Sajjad, Freddy, Tahir: Smart, suave and sexy, these stars make bad guys look so good
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Sajjad, Freddy, Tahir: Smart, suave and sexy, these stars make bad guys look so good

Unlike in the past, when villains in Hindi films looked a certain way, the antagonists today are mostly good-looking young men who’d be considered ‘hero material’. We look into this transformation.

bollywood Updated: Jan 13, 2018 17:27 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Sajjad Delafrooz,Tiger Zinda Hai,Freddy Daruwala
Sajjad Delafrooz made his acting debut as the villain Abu Usman in the Salman Khan-starrer Tiger Zinda Hai.

Good girls like bad boys! Well, Bollywood seems to have taken the saying quite seriously. The fresh crop of villains in Hindi films are about as smart, suave and dashing as the hero. Sample this: Sajjad Delafrooz (Tiger Zinda Hai, 2017), Freddy Daruwala (Holiday, 2014), Tahir Raj Bhasin ( Mardaani, 2014), Vidyut Jammwal (Force, 2011), Nikitin Dheer (Jodha Akbar, 2008), and Neil Nitin Mukesh (Johnny Gaddaar, 2007) — all these rather attractive actors made their debut playing a negative role and were praised by fans and critics alike.

On what leads filmmakers to opt for these ‘good-looking’ men as antagonists, film critic Omar Qureshi says, “Such baddies only make our heroes look bigger and stronger. To be a superhero, you need a super villain. And if you make it big as a villain, you have a lot of name and fame and wealth coming your way.”

Because... it’s a Friday!! #neverlookback #nevergiveup #weekendishere

A post shared by Freddy Daruwala (@freddy_daruwala) on

The actors who’ve played these parts on-screen feel that one has to keep up with the changing times. “The whole world is changing and so is the styling. Earlier, villains used to be very rich and older men, but now, we’re making films with villains that you face in real life. He’s not sitting in a big haveli or tying to make Basanti dance. Villains today are [smarter] and their idea of destruction is not only by shooting pistols or riding horses,” quips Freddy.

‘Sometimes, you need a smarter and cooler villain to fit into the plot of the film’ — Sajjad Delafrooz, Actor

Tahir cites “the age of the unconventional” as the reason behind this transformation. “Being the antagonist is the cool new thing, because it comes with its own challenges. You have to woo the audience in spite of having dark shades to your character,” he adds. Sajjad, however, feels it all depends on the script and the character dictates the casting. “Sometimes, you need a smarter and cooler villain to fit into the plot,” he says.

What you look like when no one on set has coffee. #Mondays #Mood #ShootLife

A post shared by Tahir Raj Bhasin (@tahirrajbhasin) on

Another reason why young, suave actors are taking up the roles of baddies is that films these days treat them as a parallel male lead. Tahir says, “When these negative parts are offered to us, they are narrated as absolute leads. Even when we do a screen test or audition, a director sees us as another lead [actor].”

Freddy concludes that ‘hero material’ actors are now being cast as villains because “that way, filmmakers can capture both the sides, and people look at villains also as heroes. A villain is also [another] lead; it’s just that he has got negative shades in his character.”

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First Published: Jan 13, 2018 17:27 IST