Ahead of the release of his latest cinematic venture Rangoon, Vishal Bhardwaj had mentioned working doubly hard for creating the characters in the film. Even history has been witness to many such instances where the personas from his films have left lasting impressions.  

Saif Ali Khan – Omkara

Langda Tyagi was Bollywood’s equivalent of Othello’s Iago and it could not have been done any better. The antagonism fetched Saif a Filmfare and it was later revealed that even Aamir Khan wanted to play this role.

Shahid Kapoor – Haider

Playing the protagonist in this modern-day Hamlet adaptation, Shahid portrayed Haider in all his gloomy glory. It also won him a Black Lady for the Best Actor that year and established him as one of the finest of his generation.

Shabana Azmi – Makdee

Playing a witch called Makdee, Shabana Azmi pulled off one of her most unforgettable performances in the recent past in this Vishal Bhardwaj horror comedy. The film won the second prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.

Priyanka Chopra – Kaminey

Despite Shahid’s impressive double role in the film, PC’s Sweety was the energy that held things together. She described it as one of her most challenging roles and had said, “I think it’s my luck that through Kaminey I got to learn one more language (Marathi).”

Pankaj Kapoor – Blue Umbrella

Though not a commercial success, this adaptation of the Ruskin Bond novel won the National Award in the Best Children’s Film category. And the antagonist Khatri was one of the pivotal driving forces of the narrative.

Irrfan, Tabu, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri – Maqbool

Last but definitely not the last, this Macbeth-inspired crime drama is one of Vishal Bhardwaj’s finest works till date. The lead character Maqbool, his underworld boss’ mistress Nimmi who is secretly in love with Maqbool and the corrupt cop duo all came together like an absolute house on fire!