Genelia received her first Filmfare Award
in 2006 for her performance in the Telugu romantic film, Bommarillu
, which earned her critical acclaim. In 2008, she gave critically acclaimed performances in Santosh Subramaniam
, a Tamil remake of Bommarillu
, and the Bollywood movie Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na
. Having acted in several commercially successful movies in Telugu and Tamil, Genelia has established herself as one of the leading actresses of the South Indian film industry.
In addition to movie acting, Genelia has hosted the television show Big Switch
, and is the brand ambassador of Fanta
, Virgin Mobile India
, Fastrack, LG
, and Perk in India.
Genelia with her family at the CNBC Awaaz consumer awards in 2010. Seen here from left to right is her father Neil D’Souza, her mother Jeanette D’Souza, herself, and at the extreme right, her brother Nigel D’Souza.
Born in Mumbai
into a Mangalorean Catholic
Genelia was raised a Roman Catholic
suburb of Mumbai.
Her mother Jeanette D’Souza was formerly a managing director of the PharmaMultinational corporation
(MNC), who left her job in 2004 to help Genelia with her career. Her father Neil D’Souza, is a senior official with Tata Consultancy Services
She also has a younger brother, Nigel D’Souza,
who works with the Bombay Stock Exchange
According to Genelia, her name means “rare” or “unique”, and is a portmanteau
of Jeanette and Neil, her mother and father’s name. She is also often informally referred to as Geenu
, her nickname.
Genelia studied at the Apostolic Carmel High School in Bandra and later joined St. Andrew’s College
in Bandra to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree of Management Studies.
She completed her degree while shooting for her first film, Tujhe Meri Kasam
in 2003 and initially thought that an MNC job would suit her.
She liked sports and studies in college,
and was a state level athlete, sprinter
, and a national level football
Genelia did her first modeling assignment at the age of 15,
the result of being spotted as the bridesmaid
at a wedding.
She was selected for theParker Pen
commercial with Amitabh Bachchan
, just two days before her exams, and had to shoot the next day. Initially she refused, because of her exam the next day, but the director persuaded Genelia to shoot for the commercial.
She gained wide attention from the Parker Pen commercial with Amitabh Bachchan,
who said “she was good, and her expressions were spontaneous”.
She further did a Fair and Lovely 2003 Cricket World Cup
advertisement with cricketer Krishnamachari Srikkanth