In the times when the likes of Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan are giving back-to-back blockbusters, there are some like Randeep Hooda, the underrated heroes of Bollywood.
What makes him stand out in the film industry? Other than being talented, his ‘unconventional’ choice of films and the fact that he takes the title of ‘underrated actor’ head on, make the audience fall in love with him, time and time again.
‘I’m glad I’m underrated than being overrated – that is something I would find hard to digest,’ he nonchalantly admitted back in 2014. As the handsome actor turns 42 today, we look at some of his underrated movie roles.
He made his Bollywood debut in 2001 with Mira Nair’s highly acclaimed film Monsoon Wedding. This movie features an Indian family navigating the many stresses of planning a wedding for their daughter.
In his first major role, the 42-year-old actor plays the handsome cousin of the bride, Rahul Chadha, who comes from Australia to help with the wedding arrangements and gets mixed up the complications of the big fat desi wedding.
Although Alia Bhatt took all the limelight and fame for her career-best act in Highway, Hooda was the hook that made the movie, a class act.
The 2014 movie plot follows the story of a girl (Alia) who develops Stockholm Syndrome after being kidnapped by the hard nosed Mahabir Bhati (Hooda). The initially ruthless, has a change of heart in the course of the journey.
Playing such a tough character is challenging, this is where Hooda’s acting prowess stood out!
This 2016 film, based on true events, revolves around the blood trade racket rampant in Haryana. Starring Hooda, Akshay Oberoi, Meenakshi Dixit and Pia Bajpai in lead, the film received a lot of critical acclaim for its sensitive subject line.
Despite the movie not making a splash at the box office, Hooda’s performance as true-blue Jat stood out in the otherwise dark and murky film.
Hooda is known for stretching his limits and this bilingual Indian drama film based on the life of the 19th-century Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma is often regarded as his boldest venture yet.
Stepping into the shoes of the artist, Randeep played two age groups in the film – a 60-year-old and then a 20-year-old, which was shot in a gap of 10 days, speaks volumes about his commitment. He left no stones unturned in absorbing into the character with full conviction.
Main Aur Charles
The 42-year-old took on the role of notorious serial killer Charles Sobhraj and boy did he nail the part! In a year when Bajirao Mastani, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, dominated the box office, Hooda gave a stirring performance as smuggler, con artist and murderer.
While the movie falters through poor narrative and direction, Hooda’s effortless acting stands out in middle of all the chaos.
In a film starring the ethereal Aishwarya Rai, it’s hard for anyone else to be noticed, but Hooda managed to pull through.
The ‘underrated’ actor is the shining light in the 2016 biographical film about Sarbjit Singh, a man who was wrongfully convicted as a spy and spent a lifetime as a prisoner in Pakistan, while his sister fought tirelessly for his release.
To perfectly resonate with Sarbjit’s character and fill in his shoes, Randeep underwent a rigorous workout session, losing 18 kgs in 28 days. Talk about dedication!
Happy Birthday to the underrated and chameleon star of Bollywood!