Konkona Sen Sharma is an Indian actress. She is the daughter of filmmaker Aparna Sen. Sharma appears primarily in Indian arthouse and independent films, and her achievements in the genre have established her as one of the leading actresses of contemporary parallel cinema.
Making her debut as a child artist in the film Indira (1983), Sharma debuted as an adult in the Bengali thriller Ek Je Aachhe Kanya (2000). She first gained attention with the English-language film Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002), which was directed by her mother, and received the National Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film. Her appearance in the drama Page 3 (2005) got her wider recognition from audiences, and she has since starred in a number of films, most of which have garnered her critical praise rather than commercial success.
She won two consecutive Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Awards for her performances in Omkara (2006) and Life in a... Metro (2007), respectively. Her performance in the former won her a second National Award under the Best Supporting Actress category.
Konkona is the daughter of Mukul Sharma (a science writer and journalist) and Aparna Sen (an actress and film director). She also has an older sibling Kamalini Chatterjee. Konkona's maternal grandfather, Chidananda Dasgupta, is a film critic, scholar, professor, writer and one of the co-founders of the Calcutta Film Society. Her grandmother Supriya Dasgupta is a cousin of legendary modern Bengali poet Jibanananda Das.
Konkona has a degree in English from St. Stephen's College, Delhi which she received in 2001. She was a student of the Modern High School for Girls, Calcutta, as well as the Calcutta International School.
Konkona made her debut as a child artist in the film Indira. In 2000, she made her adult debut in Bengali film Ek Je Aachhe Kanya, in which she played a negative character. It was followed by a role in Rituporno Ghosh's acclaimed film Titli, opposite Mithun Chakraborty and her mother Aparna Sen.
She became a known face when she starred in the English-language film Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, directed by Aparna Sen. The film performed well mainly in multiplexes and was a major success with critics. Sen's performance as a Tamil housewife and her mastery of this accent were received well and she was awarded the National Film Award for Best Actress. This was followed by the National Film Award-winning social film, Page 3 (2005). Her role of a smart journalist drew praise and she became a more familiar face to the movie-going public.
She followed it up with another acclaimed performances as a mentally ill woman in 15 Park Avenue (2005) and Omkara (2006). For the latter, she received the both Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award and National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her next release Deadline: Sirf 24 Ghante (2006) got average reviews. In 2006, Konkona made her directorial debut with a 18 mins Bengali short film Naamkoron (Naming Ceremony) for the Kala Ghoda Film Festival.
Following this, Konkona acted in Dosar, a Bengali art film by Rituporno Ghosh, which premiered at several international film festivals. She won the Best Actress award at Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council (MIAAC) Film Festival for this film.
Her first release of 2007 was her second collaboration with Madhur Bhandarkar, a noir film named Traffic Signal, in which she played a street prostitute. Her second released film of 2007, Anurag Basu's Life in a... Metro, was released to good reviews and performed well at the Indian box office. The film depicted the life of different individual in the metro urban city of Mumbai, and Sen's performance as a young and insecure woman earned her a second Filmfare Award.
In late 2007, Konkona acted in two movies under the Yash Raj Films banner. She noted her excitement towards these two projects as these were the first films in which she had to lip-sync for songs. In the first one, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, a drama directed by Pradeep Sarkar, she portrayed the character of a Banaras small town young woman, Chutki, alongside Rani Mukerji.
The film was a critical and commercial failure in India, even though her performance was received well. The second one was Aaja Nachle, which was widely promoted as the comeback film of Madhuri Dixit. The film did not do well. Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN noted her performance in the film as being "...nothing short of fantastic. Her greatest strength is that she isn't afraid of making a fool of herself and she doesn't worry about being laughed at. As a result, her performance in Aaja Nachle is fearless and uninhibited."
In 2008, Konkona starred in Dil Kabaddi. She starred in a short film (‘How Can It Be?’) directed by Mira Nair for a movie project called 8, which was screened at several film festivals in 2008 before having a theatrical release.
In 2009, she appeared in the low-budget English-language film The President Is Coming, directed by Kunaal Roy Kapur. The film opened to generally positive reviews. Reviews were favourably directed towards her. Nikhat Kazmi from The Times of India wrote, "Performance-wise, it's the uptight and complex-ridden Ms Konkona who walks away with laurels and laughs even as the film takes a healthy snigger at the desi self."
Konkona next starred in Zoya Akhtar's Luck by Chance, opposite Farhan Akhtar. Upon release, the film met with highly positive reviews from critics, as did Konkona's performance, but did not perform as expected at the box-office.
Sen Sharma's latest 2009 release was Ayan Mukerjee's romantic comedy Wake Up Sid in which she starred alongside Ranbir Kapoor. Upon release, the film received universally positive reviews, and her performance received rave reviews. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama wrote, "Konkona is natural to the core and the best part is, she's so effortless. Here's another winning performance from this incredible performer." The New York Times wrote, "Ms. Sharma has made a specialty of characters like Aisha: independent urban women, whose dreams involve careers as well as love. Her Aisha is a nuanced creation — ambitious, sympathetic, believable — and Mr. Mukerji, making his directing debut, is right to let her run away with the film."
She also has completed shooting for Rituparno Ghosh's comedy film Sunglass while, other confirmed future releases include Neeraj Pathak's Right or Wrong and Vinay Shukla's Mirch. As of September 2009, Konkona plays the leading role in Aparna Sen's Iti Mrinalini, which begin principal shooting at Kolkata in October. She was also cast as the lead in Ashwani Dheer's comedy Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge opposite Ajay Devgan, which will release on 26 February, 2010.
Konkona is in a relationship with actor Ranvir Shorey. In July 2008, Aparna Sen confirmed that Konkona was engaged to Ranvir Shorey.
In the media
In 2005, Konkona was ranked 11th on Rediff's "Top Bollywood Female Stars". She was later ranked 9th in 2006.
Konkona has made three appearances on Karan Johar's talk show Koffee with Karan. She appeared with her Mr. and Mrs. Iyer co-star Rahul Bose in 2004, and later on along with Kunal Kapoor and Ritesh Deshmukh. In 2007, she hosted a programme called My Brilliant Brain, which aired on National Geographic Channel.