Sanjay Dutt also played the iconic role of Adheera in his Kannada cinema debut, K.G.F.: Chapter 2, which was released in 2022.
Both the film industry and audiences have enjoyed seeing Sanjay Dutt play a different type of part on screen in Bollywood as well as down South. As Kancha Cheena in Agneepath (2012) and Adheera in KGF: Chapter 2 (2022), he has gone from being an action hero who would beat criminals to pulp to a terrifying baddie in recent years. In his first Tamil film, Leo, he faces off against Thalapathy Vijay, continuing his record as a villain. Sanjay sports salt-and-pepper hair and a tough persona in the trailer for Lokesh Kanagaraj's action film.
On exploring the complexities of villainous characters:
During an interaction with Mid Day, the actor was asked why he enjoys playing bad guys, to which he emphasised the complexities of these situations. Sanjay said that taking on the role of an anti-hero is an exciting exploration of the complexities of the human psyche. It's about seeing the humanity in everyone, even the most despicable villains.
The veteran actor continued, explaining that the goal is to give each character a unique set of goals, which will set Leo's Antony Das apart from KGF's Adheera. Sanjay concluded by saying that every time he plays a villainous character, he tries to give them depth and humanity. They take on the role of reflecting their inner conflicts and yearnings.
Continued villainous streak:
Before Leo, Sanjay played a negative role in Shamshera (2022), as Shuddh Singh. He was seen alongside Ranbir Kapoor in the film, who played the titular role. The actor was also seen as the main antagonist in Ashutosh Gowariker's Panipat (2019) as Durrani Empire founder Ahmad Shah Abdali.
Meanwhile, after making his debut in Kannada cinema with K.G.F.: Chapter 2 and Tamil cinema with Leo, Sanjay is all set to enter the Telugu film industry with Double iSmart, where again he will be seen as an antagonist playing the role of Big Bull. The film's shooting is still underway.