Real Name: Randeep Singh Hooda
Birthday: 20 August, 1976
Birthcity: Rohtak, Haryana, India
Height: 1.80 m
First film: Monsoon Wedding
Hooda was born Randeep Singh Hooda on 20 August 1976, in Rohtak, Haryana, to Dr. Ranbir Hooda (a surgeon) and Asha Hooda (a social worker). He also has an older sister, Dr. Anjali Hooda Sangwan, a US-Trained Obesity Medicine Specialist and a younger brother, Sandeep Hooda, a Software Engineer working in Singapore.
Hooda belongs to a jat family, As a child Hooda studied at the Motilal Nehru School of Sports (MNSS), a boarding school in Rai, Sonepat, Haryana. He was involved in swimming and equestrian sports (including tent pegging and show jumping, winning medals at the national level. Hooda later developed an interest in theatre and participated in school productions, directing one. In an interview with Rediff.com, he said that he loved appearing in front of people. However, his family wanted him to be a doctor and he was transferred to Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram in New Delhi. Hooda described the transition from an environment where he was popular to one in which he was unknown as "difficult". Instead of acting in school productions, he became mischievous to fit in with the other boys in his hostel. He later recalled, "If anybody had to skip school, leave school, get drinks, get their exam papers done by someone else, I was the guy who arranged all that ... I was a bit short-tempered and a bit frustrated in school so all that contributed [to the attitude]."
After completing his schooling, Hooda moved to Melbourne in 1995 and received a bachelor's degree in marketing and a master's degree in business management and human resource management. During that period, he worked in a Chinese restaurant, a car-wash, waited tables and drove a taxi for two years.
In 2000, Hooda returned to India and worked in the marketing department of an airline. He subsequently started modelling and working in amateur theatre in Delhi. While rehearsing for his first play he received a call from director Mira Nair, who wanted him to audition for a part.
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