Gone are the days when there was a demarcation between the leading men of Bollywood and the antagonists. The lines have blurred over the years and it is the age of villains and anti-heroes. And honestly, as a viewer, I enjoy them a lot as it adds a dynamism to the actors and uncovers layers of their craft. It’s because of this evolution that actors like Tahir Raj Bhasin and Vidyut Jammwal, who began their careers as antagonists, are the leading men of today’s cinema. They might be bad on screen but they sure do know how to pull in the audience towards them.

Here’s a look at few actors who donned the negative shade and won the audience hearts:

Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan is undoubtedly the ‘King of Romance’ in Hindi cinema and one of the biggest superstars this country has ever seen. People still remember him as the blue-eyed romantic in films like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and the innumerable love stories he has been a part of. But before he became the apple of the audience’s eyes, he made his presence felt as the dangerous and villainous man in Baazigar and Darr, and even though I might have witnessed these films a bit later in my life, they just made me love him even more.

Hrithik Roshan

The start of the millennium gave Bollywood one of its current biggest superstars as Hrithik Roshan became an overnight sensation and heartthrob of the nation with only his debut film Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, and till date he enjoys that stardom. But soon after, Hrithik showed his versatility by playing a terrorist in Fiza, followed by playing the anti-hero in Dhoom 2, and I must admit I was awed much more by these two portrayals of him, especially in Dhoom 2. Who could forget those amazing get ups he donned in the film, that were so impressive yet a little bit scary, and he is again set to tap in the grey zone with Vikram Vedha.

John Abraham

John Abraham made every person in the country swoon over him with his impressive debut in Jism, but before Hrithik gave us Dhoom 2, it was John who started the franchise on a high by playing the thief in Dhoom. I don’t remember any other film making riding bikes as cool as John did with Dhoom. Its effect is so much still that even today if someone is speeding, the theme of Dhoom is the only music that anyone can imagine playing in the background. And the actor is all set to tap into the dark side yet again as he plays the antagonist opposite SRK in Pathan. Their inevitable clash in the film is what is keeping me so excited about the film.

Aayush Sharma

Aayush Sharma made a place in my heart as the cute boy-next-door in LoveYatri, but with just his second film, he took up the grey character of the gangster, Rahuliya, in Antim: The Final Truth and bowled me over with his performance. The actor held his own even in front of a star like Salman Khan and his head-to-head scenes with Salman were the highlight of the film and a delight to watch. It just proved the range he possesses as an actor, and I am certain that this role would open a lot of doors for Aayush.

Emraan Hashmi:

Early on in his career, with a film like Murder, Emraan Hashmi showed that he is here to take risks, and throughout his career, the actor has done that. Most of his initial roles have tread that path between black and white and I loved his negative portrayal in Gangster. Now, the actor is all set to cross to the dark side again for Salman’s Tiger 3 and I am too ecstatic to see the face-off scenes between these two. The actor has buffed up perfectly for his part and it’s surely going to be epic.

These actors proved that it doesn’t matter if you are the good guy or the bad guy on screen, as long as you do your work with honesty, the audience will love you. And I can say this for myself that I have loved each one of these actors dearly for their negative portrayals as much for their heroism, and I can’t wait to see them take more such risks.