Genelia D'Souza (born 5 August 1987 in Mumbai) is an Indian film actress, model, and host. She has appeared in South Indian cinema and Bollywood films. After gaining wide attention in a Parker Pen commercial with Amitabh Bachchan, Genelia began her acting career with Tujhe Meri Kasam in 2003.
She was recognized for her role in Boys the same year, and later established herself in Telugu cinema by acting in several Telugu films during 2003–2005. 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 Mobiles, Garnier Light, Margo, and Perk in India.
D'Souza is deeply religious and says that, she regularly attends Sunday Mass at St. Anne's Parish (Bandra), and whenever the family is home, a part of their evening is reserved for saying the rosary together. In an interview with The Times of India, she comments, "I keep a Novena every Wednesday at St. Michael's Church in Mahim." In an interview with Daily News and Analysis, she said that "My communication with God is conversational, I'm God's favourite child; I believe that God has always been kind to me."
Her mother tongue is Konkani. Tabloids repeatedly linked D'Souza romantically with Ritesh Deshmukh, ever since they starred together in their debut film Tujhe Meri Kasam in 2003. They were reportedly ready to get engaged, but Ritesh's father, the then-Maharashtra Chief Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh did not agree. D'Souza later denied any rumors of a relationship with Deshmukh, and responds that she had just friendly relations with him.
However, the couple eventually got married on 3 February 2012, according to Marathi marriage traditions in a Hindu wedding ceremony. She got married in a Roman Catholic ceremony in Bandra, the following day. The couple's first child, a son named Riaan, was born on 25 November 2014.
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