Performing negative roles on screen is a skill not many actors are comfortable with. However, if there is one actor in the Hindi film industry who has embraced the art of performing negative roles on screen with utmost conviction, it is Ashutosh Rana.
Ashutosh Rana is known for his villainous roles. He has the ability to get under the skin of that character and perform some of the most hated and dreaded characters ever in Bollywood. Speaking to the Indian Express, the actor opened up on why he prefers playing negative roles. He said,
There is a sort of an edge and energy in negative characters. If this energy goes up, a person becomes a saint; and if it comes down, a person becomes a devil. When you play a negative role, you get a chance to understand these energies. So, while playing these negative roles, Ashutosh Rana is making himself a better human being and is getting to know himself better. For me, acting is just not a profession, it is also a way to salvation.
With that being said, let’s take a look at these 10 villainous characters played by Ashutosh Rana that manage to send a chill down your spine.
1. Lajja Shankar Pandey in Sangharsh (1999)
It would be a sacrilege if Ashutosh Rana’s role as Lajja Shankar Pandey was not mentioned on this list. Donning a red saree with the pallu over his head, a big red bindi, and a nose pin, his role managed to give me and many others sleepless nights. His scream can still send shivers down your spine. The actor won a Filmfare Award for this role in 2000.
2. Gokul Pandit in Dushman (1998)
Only Ashutosh Rana can play the role of a psychotic killer that is worthy of a standing ovation. In a conversation with Mid Day, Ashutosh Rana said, “In Dushman, I played a rapist. But my character (Gokul Pandit) did not touch Naina or Sonia. If I’m able to convey the fear of rape without touching, I have achieved the goal.” He manages to bring out the cold and sadistic side of Gokul Pandit with finesse. The actor won a Filmfare Award for this role in 1999.
3. DIG Jai Singh Rana in Badal (2000)
As horrible as it may sound but in this movie Jai Singh Rana murdered and massacred an entire village. As the movie progresses, Rana only continues to get more worse and menacing. He even captures the hero’s father and tortures him for his own gain.
4. Prof Agni Swaroop in Raaz (2002)
This wasn’t a typical villainous role but Ashutosh Rana managed to be creepier than the ghost in this horror movie. He supported Sanjana but managed to scare the audience throughout the movie. The most chilling was when his eyes turned white in the climax.
5. Tejeshwar Singhal in Ab Ke Baras (2002)
Tejeshwar is a powerful minister in the Indian government. However, there is an old adage which says that people get drunk on the smallest amount of power given to them and Tejeshwar personifies this. He vowes to separate two lovers with the help of state machinery.
6. Johnny in Kalyug (2005)
In this movie, Rana plays the role of a sidekick to a mastermind of an illegal pornographic website based in Zurich. He exploits a newly married couple and manages to wreak havoc on the couple’s life. Rana’s role as the womanizer was critically acclaimed.
7. Bharat Daulat Malik in Awarapan (2007)
Malik has one of the most shocking character arcs in Bollywood. He plays the role of a gangster who at the beginning of the movie adores his assistant like his son. But as the movie progresses he rises to attain a new avatar of a gangster – someone who can kill anyone in the blink of an eye if he is wronged.
8. Santosh Anand in Mulk (2018)
Bollywood turned to Ashutosh Rana when it came to looking for an actor to play a bigoted public prosecutor. And Rana did not disappoint. Some of his dialogues can really make your blood boil but it only goes on to prove his mettle as an actor.
9. Ratan Singh Rathod in Dhadak (2018)
Ratan is an upper-caste politician who is angered because his daughter eloped and married a man from the lower caste. The father takes on a villainous role and goes ahead to honour kill his son-in-law and his grandchild in front of his daughter. The way he executes this plan can only make you hate his character with all your might.
10. Virender Singh Gujjar in Sonchiriya (2019)
As a police inspector, Virender Singh Gujjar is hell-bent on killing rebels in order to secure an award from the government and his seniors. Situated against the backdrop of the ravines of Chambal, Gujjar makes sure he pulls out all stops to win his reward even if it means taking some people as hostages.
What other roles played by Ashutosh Rana would you add to this list?