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#InternationalWorkersDay: When actors aced the WORKING CLASS CHARACTERS in Bollywood

Here’s our list of actors who poured their heart and soul into the characters who were struggling workers and laborers; check out our list below!

Published: Wednesday,May 01, 2019 09:26 AM GMT-06:00
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When actors aced the WORKING CLASS CHARACTERS in Bollywood

Throughout the years, Bollywood has always persuaded us with niche cinemas and their characters. Be it a commercial cinema or an art film, the stories of laborers and the working class in Bollywood has always sent chills down our spine. While it wasn't just the characters which impressed us, in fact, it was also the actors who literally got into the skin of the character and charmed the audience.

The actors represented the anguish of a common man which spoke about the reality and the struggle one faced. Undoubtedly, there have been many actors who poured their heart and soul into the characters, but there have always been a few exceptions none of us can deny.

Today, on the occasion of ‘International Worker’s Day’ we applaud these magnificent actors who totally aced it with their stunning performance and untouchable acting skills.

Here’s our list of actors who broke their stereotypical image and rocked a new avatar:


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Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan in Saudagar (1973), Coolie (1983), Deewaar (1975), Kaala Patthar (1979)

As Amitabh Bachchan set his foot into the industry, the actor totally convinced us with his commendable acting as he repeatedly raised the bar for himself. The actor has performed the character of a laborer innumerable films, but he broke the stereotypical portrayal of a common man with Saudagar, followed by Coolie, Deewaar and Kaala Patthar.

In Saudagar, the actor went on to play the character of a gur (unrefined concentrated cane sugar) trader as he knocked a sense of reality with his performance which totally left the audience miffed. 

Overall, Amitabh Bachchan has portrayed the character of a rebellious middle-class man in the 70s which was the actual representation of the middle class back in the day and so the legendary actor was termed as ‘The Angry Young Man’ by the audience. However, his performance in all his films has been off the charts and it's totally surreal.

Hema Malini

Hema Malini in Sholay (1975)

The one and only iconic tange wali from Sholay has etched her name on our hearts. Hema Malini who played the character of Basanti was a hit and the audience loved her no matter what. Be it her constant pestering around people or her chatty demeanor, the actress won our hearts instantly. The strong and powerful yet a soft and kind woman at heart, the self-employed tange wali is one of the characters women can actually look up to. Today, on the occasion of international workers days it’s really hard to miss her out in this list.

Nana Patekar

Nana Patekar in Ab Tak Chhappan (2004), Taxi No 9211 (2006),

A cop, A taxi driver followed by a retired army officer, Nana Patekar has nailed each and every character he performed. The character who went an extra mile to put bread and butter on the table for his family, Nana literally brought goosebumps on our body with every character he played. The actor has never constricted himself just for Hindi films but he has also managed to grab admirable response from the regional audience.

Smita Patil

Smita Patil in Bhumika (1977) and Jait Re Jait (1977)

The woman who took the Bollywood by a storm with her mind-blowing performance, Smita Patil rocked the 80s era. The actress carved a niche for herself with powerful performances in movies like Bhumika and Jait Re Jait. It was the time when the actresses with dusky skin weren't that popular but soon the actress changed the orthodox mindset and stunned the audience with her quirks.

Once a budding actress from a middle-class family to playing the character of an Adivasi farmer, the actress radiated aura which spoke for her work and the achievements she grabbed successfully.

The actress went on to portray strong and powerful female characters in the year 1977. The movies which featured her as the middle-class struggling actress followed by an Adivasi farmer in regional cinema, the actress raised my eyebrows by her critically acclaimed performance.

Manoj Bajpayee

Manoj Bajpayee in Aligarh (2015)

‘Professors’ and ‘teachers’ are the ones who have always worked hard to prepare the student for leading the country towards a better tomorrow. Manoj Bajpai performs the character of a professor of Marathi and the head of the Classical Modern Indian Languages faculty. The character is considered as one of the benchmark performances in his career. He has offered his ‘best’ in every role he picked.

Sanjay Mishra

Sanjay Mishra in Kadvi Hava

Sanjay Mishra has always tickled our funny bones with his comedy antics in movies like Dhamaal, Golmaal, his dialogue from All The Best 'Dhondu, just chill' is hilarious even today. But he really broke out such stereotypical roles when he played the role of a farmer who is troubled by drought experiences hardships which are far beyond imagination in Kadvi Hawa.


Nargis in Mother India (1957)

So far, India and Bollywood has witnessed many strong female characters but there's no character which could go on par with Nargis’ Radha (the character played by the veteran in Mother India). The story of this struggling mother which inspires even today and the film assures you goosebumps even today and also in future.  

When it comes to feeding her children to offering them mental stability throughout their life, Mother India has etched its name on every Indian’s heart and in the history of Bollywood. A female farmer who goes to great lengths to feed her children and inculcate good values in them, Nargis’ performance literally stunned all of India.

Preity Zinta

Preity Zinta in Lakshya (2004) 

Talking about the middle class working characters in Bollywood, Preity Zinta’s Romila Dutta has been one of a kind and different from all the journalists the audience has experienced. It’s not an easy task to stand out strongly in the anensemble cast, but Preity did, in her portrayal of Romila. Being a 'War Journalist' isn't everyone's cup of tea, but the character of Romila proved the orthodox society how women can also stand strong when it comes to career choices.   

So this is our list of the actors who really broke stereotypes and impressed the audience with their skills. If you like the article, please share your views with us in the comment section below.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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