Actresses Who Excelled as Lead Antagonists in Movies and Series

In a field that seems to always glamorize the male protagonist, this is a rare tradition of the few female actors who made the antagonist roles not only complex and interesting but also mesmerizing.

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Actresses Who Excelled as Lead Antagonists in Movies and Series
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In a field that seems to always glamorize the male protagonist, this is a rare tradition of the few female actors who made the antagonist roles not only complex and interesting but also mesmerizing. These performances do not only help in deconstructing the traditional roles of women in films but also the versatility and skill of these actresses. Here are some films that have offered wonderful glimpses of leading ladies dominating the screen as the antagonists.

Tabu - Tabu in Andhadhun and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2

Tabu on 'Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2' success: A hit project never goes to waste -  The Week

Tabu has always been appreciated for her ability to play multiple characters and her roles in Andhadhun and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 have proved her as a perfect negative role model. In Andhadhun, she portrayed the character of the gray shade named Simi who is the manipulator and the one who sets the motion of the film’s thrilling plot. It was important for Tabu to give the character both charm and menace – a woman who is both approachable and dangerous, which is why it worked so well for her to switch between the two. In Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, Tabu played two roles and the actress seemed to have a lot of fun in the second innings of the film . Its horror and tragedy elements were best captured by her portrayal of the spirit of Manjulika, a role that very few actresses would be able to deliver with the same impact of horror and pathos. Some of the movie scenes that stood out were those that featured her; she was perfect in the role, giving such a haunting and touching performance that confirmed her as a Bollywood icon.

Parul Gulati - Silence 2

Parul Gulati joins the cast of ZEE5's upcoming film 'Silence 2: The Night  Owl Bar Shootout'!

In a thriller called Silence 2 , Parul Gulati left everyone impressed with her performance. Web series and television actress Parul has mostly dabbed in comedy and wit and when she switched to a dark and complex character it was quite amazing. An antagonistic character she played was that of a sharp-witted and shrewd antagonist and her method acting was evident in how she got into the skin of her role and gave a performance that could stir the audience to the core. She played the role of a cunning and manipulative antagonist showcasing her ability to dive deep into the psyche of her role and the fact that she was able to do so without drawing undue attention to herself gave the story a deeper dimension that made her stand out in thriller movies.

Mouni Roy - Brahmāstra

Mouni Roy as Junoon in Brahmastra Part One Shiva gives major Naagin vibes.  Watch - India Today

This was a major shift in her career as an actress as  Mouni Roy portrayed the character of Junoon the dark sorceress in Brahmastra that stamped a departure from her previous roles.
Earlier television had been Roy’s field and she did not mind getting into the shoes of a powerful villain, albeit evil in her feature film. . Her personification of Junoon, a character obsessed and dark, was equally effective through movement and passion. With such a strong and powerful presence on screen, along with the ability to enact a wide range of emotions, Roy was one of the most memorable characters of the film, and successfully established herself as a strong villain.

Vidya Balan- Ishqiya and Neeyat

Vidya Balan | Vidya Balan: 'Was sleepwalking through my earlier films,  Ishqiya was the movie I was waiting for' - Telegraph India

Vidya Balan is one of the most talented and daring actresses in Bollywood who does not hesitate to take bold roles that people do not see usually; for instance, Ishqiya and Neeyat. In Ishqiya, Balan portrayed Krishna who is a widow with an aggressive and a deadly angle. Through her acting skills, nuanced and depiction, she made Krishna a character with both, sensitivity and danger, which are unforgettable. In Neeyat, Vidya played the role of a vengeful and manipulative, calculative villain to the T. She has always been perfectly unique in her ability to portray these characters with such layers and here she got to show that she is perfect for playing grey characters in film with authenticity and intensity.

Konkona Sen Sharma – Killer Soup

Konkona Sen Sharma – Killer Soup

It was amazing to see the menace in Konkona Sen Sharma’s eyes in Killer Soup , even though she did not have to be a killer. Her portrayal in Killer Soup was a super masterclass. The actress, who earned much appreciation and acclaim for her performances in several critically acclaimed independent movies, turned in a terrific subdued performance as the lead antagonist. Especially the portrayal of a harmless woman who in fact turns out to be a cold blooded killer was quite eerie, but at the same time captivating. Sharma was very good at portraying evil through positive and negative signs and movements which was evident in Killer Soup hence the best performance compared to the other actresses.

Richa Chadha - Fukrey series

Richa Chadha - Fukrey series

One of the great performances that Richa Chadha has given is the performance of Bholi Punjaban in the movie Fukrey and it's series. Richa Chadha’s portrayal of Bholi Punjaban as a brutal, tough, street-smart but witty and sarcastic antagonist who was equally entertaining and menacing, making her stand out as a performer. Her performance was humorous, appropriately timed, and at the same time dark and vengeful, making the audiences love and hate her at the same time and keeping them on edge. Another aspect that might be considered an asset for the success of both movies was Richa’s performance, where she showcased her skills of dominating the screen with her sheer presence as a formidable villain.

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