Ashutosh Gowariker (born 1964) is an Indian film director, actor, screenwriter, and producer. He is known for directing films "set on a huge canvas while boasting of an opulent treatment". His works in Hindi cinema include Lagaan (2001), Swades (2004), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), What's Your Raashee? (2009), Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (2010) and Mohenjo Daro (2016). His film Lagaan was nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category in the 74th Academy Awards, which makes him a voting member of the Academy Awards. He returned to acting by playing the lead role in the critically acclaimed comedy-drama Ventilator (2016).
Gowariker was born in a Marathi family to Ashok and Kishori Gowariker. His family hails from Kolhapur. He is married to Sunita (former actor Deb Mukherjee's daughter from his first marriage) and they have two sons, Konark and Vishwang.
Gowariker started his career as an actor, making his debut in 1984 in director Ketan Mehta's picture Holi. On the Holi sets, Gowariker met Aamir Khan. After that, he acted in several television serials, including Circus (1989), C.I.D. (1998) and several films, including Naam (1986), Chamatkar (1992), and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1993).
The 1993 movie Pehla Nasha marked Gowariker's directorial debut. His second movie Baazi (1995), starred Aamir Khan.
In 2001, Gowariker wrote and directed the period epic movie Lagaan, produced by and starring Aamir Khan. Lagaan was the story of a cricket match between British officers and Indian villagers in the late 18th century. It ranked third among 2001's Indian movies in terms of gross revenue.
In 2004, Gowariker directed Swades, starring Shahrukh Khan.
Jodhaa Akbar (2008), another historical epic romance set in the 16th century, starred Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai.
Gowariker's romantic comedy What's Your Raashee? (2009), starred Priyanka Chopra in 12 roles and Harman Baweja.
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (2010), about the Chittagong Uprising set in undivided Bengal of 1930, starred Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone.
In 2016, Gowariker directed the film Mohenjo Daro, starring Hrithik Roshan. He returned to acting by playing the lead role in the critically acclaimed comedy-drama Ventilator (2016), which was produced by Priyanka Chopra.
In 2016, Gowariker returned to screen as an actor in the Marathi film, Ventilator. Allegedly, he took about 6 months to agree to do the film. The film went on to become a box office success and was critically acclaimed.