The representation of transgender characters in cinema is an important step towards inclusivity & Diversity. Over the years, Indian actors have taken on the challenge of portraying transgender roles. Shedding light on the struggles & triumphs of this marginalized community.

Indian Actors Who Have Played Transgender Roles on Screen

Vijay Sethupathi (Super Deluxe)

Vijay Sethupathi (Super Deluxe)

Vijay Sethupathi’s performance as Shilpa, a transgender woman, in the film “Super Deluxe,” garnered widespread acclaim for its remarkable sensitivity and authenticity.

His portrayal delved into the intricate layers of Shilpa’s character, capturing the challenges and emotions faced by transgender individuals.

Vijay’s nuanced acting illuminated the struggles of self-discovery, societal acceptance, and personal transformation, resonating deeply with audiences.

His dedication to understanding and portraying the transgender experience with respect and dignity earned him praise from both critics and viewers, highlighting the potential of cinema to shed light on the diverse stories of marginalized communities.

Rajkummar Rao (Made in China)

In the movie “Made in China,” Rajkummar Rao’s character engages with a transgender woman, portrayed by Gajraj Rao, to explore the dynamics of societal perceptions & preconceived notions.

Through their interactions, the film delves into the complexities of acceptance, empathy, & understanding of transgender individuals.

Rajkummar Rao’s portrayal sensitively navigates the nuances of these interactions, highlighting the importance of challenging stereotypes & fostering open conversations.

 The film serves as a platform to shed light on the struggles & experiences faced by transgender individuals while promoting empathy & awareness, contributing to a more inclusive narrative in cinema. 

Rajkummar Rao (Made in China)

Ayushmann Khurrana (Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan)

Ayushmann Khurrana (Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan)

In “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan,” Ayushmann Khurrana delivered a remarkable performance as Kartik Singh,

a young man navigating the challenges of a same-sex relationship in the conservative backdrop of Indian society.

The film not only addressed LGBTQ+ issues but also depicted the journey of acceptance and love in the face of societal norms and prejudices.

Ayushmann Khurrana’s portrayal added depth and authenticity to the character, contributing to the film’s impact in advocating for greater understanding and equality for the LGBTQ+ community in India.

His nuanced performance earned praise for its portrayal of love breaking barriers.

Anil Kapoor (Eeshwar)

Anil Kapoor’s role as a transgender woman in “Eeshwar” marked a pioneering effort in Indian cinema. Released in 1989,

the film showcased Anil Kapoor’s versatility as an actor, taking on a challenging and unconventional role that broke societal norms and taboos of the time.

While the portrayal and treatment of transgender characters in films have evolved since then,

Anil Kapoor’s performance remains significant for its early exploration of such a character on screen. His portrayal brought attention to the struggles and lives of transgender individuals,

contributing to a broader dialogue about representation and inclusivity in cinema.

Anil Kapoor (Eeshwar)

Manoj Bajpayee (Tamanna)

Manoj Bajpayee (Tamanna)

In the film “Tamanna,” Manoj Bajpayee delivered a remarkable performance that delved into the intricate nuances of gender identity and societal acceptance.

His portrayal of a eunuch named Tikku shed light on the challenges and discrimination faced by transgender individuals in India.

The film sensitively explored Tikku’s journey as he navigated a world that often failed to understand or embrace his identity.

Manoj Bajpayee’s performance not only highlighted his acting prowess but also contributed to raising awareness about the struggles and aspirations of transgender individuals, fostering conversations about empathy and understanding.

Randeep Hooda (Lal Kaptaan)

In “Lal Kaptaan,” Randeep Hooda undertook the challenging role of a transgender individual,

bringing a unique perspective to the historical narrative.

His portrayal added depth to the character by exploring the complexities of gender identity within a specific historical context.

Randeep Hooda’s performance contributed to shedding light on the often marginalized experiences of transgender individuals in different periods of time,

while also showcasing his versatility as an actor.

Through his role, Hooda not only enriched the storyline but also fostered conversations about inclusion and representation in cinema.

Randeep Hooda (Lal Kaptaan)

Prashant Narayanan (Murder 2)

Prashant Narayanan (Murder 2)

In the film “Murder 2,” Prashant Narayanan took on the role of a transgender character,

contributing to the exploration of societal complexities and darker themes. His portrayal added an intriguing layer to the narrative, as the film delved into the shadowy aspects of society.

Through his character, Narayanan’s performance raised questions about societal norms, perceptions, and the struggles faced by transgender individuals.

“Murder 2” used the character to address broader issues within its storyline, showcasing the potential of cinema to tackle and shed light on the multifaceted aspects of the human experience.