True blue actors always welcome challenging roles that truly showcase their acting prowess to the world. One such role is the portrayal of a transgender individual. The art of acting itself is a difficult task. To embody another character, who is mostly fiction, is not easy at all. In addition, to enacting a role that one is not exposed to much could be one of the biggest qualms of the acting profession.
Carrying out the role of a transgender person is a challenge because it is not only enacting a fictional character but representing a community that is not that commonly seen in Indian cinemas as of yet. So, when the actor is working on such roles, they have to make sure that they ace it, not only to gain critical acclaim and love from their fans but also approval from the community they represent.
Bollywood has had a few actors who have portrayed this difficult character with respect and finesse. From Sadashiv Amrapurkar in Sadak to Sushmita Sen in her upcoming web series Taali, there have been some amazing on-screen portrayals of transgender people over the decades.
We have taken a good look and prepared a list of some of the standout performances that you can watch. Thank us later for the recommendations!
1. Forever our Miss Universe, Sushmita Sen
Former Miss Universe and Bollywood actress, Sushmita Sen will be soon be seen in the most awaited upcoming biopic — Taali. The web series is based on the real-life story of the transgender activist Gauri Sawant. It has been in the news ever since Sushmita revealed the first look and people have been eagerly waiting for the former beauty pageant winner to steal hearts once again. Going by the first look that she unveiled on Instagram, Taali is going to be intense and a pleasure to watch for the display of some path-breaking acting.
2. The unstoppable, Akshay Kumar
The Khiladi who is popular for his action and comedy essayed the role of a transgender person in Laxmii with equal ease. The actor did justice to the role and gave a top-class performance. He made us laugh and conjured all the right emotions with his surprisingly refreshing acting. The movie was a Hindi remake of the Tamil film Kanchana.
3. A class act, Vijay Raaz
Gangubai was a hit and Alia Bhatt shone like a star in the movie. However, one must also remember the role of Raziabai, a transwoman played by Vijay Raaz, which was one of the critical parts of the movie. Vijay Raaz, as always, was stunning as Raziabai and gave solid support to the overall plot of the movie. He was not only convincing in his role but also contributed to the script in a way that the movie would be remembered a whole lot more because of his presence.
4. The evergreen, Paresh Rawal
Paresh Rawal is undoubtedly one of the finest actors in Bollywood. Any role that he plays is a class apart. His portrayal of Tikku in the movie Tamanna has been one of the finest characters that he has played. The role centres around Tikku, the only child of former Bollywood actress, Nazneed Begum. The veteran actor had successfully made us laugh in his previous movies and made us experience a roller coaster of emotions in this one too. Tikku is considered to be one of Paresh Rawal’s most notable performances to date.
5. A performer, Mahesh Manjrekar
Mahesh Manjrekar is an absolute delight to watch in the movie Rajjo where he played the role of Begum, a transgender person. The actor received critical acclaim for this role from the audience and the critics as well. The Kangana Ranaut-starrer, Rajjo was surely lifted by a couple of notches with Mahesh Manjrekar as Begum. The movie would definitely be incomplete without Manjrekar’s brilliant and easy screen presence.
6. A versatile actor, Sadashiv Amrapurkar
Sadashiv Amrapurkar played the role of Maharani, a transgender individual, in the film Sadak and to date this role is considered one of the most dreadful villains in the history of Bollywood. The movie was a blockbuster hit back then, with Sanjay Dutt and Pooja Bhatt giving some fabulous performances. But Sadashiv Amrapurkar hit the ball out of the park in his role of Maharani, for which he won numerous awards as well.
7. The unforgettable, Ashutosh Rana
Lajja Shankar Pandey, a transwoman, in the movie Sangharsh was a bone-chilling portrayal by Ashutosh Rana. So much so, the role has been etched on our minds because of the actor’s inhibited skills as a performer. Such was the intensity of the villainous character that it gave nightmares to people in the late nineties. Ashutosh Rana gave one of his career-best performances and was awarded the best villain for this role as well.
Bollywood actors have been entertaining us all their lives on the silver screen but there are few actors who play certain roles that tend to touch our minds and hearts. We have prepared this list for you to go back to when you think of the next movie to watch. If you want to watch your favourite actor in a well-played transgender role, this list is for you.