Birthday Special: Five incredible performances by Randeep Hooda that made a mark on Indian cinema

When Randeep Hooda picks a script, one can see him get so absorbed in the character that what reflects on screen is pure magic. The actor started out on his Bollywood journey with Mira Nair’s Monsoon Weddings. Even though it took him some time to make his own mark as an actor, he stunned audiences and critics alike with his ability to get skin deep into the roles he plays. Randeep Hooda isn’t one to shy away from a complex, unconventional role but instead experiments with roles that have helped him make a mark on the industry. Not only has he outperformed in critically acclaimed movies but also in movies that are successful at the box office such as Jannat 2, Jism 2, Cocktail, Kick, and Baaghi 2. He also made his Hollywood debut with the movie Extraction. The actor has played roles ranging from a ruthless kidnapper to a police officer and a prisoner who is tortured in Pakistan. As the actor turns a year older today, we look at the top five movies that have won him widespread critical acclaim.


Highway is the movie that marks one of the best on-screen performances by Randeep Hooda. He essays the role of Mahabir Bhati in the movie, a local goon who abducts a young Veera Tripathi, the daughter of a business tycoon. The unconventional movie then traces the lives of Veera Tripathi and Mahabir Bhati with childhood references that shaped them into the individuals they are. The movie takes a turn when Veera finds solace after being kidnapped as she feels freedom like she hasn’t before. On the other hand, Bhati goes through a journey that was fueled by hatred toward the rich and privileged, but he develops feelings for Veera as the story proceeds. By the end of the movie, one cannot help but vouch for Mahabir Bhati. Highway is one of the most successful and critically acclaimed movies starring Randeep Hooda. The actor holds his own with a remarkable performance as he really gets into the skin of the character in the movie.

Randeep Hooda


Sarbjit tells the gripping and heart-breaking story of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian who was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1991. Randeep Hooda essays the role of Sarabjit in this biographical movie. One night in a state of inebriation, Sarabjit crosses the India Pakistan border and wakes up in Pakistan. He is then convicted for being an Indian spy who was instrumental in causing bomb blasts in Lahore. After being tortured year after year in his jail cell, he is eventually given a death sentence and spends 22 years in prison before he dies under suspicious circumstances in the jail cell. According to reports, Randeep Hooda underwent a massive physical transformation for the role and lost 18 kgs in 28 days. Revisiting his transformation, Hooda mentioned on his social media that it almost took the life out of him. The actor was 94 kgs before he started shooting for Sarbjit. He recalled in an interview with a leading publication that the lack of sugar almost drove him crazy and the nights when he was so hungry that he couldn’t fall asleep. The movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and Randeep Hooda won critical acclaim for his performance as Sarabjit.

Randeep Hooda

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai is considered a turning point in Randeep Hooda’s life. His impeccable performance in the movie is what led to him being recognized as a bankable actor. The 2010 gangster movie was directed by Milan Luthria. Along with Randeep Hooda, the movie also starred Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai and Kangana Ranaut. The movie was based on the underworld in Mumbai and essayed the life of gangsters Dawood Ibrahim and Haji Mastan. In the movie, Randeep Hooda plays the role of ACP Agnel Wilson, who is a character based on the police officer Julio Ribeiro. When Randeep Hooda was initially offered the role he had his own apprehensions because he had played similar roles before. However, Milan Luthria convinced him to become a part of the movie. Even though his role wasn’t big, he made an impact with his acting prowess. Looking back at the movie, Hooda considers it one of his best performances of the decade.

Randeep Hooda

Rang Rasiya

Rang Rasiya directed by Ketan Mehta is an erotic drama film based on the life of the 19th century Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma. Along with Randeep Hooda, the movie stars Nandana Sen as the love interest. In the movie, Randeep Hooda plays the role of Raja Ravi Varma in two phases, as a 20-year-old and as a 60-year-old. To play the first celebrity artist of India, Randeep Hooda also learned how to paint. The movie begins with a scene where Raja Ravi Varma is trained in Kerala. Later in life, Varma visits Bombay in the British era. This is when he meets Sugandha who eventually becomes his muse. As the movie progresses, we see that the artist is arrested and charged for obscenity and hurting the religious sentiments of people through his art. Randeep Hooda won critical acclaim for playing Raja Ravi Varma with such ease and poise. His performance also won him a nomination for the Filmfare Awards for Best Actor.

Randeep Hooda


Extraction marks Randeep Hooda’s foray into Hollywood. The movie directed by Sam Hargrave also stars Chris Hemsworth and Pankaj Tripathi among others. The action thriller revolves around an Australian mercenary who is sent on a mission to rescue an Indian drug lord’s son who is taken to Bangladesh. Randeep Hooda played the role of Saju Rav, a former para and the Lieutenant Colonel and Head of Security. He plays the role of the drug lord’s son Ovi’s protector. And when he hears about the kidnapping he visits the drug lord in prison, who orders him to retrieve his son from Bangladesh. Tyler Rake played by Hemsworth is hired to extract Ovi, but when Saju learns that Ovi’s father doesn’t have any means to pay the mercenaries because his accounts are frozen by authorities. He then devises a plan to kill Tyler’s teammates to cheat them out of the payment. The story continues with great twists and turns that keep the audience glued to their seats. Randeep Hooda exceeded expectations with his role as an action antihero in the movie.

Randeep Hooda