Ashutosh Gowariker (born 15 February 1964) is an Indian film director, actor, writer and producer. He is known for directing the films "set on a huge canvas while boasting of an opulent treatment". His works 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 Best Foreign Language Film category in 74th Academy Awards, which makes him a voting member of Academy Awards. He returned to acting by playing the lead role in the critically acclaimed dramedy Ventilator (2016).
Gowariker was born 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 movie, 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. As a filmmaker he shows his own civility through his films.
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 dramedy Ventilator (2016), which was produced by Priyanka Chopra.