Born and raised in Mumbai, she is a member of the Kapoor family, where her parents and other relatives are all involved in the Indian film industry. Despite her family background, her father disliked women entering films, and separated from her mother. Kapoor, at the age of seventeen, left her studies to pursue a film career for financial support, and made her acting debut with a leading role in the moderately successful Prem Qaidi (1991). Subsequently, Kapoor starred in a number of box office hits, including the dramas Jigar (1992) and Anari (1993), the comedies Raja Babu (1994), Coolie No. 1 (1995) and Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), and the thriller Jeet (1996). However, she was criticized for her brief, repetitive roles and inclination to male-dominated films.