Best friend, sibling, distant relatives and quirky colleagues - every good screenplay comes with a wide variety of characters to flesh out the lead role's journey through a film. Bollywood's history is lined with actors who've made a name by immersing themselves in a role, sometimes so much so that the role becomes synonymous with them - think Amjad Khan in Sholay, for example.
Today, Bollywood's best boast of some of the most incredible and intense performances ever captured on film - here's a few who did such a good job with their roles, they've outshone the main leads on the films they've worked with.Manoj Bajpayee as Bhiku Mhatre, Satya
Possibly one of the greatest castings in Bollywood history, Bajpayee's performance in Ram Gopal Varma's critically acclaimed crime thriller was nothing short of iconic, but did you know that the actor himself wasn't confident about the role? “Everybody used to feel so excited about my performance but I wasn't sure if we are doing it right,” he said, nearly 20 years after the film. “That feeling of unsureness was always looming large because no one of the film industry was making this kind of a film.”Vijay Raaz as Somayajulu, Delhi Belly
Raaz has become a go-to choice for voice overs, and perhaps the best example of his gruff baritone is in this incredible black comedy from 2011. Perfect comedic timing, the ability to absolutely steal every scene he's in and a script that props it all up - if only we had more villains like him in the industry.Arshad Warsi as Shakti, Hulchul
I'll admit I've got a soft spot for Priyadarshan films, and while the over-the-top drama and hilarious gags from Hulchul make it a prime candidate for my favourite one, a large reason why is Warsi's amazing performance. He's jumpy, completely owns his role and outshines lead Akshaye Khanna in every scene they both are in - although reportedly, Warsi had been disappointed with his role during the shoot, and resigned himself to commit to a 100% performance. He sure did.Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Shaikh, The Lunchbox
It had to be either Paan Singh Tomar or this - one of the most interesting matchups in the history of Bollywood has been Siddiqui opposite Irrfan Khan, and given that the two were roommates during their days as struggling actors gives huge weight to their scenes together. However, Irrfan acts like he always does, and Siddiqui - instead of his gung-ho gangster or small-time crook typecasts, absolutely nails the role of a bumbling office salesman.Saif Ali Khan as Langda Tyagi, Omkara
Another fantastic Shakespearean adaptation of Vishal Bhardwaj's Omkara brought together an epic cast - yet the surprise standout remains Saif Ali Khan in the role of the crafty, ruthless gangster Langda Tyagi. After a series of light-hearted roles, watching Saif pull off this intense performance was an absolute treat - and remains one of the best performances of his life.Pankaj Tripathi as Principal Srivastava, Nil Battey Sannata
Similar to Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi's reputation as an antagonist in film is legendary - but watching the actor's rich, lovingly crafted performance as an upstanding school principal betrays the long years he spent developing his skills as a theatre actor. 'Nil Battey Sannata' is my story,” the actor said to Times of India. “It says that one should keep dreaming, stay focused and the dreams will come true.”Annu Kapoor as Dr. Baldev, Vicky Donor
Famous for his roles and captivating talent as a TV show host, Annu Kapoor blew expectations out of the park with his work in Vicky Donor, splitting audiences' sides with his portrayal of an eccentric fertility clinic doctor. Apparently the role was first offered to Boman Irani - while we think he would have done the role justice, Kapoor's work was just the extra kick of humour that the film needed - making Ayushmann Khurrana's debut a truly special and iconic movie.