Shahid Kapoor is undoubtedly one of the most promising actors from the younger lot of actors in Hindi cinema today. From an average beginning, where he was often described as aping Shah Rukh Khan (and correctly so), he has slowly but surely created his own individuality as an actor through his performances in films like Vivah (2006), Jab We Met (2007), Kismat Konnection (2008) and Kaminey (2009).
Shahid was born on Februrary 25, 1981 in Mumbai. He is the son of actors Pankaj Kapoor and his first wife, Neelima Azeem. While still a teenager, he first came to the limelight when he did the Pepsi commercial along with Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukherji. He also signed up for Shiamak Davar's dance classes. This led to him being used as one of the background dancers in Subhash Ghai's Taal (1999) and is also the foundation for him being one of trhe best dancers in the Hindi film industry.
Shahid made his debut as a leading man in the refreshing young love story Ishq Vishk (2003). The film, co-starring Amrita Rao and Shenaz Treasurywala and directed by Ken Ghosh did reasonably well at the box-office and garnered positive reviews for Shahid. The general consensus was that he had in him to be a star and he went on to win the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut for Ishq Vishk (2003).
However post Ishq Vishk, Shahid found the going tough as one by one his films began to flop at the box-office. What's more, as an actor he was seen as little more than a Shah Rukh clone, which didn't help his cause at all. He did receive better reviews for his performance in Shikhar (2005) but the film failed dismally and from his entire lot of films, only 36 China Town (2006) performed somewhat averagely at the box-office but made no real demands on him as an actor.
The first turning point in Shahid's life came after Vivah (2006). Taking over the "Prem" persona from Salman Khan for Sooraj R Barjatya, Shahid responded with his best performance till then in this sugary 'journey' from engagement to marriage. Not only was he beginning to evolve his own individual style as a performer but he showed restraint and maturity in tacking the emotional scenes. In fact, he rose above the script making the film far more watchable but most importantly for him, Vivah was his first real big success at the box-office.
The next milestone in Shahid's career and one that finally established him was Imtiaz Ali's combo of a road film and romantic comedy, Jab We Met (2007). Playing a depressed city bloke, he is forced by talkative Punjabi kudi Kareena into accompanying her back home as she has missed her train on account of him. Of course, he opens up to the endearing kudi and of course, love blossoms between the two. The film was a major success at the box office due to its witty dialogue, cute romantic moments, Pritam's musical score and the great chemistry between Shahid and Kareena. Though Kareena has the playing-to-the-gallery role, Shahid acquits himself really well playing the perfect foil to her exuberant self. While Kareena went on to win the Filmfare Award for Best Actress, Shahid was nominated for Best Actor, losing out to Shah Rukh Khan for Chak De! India (2007).
Though Kismat Konnection (2008), fared averagely at the box office, it was a major disappointment coming from Aziz Mirza. What's more, the chemistry between Shahid and co-star Vidya Balan was tepid to say the least though he did get reasonable reviews as far his performance went.
Shahid faced his most challenging role(s) as an actor till date in Vishal Bharadwaj's Kaminey (2009) playing twin brothers, both with speech defects and who can't stand one another. And he delivers! With Kaminey, Shahid could truly call himself an actor. He is spot on, keeping the differentiation in characterization of both his roles consistent right through and he carries the entire film on his shoulders, actually raising it a notch or two. However, his follow up films, Dil Bole Hadippa (2009), opposite Rani Mukherji, Chance Pe Dance (2010) and Paathshaala (2010) have been major disapoointemnts.
On the personal side, Shahid was involved with Kareena Kapoor earlier and thereafter said to be dating his Kaminey co-star Priyanka Chopra. It is said that they too have now split.