Actor Sanjay Dutt, who gave knock out performances in several high-octane movies including hits like Khalnayak, Vaastav and Dus, was startled when action films took a backseat in the mid-90s and comedy took centre stage.
"There was a time when Ajay, Akshay, Jackie, Sunny and me all were called action heroes and we lived in that era for a long time. And suddenly for us there was a period of no action..only comedy films were working. I was taken aback. It was surprising that time," said Sanjay, who explored action with Vijeta Taaqatwar, Kabzaa, and Hathyar, among others.
Also, there was a period (late 80s-early 90s) when actors like Akshay Kumar, Sunny Deol, Ajay Devgn, Jackie Shroff took the audience by surprise.
Akshay was termed the 'Khiladi of Bollywood' with films like Mohra, Sangharsh, Aankhen and the Khiladi series. While Sunny could do nothing but action on screen, giving powerful performances in movies such as Arjun, Betaab, Ghayal, Ziddi and Damini among others.
Ajay's stunts in action films like Jung, Vijaypath and Sangram were also appreciated by one and all. Jackie was probably the only charming action hero that Bollywood ever had. He had the looks and he could carry off action and romance with the same perfection in films like Parinda, Khalnayak and Trimurti.
But then, there was a lull and comedy ruled the marquee. However, the 52-year-old actor is now happy that action is making a comeback in Hindi films.
"That time I used to talk to Jackie, Sunny or Ajay and we all used to wonder where action has gone. I am happy that it has come back and that is what we are. The best part is that South cinema never forgot that (action). That is the reason South films are larger than life...people have fans," Dutt said.