Khan was born to a Muslim Pathan family in Mumbai. Khan was forced to abandon her education while in college and begin working due to the financial troubles of her family. With no marketable skills to rely on, she tried her hand at modeling. Khan did quite a few small assignments that fetched her enough money to run the house. She received her entry into acting when she was visiting the set of Yuvraaj at Subhash Ghai's film school Whistling Woods. Salman Khan noticed her and decided to cast her for his film Veer. After a screen test, Khan was confirmed for the role of Princess Yashodhara. She gained eight kilos in order to be more convincing as a 19th century princess.