After making her film debut with the 2014 poorly received comedy Fugly, Advani had her first commercial success with a brief role in the 2016 sports biopic M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, followed by a starring role in the 2018 Netflix anthology film Lust Stories. She subsequently played the love interest of the male protagonists in the Telugu political drama Bharat Ane Nenu (2018), one of the highest-grossing Telugu films, and the romantic drama Kabir Singh (2019), one of the highest-grossing Indian films.
Kiara Advani was born to Jagdeep Advani, a Sindhi Hindu businessman and Genevieve Jaffrey, a teacher who's father was a Muslim from Lucknow and mother was of Sindhi, Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, and Spanish ancestry; and had a Bengali godmother. Born as Alia Advani, Advani changed her first name to Kiara prior to the release of her first film, Fugly. In an interview to Filmfare in 2019, Kiara Advani said that the name "Kiara" was inspired from the movie Anjana Anjani where Priyanka Chopra's character is called Kiara. The elder of two children, Advani has a younger brother, Mishaal. She is also related to several celebrities via her maternal family. Actors Ashok Kumar and Saeed Jaffrey are her step-great-grandfather and great-uncle, respectively, whereas model Shaheen Jaffrey and actress Juhi Chawla are her aunts.
Advani's next film role was in the Neeraj Pandey-directed biographical sports drama M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), about the life of MS Dhoni, an Indian cricketer who was the former captain of the Indian cricket team. Cast opposite Sushant Singh Rajput (who essayed Dhoni's character in the film), Advani played the real-life character of Sakshi Rawat (a hotel manager who and Dhoni fall in love and later get married). Her performance and chemistry with Rajput was well appreciated by critics and the film was highly anticipated. With gross earnings of over ₹2.16 billion (US$31 million) in worldwide ticket sales, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story proved to be a major economic success, and was one of the highest-grossing Indian films of that year.