Sara Ali Khan, at 24 and just two films old, not only made it to the Forbes Celebrity 100 list of 2019 but also ranked above three-time National Award winner Kangana Ranaut and her own father, Saif Ali Khan. The list takes into account the celebrity’s “fame quotient”, apart from their annual earnings, and there is no denying that Sara is the sweetheart of the nation.
Sara is the daughter of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh. While she has acknowledged that she is privileged enough to call up Karan Johar even without a film to her credit, she has also proven that she is more than her famous surname.
Weeks before the release of her debut film Kedarnath, Sara appeared on Koffee With Karan with Saif, and gave the audience a taste of her individuality. She did not shy away from answering even the most emotionally intimate questions and opened up about her parents’ divorce, her father’s second marriage to Kareena Kapoor and battling polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), without any attempt at sugar-coating or mawkish pretence.
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Sara is as far away from the star kid playbook as it gets. Even as a teenager of 90-something kilos making filmy videos on a handycam, she oozed confidence. Unlike many other Bollywood stars who cringe at their chubbier days (think Parineeti Chopra), she proudly shares pictures and videos of her pre-weightloss days without any embarrassment.
“As a person, I have never really derived my confidence from the way that I look. And I don’t think that is one of the first five things that come to your mind when you talk to me anyway, you know?” Sara recently told Kareena on her radio show.
Despite having a bevy of top designers at her disposal, Sara chooses not to be decked up in haute couture from head-to-toe, opting for a simple white salwar kameez most of the time instead. Sara even wrote handwritten notes to members of the paparazzi just after the release of Kedarnath, thanking them for being so warm and welcoming even before her first film hit theatres, and took them out for coffee.
With such a strong relatability factor, it is no wonder that brands are betting big on Sara. Even though she is just a year (and some months) old in the industry, she is already endorsing 11 brands across different verticals.
Nipun Marya, Director – brand and strategy at Vivo India, told Hindustan Times that they chose Sara as their brand ambassador because she is “uniquely expressive”. He said, “Our association with Sara resonates with our commitment of being trustworthy, committed to India and innovative. When we were first designing the S-series, we were clear that we wanted to make a device that was both a style benchmark and packed in powerful features. And Sara was the perfect reflection of these aspects. The Bollywood diva is uniquely expressive and is an embodiment of style, fun and vigour which resonated well with our style-centric consumers.”
Sara’s popularity is expected to rub off on to the box office collection of Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal, the trailer of which has received a mixed response from viewers. “Right from her very first film, not many people had high expectations from her. In Kedarnath, she surprised a lot of naysayers who were not too confident about her acting skills. She was very good. Her next film, Simmba, was a blockbuster at the box office. Of course, she had a small role and it was primarily a Ranveer Singh show. But in an industry which worships only hits and you are known by your last Friday, if you have two releases and both are hits, then you definitely are in the running and your films are looked forward to. Her graph as an actor is only going upward; she has had two major Fridays and this could be her hattrick,” trade analyst Taran Adarsh told Hindustan Times.
Sara’s pairing with Kartik Aaryan has already created a lot of buzz, and he feels that this will be an added bonus for Love Aaj Kal. “The presence of Sara and Kartik will definitely add to the opening of Love Aaj Kal, also because it’s Valentine’s Day. The youth factor will also play a major role. The film is going to open big and at the same time, it will add to the credibility of Kartik and Sara,” he said.
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