Birthday Special: Saif Ali Khanâs transition from the âchocolate boyâ to strong villain

Today is Saif Ali Khan’s birthday. The actor, who turns 53 today, cemented his position with roles that exemplified his boy-next-door charm. His portrayal of lovestruck-playboy characters in films such as Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Hum Tum (2004), and Parineeta (2005), which did well at the box office and gave Saif the credibility of being a bankable star, also type casted him as the quintessential chocolate boy. While Saif experimented with and ventured into diverse roles, such as the one in Sriram Raghavan’s remarkable film Ek Hasina Thi (2004), it did more for his co-star Urmila Matondkar’s career than his own. It didn’t take long for Saif to break out of this mould, and his portrayal of the ultimate antagonist, Ishwar ‘Langda’ Tyagi, in Omkara (2006) marked a watershed moment. His rugged appearance in the film changed audiences’ perceptions of his acting versatility.

Saif’s efforts to break free from the image became visible following the success of Omkara. While his experiments did not always result in box office hits, they did demonstrate his dedication to a wide range of character choices.

Scroll through to take a look at his transition in cinema through his characters: