She debuted in a negative role in Ajnabee (2001) which earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. Her first commercial success was Raaz (2002). She was then noticed for her bold role in the erotic thriller film, Jism (2003). She starred in top grossing films like – No Entry (2005), Phir Hera Pheri, Dhoom 2 (both 2006) – her biggest commercial success till date and Race (2008). Her performances in Apharan (2005), Corporate (2006) and Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) won her much praise and multiple nominations for several awards. She then appeared in commercial successful films such as All the Best: Fun Begins (2009), Raaz 3 (2012) and also her roles being highly praised by film critics. Having done so, Bipasha Basu has established herself as a leading contemporary actress in Bollywood and is a household name. Known for her bold on-screen image and candid confession of her private life, she is frequently named in the media as a "sex symbol".
She has been nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress and the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress twice each along with one nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role. Roles apart, she is renowned for her item songs like "Phoonk De" in No Smoking (2007), and "Beedi" and "Namak Ishq Ka" in Omkara (2006) amongst others. Basu made her international film debut with the 2013 Australian film Singularity.