Recently, Ranveer Singh took the industry, his fans, the critics and everyone who saw Padmaavat by storm when he delivered his career best performance as a villain. No one thought including Singh that playing a character who has the utmost grey shades will get him such rave reviews and appreciation. His character has went on to make its place in one of the most iconic villains of Indian cinema. The actor inside Singh had killed it, smashed it and owned it! Khilji will definitely be considered as one of the most iconic villainous characters that will give you goosebumps in times to come. He was deadly, ferocious, lecherous, scary and his acting prowess knew no limits. He made us believe that if Aluaddin Khilji was alive, it would have been like him. Though the actor is known for his roles as a lead hero where he has romanced actresses, danced around trees and has been that dramatic lover who will fight ten men to save the love of his life; seldom he has got this much of over pouring love from all directions possible. This brings us to our discussion which revolves around the central point that if a lead actor who is known for playing the main protagonist does an anti-hero film as a antagonist, does it hamper his image of bring a lead actor or can turn out to become a career milestone? Is it a big risk or a big career boosting move? But then if you don’t take risk, you don’t taste success. Let us see who all have done anti-hero roles, went to success and where they are now…
Starting with the King Khan, Shah Rukh Khan himself who has continued to mold the stereotypical image of a B-Town hero, he has been known for his soulful & effective romantic movies but he has also played the baddie very efficiently early on in his career paving a new way for upcoming actors. In movies like Baazigar, Darr, Anjaam, Duplicate, Don where he proved to the critics and the audience that his power of doing negative roles is unimpeachable. These roles were loved by the audience and it never hampered his image of being one of the most successful romantic actors of Indian cinema. In fact, they let him reach new heights in his career. I Love You K.K.K… Kiran still gives nightmares to many girls.
Coming to one more actor who has been known for doing roles and character full of masculinity and action, Sanjay Dutt had hit a career low until the Munnabhai series saved him but one more character which is now iconic is from the movie Agneepath which showed him as the huge and frightful Kancha Cheena still gives us chills. Dutt put on a lot of weight and bulked himself up successfully horrifying everyone. His look was the talk of the town and even a hefty Hrithik Roshan looked tiny before him. The movie and his performance won his several accolades as it was so believable.
A similar career move was chosen by the chocolaty hero Riteish Deshmukh who has continued to do romantic roles and characters with comic timing by doing a totally different role in Ek Villain where he was the primary villain and shocked everyone with his gritting act. His character was nasty, psycho and of a stalker who just wants one thing, ie, revenge for which he will go down to any level. Critics lauded his performance and it looked like that a new actor was born. He still gets requests from his fans to do something similar like this. We would also tell him the same!
Not to forget, Rana Daggubati who was always a decent actor rose to fame when he played the character of the cruel king, Bhallala Deva in Bahubali and Bahubali 2 which made him the star he is today. The actor did roles of a romantic sidekick or playing the Robin to the Batman in movies like Dum Maaro Dum and Baby etc but they never were substantial enough to make him reach the place in his career which he deserved much before. Playing Bhallala Deva who even did not have one percent of kindness inside him became a house hold name and led the actor achieve superlative success with this magnum opus. His giant personality and buffed body also added a lot of depth to his character.
So, we can easily say that if an actor chooses his roles wisely, give in 100 percent of his hard work into it and play it with maturity, his stardom can reach an all time high thus proving that even playing villainous roles isn’t a taboo or a roadblock for an actor to be stereotyped or in getting massy roles as a lead actor in the future.