Ranveer as Khilji

Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji in “Padmaavat” has given one of the best villains to Bollywood through his performance. (Ranveer Singh/Twitter photo)

MUMBAI—Bollywood star Ranveer Singh, who has registered his biggest opening day collection with "Padmaavat," says most people had told him that a hero shouldn't play the anti-hero.

"Padmaavat," directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, registered opening day collections of Rs 19 crore net, according to producers Bhansali Productions and Viacom18 Motion Pictures.

For Ranveer Singh, whose previous best opening day records were for "Gunday" (Rs 16.12 crore net) and "Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (Rs 16 crore net), playing a merciless anti-hero Alauddin Khilji was a gamble.

Singh said in a statement to IANS: "It is extremely rare and overwhelming to get this kind of love from the audience. I'm grateful and touched that everyone has been so appreciative of my performance."

While the critics have lauded that Ranveer Singh has given one of the best villains to Bollywood through his performance, the actor said: "I will be honest – when I was offered ‘Padmaavat,’ most people were of the opinion that a hero should not play the anti-hero.

"But I believed otherwise. I saw Khilji as a challenge for me, as an actor. And I wanted to take the challenge up. I went with the vision of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and my instinct of what I could achieve with Khilji.

"I'm happy that the audiences are seeing and loving a character that both Sanjay sir and I have worked on tirelessly for over two years to bring to life."

Thrilled about the response, he said: "I took a big risk with this character, and it's wonderful to see my gamble pay off. This kind of validation gives one the confidence to take bigger and bigger risks, challenge stereotypes and continue to push the envelope in the realm of mainstream Hindi cinema.”

"I feel very happy and very fulfilled today."

The movie, based on 16th-century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi's "Padmavat," also stars Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor. It released on Jan. 25 amid much brouhaha as the Shri Rajput Karni Sena protested over the alleged distortion of facts in the movie.

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