Her father, Hirak, is a civil engineer , and her mother, Mamta, is a homemaker. She has one elder sister, Bidisha, and one younger sister, Vijayeta. According to Basu, her name means "dark deep desire", and is also a river's name.
She added "Due to my dusky skin, I was considered ugly in my younger years. I used to keep a stick in my hand and straighten out all the colony boys if they acted smart. I used to be very short as a child and I was the monitor in school. When the tall boys would be up to mischief, I'd jump on their back during breaks and pull their hair and beat them up". Basu was enrolled in medical science studies until twelfth standard, but switched to commerce thereafter.
In , Basu was spotted at a hotel in Kolkata by the model Mehr Jesia Rampal , who suggested she take up modelling. After returning home, she was convinced by Jaya Bachchan to star opposite her son Abhishek Bachchan in J. Dutta 's Aakhari Mughal. Her portrayal of a woman who is pursued by a spirit received positive reviews. One review in The Tribune noted, " The film ranked 92 in the top sexiest movie scenes poll conducted by Channel 4.
Her next release, Zameen , failed to make impact among audiences. She collaborated for the second time with Vikram Bhatt in her first release Aetbaar.
She played the role of a young woman who falls in love with a psychopath. The characters are not convincing, the plot is not fast-paced or interesting.
The film was a disaster at the box office and was panned by the critics. Taran Adarsh commented, "As an actor, she [Bipasha Basu] does show sparks only towards the end. She made a guest appearance in Jay Sean 's music video " Stolen ".
In Madhur Bhandarkar 's Corporate, she gave up her glamorous look for the role of a businesswoman who has no qualms in taking advantage of her sexuality to con the CEO of a rival company. She won accolades from critics for her performance.
Critic Aparna wrote, "[ The kind of shrewdness in a woman that she plays has never been seen before in India films. She caught the attention of public with her dance number "Beedi", which was highly popular in India and overseas. Bipasha Basu is brought in to lend oomph and she succeeds in doing just that.
She reportedly ate only oranges for three days and trained hard to shoot the scene. Looks great, brings back the bikini to Bollywood, and gently slips into the shadows as a pretty accessory. The song picturised on John Abraham and Basu, "Billo Rani", became quite popular and earned her the nickname "Billo Rani", though equal credit must be given to Omkara in which her name was Billo Chamanbahar.
She played the role of Sonia who is stuck in a love-triangle between two brothers played by Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna and, through the course, she murders one of them. Fun Begins performed well and her comic role was appreciated by fans. Jha spoke high of her. He said, "Bipasha [Basu] pulls out all stops to deliver her career's best performance. Her moments of anguish before and after her screen-husband's death are expressed in tones of cathartic conviction that we never knew existed within Bipasha.
Producer Bunty Walia thought of replacing her with Vidya Balan , but she returned for the shoot later with necessary security arrangements. The sequence where she gets mauled by militant women is as traumatic to watch as it must have been for Bipasha to shoot. She met with mixed reviews for the film. Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India commented, "Bipasha actually doesn't have much to do and does seem to be miscast as the much-abused, bruised and battered wife of Paresh Rawal.
Her performance in the film garnered acclaim from critics with Subhash K. She delivers a full-bodied gutsy performance. She received mixed reviews for the movie. She even didn't participate in the film's promotions because she was "extremely disturbed by the end result" and stated, "Humshakals was the worst experience of my life. The film was released on 13 March Apart from films, in she released her first fitness DVD called Love Yourself, which emphasised on being strong, healthy, and loving one's self.
Hiren Gada, director of Shemaroo Entertainment said, "A celebrity like Bipasha Basu, genuinely believes in staying healthy. She is also passionate about fitness. She is also the face of Delhi Marathon, which has been inspired by her interest in fitness.