Once in a while, an actor is cast as a character that fits so perfectly, you wonder whether the entire thing was preordained. Those roles don’t just become a part of their body of work, they become their defining acts. Here’s a list of actors who just fit like a glove in the roles they portrayed.

1. Manoj Bajpayee as Sardar Khan in Gangs of Wasseypur

We’re all familiar with just how versatile Manoj Bajpayee is, but with Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, Manoj peaked. He embodied the role of Sardar Khan with every fibre of his being, and while his role as Srikant in The Family Man will always be loved, his role as Sardar Khan will forever enjoy legendary status.

Film Spell

2. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Ganesh Gaitonde in Sacred Games

‘Kabhi kabhi lagta hai apun hi bhagwaan hai.’

No other actor could have portrayed the maniacal, multi-faceted, clinical ruthlessness of Ganesh Gaitonde better than Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Change my mind. 

India Today

3. Divyenndu as Munna in Mirzapur

We absolutely hated Munna in Mirzapur – he was a sadist, a sexual abuser, and an absolute trashbag of a human being. All of that was so believable because of Divyenndu’s performance, which was basically the equivalent of Prince Joffrey in Game of Thrones


4. Adarsh Gaurav as Balram in The White Tiger

Adarsh Gaurav has been making waves recently, but there’s a reason why this film in particular garnered so much critical acclaim. He balanced the parts of the naive, small-town driver along with an overarching tone of menace perfectly. 

Empire Online

5. Pankaj Tripathi as Satyendra in Ludo

Pankaj Tripathi has done innumerable roles that still strike a chord, but he really hit the spot with his performance as the irreverent gangster Satyendra in Ludo. What really made the character stand out was that he’s constantly singing (and making his unfortunate victims sing) ‘Oh beta ji’ as well. Now the song’s stuck in your head as well.

Telegraph India

6. Paresh Rawal as Baburao In the Hera Pheri movies

In this case you really have to separate the art from the artist, as hard as that is. When he said, “Yeh Baburao ka style hai,” we all felt that. It’s a character portrayal that’s stood the test of time and still holds up as a comedic masterclass.


7. Vishal Jethwa as Shiv Prasad Yadav in Mardaani 2

Yet another actor who played the antagonist exceedingly well was Vishal Jethwa, whose standout performance as the psychopathic rapist and murderer in Mardaani 2 garnered critical acclaim. That crazed look in his eyes still haunts me.

Filmi Beat

8. Gulshan Devaiah in his double role as Karate Mani and Jimmy in Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota

We’ve already covered just how criminally underrated Gulshan Devaiah is as an actor. But his dual role as a failing martial arts teacher and a criminal mastermind in this film cemented his position as a true thespian. 


9. Vidya Balan as Vidya Bagchi in Kahaani

The final twist in this film still holds pole position among mystery thrillers in Bollywood cinema, but Kahaani wasn’t just about that. The film saw Vidya Balan wholly convince the audience that she was just a naive, worried wife in search of her missing husband. In the words of that famous meme – ‘ They had us in the first half, not gonna lie’. 

Times of India

10. Raghubir Yadav as Brij Bhushan Dubey in Panchayat.

It just felt like Raghubir Yadav was born to play this role – there’s no other words for it. His rustic charm, his annoyingly lovable bureaucratic mannerisms, the way he played off Neena Gupta’s character, it all worked perfectly in sync.


11. Shefali Shah as DCP Vartika Chaturvedi in Delhi Crime

Shefali Shah – yet another actor who deserved to get her due way earlier. Luckily for all of us, she got her time to shine in the drama Delhi Crime, where she embodied the role of the DCP overseeing the Delhi 2012 gang rape case. The performance was hard-hitting and absolutely gripping.


12. Tabu as Simi in Andhadhun

Tabu’s eyes alone can express more than what most of us can do with our entire bodies. Her superlative talents were put to good use in this film, where she played the role of the conniving and ruthless femme fatale with equal portions of ease and elan.