the Indian film industry right after their modeling career.
1. Manushi Chhillar
Manushi Chhillar, who won the title of Miss World in 2017, made her Bollywood debut with filmmaker Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s Samrat Prithviraj. The actor is Akshay Kumar’s co-star in this mainstream historical drama. Chhillar started her modeling career with FBB Campus Princess 2016 where she was selected as one of the finalists from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Soon after, she won the title of FBB Femina Miss India Haryana in April 2017.
After being crowned ‘Miss World’, she made her debut in renowned fashion photographer Dabboo Ratnani’s Annual Celebrity Calendar in 2018. She also appeared on the special show Super Nights with Padman to promote her menstrual hygiene project, Beauty with a Purpose, in collaboration with Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman. Besides, the fashion model has been on the covers of several prominent fashion magazines like Cosmopolitan India, Grazia India, HighEnd, and L’Officiel.
2. Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka needs no introduction. She is one of the highest-paid actors in Bollywood and a well-known celebrity internationally too. Chopra was crowned ‘Miss World’ in 2000 when she was only 18. Two years later, she began her acting career with the Tamil film Thamizhan which opened the doors of Bollywood for her.
While her debut earned mixed reviews from the film critics - Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu had written, “there was something fresh about this young naïve girl who had taken on a role in a language she didn’t understand”. The following year, the actor got her big break in Bollywood with the film The Hero: Love Story of a Spy for which she also won a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award. Besides, the actor is also a singer, film producer, and social worker. She is currently working on her upcoming Hollywood film, It’s All Coming Back to Me which will hit the big screens in 2023.
3. Yukta Mookhey
This former actor-model was crowned Miss World in 1999. She entered the film industry in 2001 with the Tamil movie Poovellam Un Vasam where she made an appearance in a song titled after her name. She made her debut in Bollywood in 2002 with the film, Pyaasa in which she co-starred with Aftab Shivdasani. Unfortunately, the film did not perform well at the box office and was heavily criticized. After having won the title of Miss World, the former fashion model indulged in various social and charitable activities.
She actively worked for people affected by breast cancer and HIV/AIDS. She also collaborated with NGOs and assisted in the counseling of young girls living in slum areas. She is also an environmentalist who has taken part in various clean-up drives. After a few films, the actor decided to take a break from the industry.
4. Diana Hayden
Hayden is Miss World 1997. She is the only Miss World to have won three subtitles in the pageant’s history. She also received the title of ‘Femina Miss India’ in the same year. The actor began her career with a South-African film Othello in 2002. A year after that she made her debut in Bollywood with Tehzeeb in which she played the character of Sheena Roy. The actor worked with prominent actors like Shabana Azmi, Arjun Rampal, and Urmila Matondkar in the film. Hayden, who is also a television host, made an appearance in Bigg Boss Season 2 in 2008 as a wild card entry.
5. Aishwarya Rai
This Bollywood icon bagged the title of Miss World in 1994. She started her career in modeling at an early age and made appearances in commercials for several reputable brands. The green-eyed beauty made her acting debut with Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar and received a lot of appreciation for her role.
She entered Bollywood in 1997 with the film …Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya and won the Screen Best Female Debutant Award. The actor has also worked in several Hollywood movies like Bride and Prejudice (2004) and The Pink Panther (2009). In addition to numerous other awards, the actor also received the prestigious Padma Shri in 2009.
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