Whether it’s his larger-than-life off-screen persona or his diverse filmography, Ranveer Singh has proven time and again that he is not afraid to take a risk. Over his more-than-a-decade-long career, the actor has managed to be a part of projects that let him showcase his incredible range as an actor, be it a character with grey tones, a diabolical villain, a down-on-his-luck aspiring rapper, or a classic, mainstream action hero.
On his birthday, we decided to take a look at five of his most incredible performances that prove he is the most versatile actor in Bollywood…
This biographical sports drama celebrated the history-making World Cup win of the Indian cricket team in 1983. Singh took on the mammoth task of bringing the iconic cricket legend Kapil Dev to the big screen and capture the incredible journey of the former Indian cricket team captain as he led his underdog team to victory at the World Cup. Not only did the actor look and sound like the cricketer, he also managed to learn his unique technique of bowling that transported the viewers, especially those who grew up watching Dev execute it on the field, back to the momentous day. Reportedly, the actor spent four hours every day for six months playing cricket and perfecting the technique.
If there’s one thing that remains memorable about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic period drama, aside from the horrid controversy it stirred, is Singh’s performance as Alauddin Khilji. This was the first time that the actor had taken on the role of an antagonist, a feat in itself since most lead actors usually shy away from roles that do not portray them in the best light. To no one’s surprise, Singh managed to bring Khilji alive on the screen with vigour and so much diabolical joy that viewers actually wanted to see him on-screen, rather than the good guys. The role managed to show a new side of the actor and cemented his position as a performer who can deliver no matter what.
Gully Boy (2019)
In this Zoya Akhtar movie, Singh managed to surprise viewers with a restrained performance, a complete contrast to his turn as Khilji in Padmaavat or Ram in RamLeela. As Murad, and then as rapper Gully Boy, the actor managed to convey more with stricken eyes and tightly-reigned anger than his words. Singh also had to rap in the movie, given that he was playing a character who used rap as a way to fight against his circumstances. The actor, reportedly, worked and trained with rappers Divine and Naezy to learn how to rap like a pro.
This Vikramaditya Motwane film unfortunately didn’t perform well at the box office but managed to gain massive critical acclaim. It also was the turning point in Singh’s career, establishing him as an actor to look out for. As the conman Varun, the actor delivered a performance that was at odds with the persona he had established with his first few films and off-screen as well. The actor used powerful silences as a tool to flesh out his character on-screen, something that stayed with the viewers long after they finished the movie.
Band Baaja Baaraat (2010)
The movie that started it all, Band Baaja Baaraat was Singh’s debut vehicle. Viewing it even after more than a decade, you would be hard-pressed to find any signs of the actor being a newbie on-screen. The actor managed to make Bittoo instantly likeable and memorable. The movie launched Singh into becoming one of the most sought-after actors in Bollywood and it’s clear that he shows no signs of stopping.