Top 10 Bollywood Action Directors Who Wielded The Megaphone

Top 10 Bollywood Action Directors Who Wielded The Megaphone View All Articles

Posted On: 13 Aug 2021 | Last Updated: 22 Aug 2021

Movies are awesome. Sometimes they make you cry, sometimes they make you laugh, and sometimes make you experience a wide range of emotions, and often leave you in awe with their excellently shot stunts. Many times, you see a hero jumping from the top of a six or seven-floor building and landing on his feet, or a hero single-handedly bringing down the entire group of gangsters. All these unrealistic yet convincing-looking action scenes are choreographed by the action directors. They play a vital role in action films or any Bollywood film. Some of today’s top action film directors once started their careers as stuntmen or action directors. Let’s check out the top 10 action directors in Bollywood who wielded the megaphone.

1. Ravi Khanna (Ek Khilari Bawan Pattey - 1972)

Ravi Khanna migrated from Pakistan after partition and came to Bombay. Soon he joined the film industry as a Jr. artist. From Jr. artist to stuntman, stuntman to action director, his life was changed completely. He’s known for his work as a stunt coordinator in movies like Baaz (1953), CID (1956), Mera Saaya (1966), and Johny Mera Naam (1970). His work was well recognized and appreciated in Upkar (1967) that was a big hit of the year. In 1972, he made his debut as a film director with action-drama Ek Khilari Bawan Pattey starring Dev Kumar, Laxmi Chhaya, Naqi Jahan, Vinod Khanna & Tarun Bose. Needless to mention that Ravi Khanna not only choreographed the action sequences himself in the film but also had a small role to play. Since then, there was no turning back as he went on to direct action sequences for films like Amar Akbar Anthony, Suhaag, Qurbani, Laawaris, Disco Dancer, Sharaabi, etc. In 2001, he was honored with the Zee Lifetime achievement award for his excellence in the field.

Ravi Khanna

2. Bhaskar Shetty (Ek Aur Sikander – 1985/ Aag Se Khelenge - 1989)

Bhaskar Shetty, one of the most successful stunt coordinators who had a rather short tenure, came into the news when he met with the horrific accident in his last film Aag Se Khelenge (1989). He was hit by a truck when he was still in the car, he flung through the front windshield but stood up as if nothing happened. While returning home, he suffered severe chest pain and died on the spot. Bhaskar started his career as a stuntman and soon became a stunt coordinator. He worked as a stunt coordinator for movies like Hera Pheri (1976), Mr. Natwarlal (1979), Do Aur Do Paanch (1980), Commando (1988) and Thikana (1987) and directed action movies like Ek Aur Sikander (1985) starring Mithun Chakraborty and Rakesh Roshan and Aag Se Khelenge (1989) starring Jeetendra, Anil Kapoor, Kimi Katkar and Meenakshi Seshadri.

Bhaskar Shetty

3. Pappu Verma (Qayamat Ki Raat – 1990, Vansh – 1992, Policewala Gunda – 1995)

Pappu Verma, now known as the film producer or director, started his career in Bollywood as an assistant stunt coordinator in movies like Suhaag (1979), Do Premee (1980) and Karz (1980), before turning full-time stunt director with Aapas Ki Baat in 1981. He’s known for directing action sequences for popular movies like Coolie (1983), Hero (1983), Mard (1985), Dilwaala (1986), Naam O Nishaan (1987), Shahenshah (1988), Agneepath (1990) and Lajja (2001). He has directed movies like Qayamat Ki Raat (1990), Vansh (1992), and Policewala Gunda (1995).

Pappu Verma

4. Raam Shetty (Gaddaar-1995, Army - 1996)

Raam Shetty also appears in the elite list of Bollywood action directors who turned directors. Raam Shetty started his career as a stunt coordinator with the 1977 Oriya movie Suna Sansar. Later he graduated to Marathi and Hindi films and got recognition by directing action sequences for movies like Janbaaz (1986), Insaaf (1987), Kabzaa (1988), Taaqatwar (1989), Baaghi (1990), Sadak (1991), Bol Radha Bol (1992), Laadla (1994) and Mohra (1994). After leaving his mark, in no time he became a film director and debuted with the Marathi movie Balidaan in 1991. In Bollywood, he made his directorial debut with the action-drama Gaddaar (1995) starring Suniel Shetty & Sonali Bendre and followed it up with movies like Army (1996), AK 47 (2004) and Yehi Hai Zindagi (2005).

Raam Shetty

5. Ravi Dewan (Vinashak - 1998, Annarth - 2002)

Noted action director Ravi Dewan who started his career as an assistant stunt coordinator with Yash Chopra’s Mashaal (1984) is known for directing action scenes for films like Jalwa (1987), Tezaab (1988), Parinda (1989), Ram Lakhan (1989), Hum (1991), Saudagar (1991), Khalnayak (1993), Aatish (1994), Anth (1994), The Hero: Love Story of a Spy (2003) and Jodhaa Akbar (2008). He made his debut as a Bollywood director with Vinashak (1998) starring Suniel Shetty and Raveena Tandon. He also directed the 2000 action film Annarth starring Suniel Shetty and Sanjay Dutt.

Ravi Dewan

6. Veeru Devgan (Hindustan Ki Kasam - 1999)

Veeru Devgan was an Indian action director, film director, and producer who was rated among the top Hindi movie action directors. He worked in more than 200 films in his career. He’s the father of famous actor Ajay Devgn and the father-in-law of actress Kajol. He earned his name as an action director and is recognized for his work in action films like Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (1974), Kranti (1981), Himmatwala (1983), Khoon Bhari Maang (1988), Phool Aur Kaante (1991), and Lal Baadshah (1999). Veeru Devgan directed and produced the 1999 action film Hindustan Ki Kasam, starring his son Ajay Devgn, Sushmita Sen, and Manisha Koirala in the lead.

Veeru Devgan

7. Tinu Verma (Maa Tujhhe Salaam - 2002, Baaz: A Bird in Danger - 2003)

Tinu Verma is an Indian actor, story writer, film producer, and action director. He started his career in Bollywood as an action director and is known for his work in action movies like Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Khuda Gawah (1992), Darr (1993), Aankhen (1993), Barsaat (1995), Jeet (1996), Raja Hindustani (1996), Ghatak: Lethal (1996), China Gate (1998) and Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001). He was also seen in supporting roles in Bollywood movies like Himmat (1996), Ghatak: Lethal (1996), and Mela (2000). He made his debut as a film director with the 2002 action drama Maa Tujhhe Salaam starring Sunny Deol, Tabu and Arbaaz Khan, and Baaz: A Bird in Danger (2003) starring Karisma Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Suniel Shetty & Dino Morea. He will surely go down as one of the top 10 Bollywood action directors of all time.

Tinu Verma

8. Mohan Baggad (Zinda Dil - 2005)

Mohan Baggad is another Bollywood action director who subsequently wielded the megaphone. He started his career in Bollywood as an assistant action coordinator with the 1975 action-drama Warrant starring Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman. Later he became an action director and was known for his work in movies like Arjun (1985), Naam (1986), Dacait (1987), Mujrim (1989), Saugandh (1991), Ram Jaane (1995) and Dhaal (1997). He made his debut as a film director with the 2005 Hindi film Zinda Dil that starred Abbas, Manek Bedi, Ashima Bhalla and which was the only movie under his direction.

Mohan Baggad

9. Aejaz Gulab (Ab Tak Chhappan 2 - 2015)

Aejaz Gulab started his career in Bollywood as a stuntman with the 1993 movie Sholay Aur Toofan and later became the action director or the stunt coordinator for films like Ghulam (1998), Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2000), Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005), Raanjhanaa (2013), Jazbaa (2015), Baaghi (2016) and Baadshaho (2017). The first and only movie of his career as a film director was the Nana Patekar starrer Ab Tak Chappan 2 (2015) which took a long time to release.

Aejaz Gulab

10. Rohit Shetty (Singham - 2011, Chennai Express - 2013, Simmba - 2018)

One of Bollywood’s top directors Rohit Shetty who has a record of a maximum of 100 Crore Club domestic movies to his credit also started off his career as an assistant stunt coordinator. The son of legendary action director and coordinator M. B. Shetty, Rohit Shetty was an assistant stunt coordinator and director in Ajay Devgn starrer Phool Aur Kaante (1991). He then worked as an action director for the action drama Haqeeqat (1995). He soon got his independent project and made his debut as a film director with the 2003 action thriller Zameen starring Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan. He finally got recognition in his second film, Golmaal: Fun Unlimited (2006). Other important films under Rohit Shetty’s direction are Golmaal Returns (2008), All The Best: Fun Unlimited (2009), Golmaal 3 (2010), Singham (2011), Chennai Express (2013), Dilwale (2015), and Simmba (2018).

Rohit Shetty