The past decade has been a transformative one for the Bollywood industry especially when it comes to female representation. They’ve shown us that it’s not all drama and dance when it comes to women in film. In an industry that is flooded with item girls and dance numbers, Bollywood has also given us some badass women who delivered some powerful action roles. There are now plenty of actresses that have given the popular action heroes a run for their money. Let’s take a look at the most memorable ones so far!

Vidya Balan in Kahaani (2012)

There’s no doubt that Vidya Balan is a game-changing actress with a versatile collection of characters under her name. The vengeful widow Vidya Bagchi has got to be one of the most iconic ones. In an action movie with a pregnant woman as its main protagonist, she delivered one of her most powerful performances.

Anushka Sharma in NH10 (2015)

In this gritty action thriller, Anushka Sharma steps into the role of Meera who is terrorized by criminals along with her boyfriend Arjun. She goes back and forth about whether to fight or flee until the time comes to stop running. That’s when her fierceness comes out and Anushka delivers a cheer-worthy power-packed fight.

Everyone in Angry Indian Goddesses (2015)

It’s one thing to land a kick or pack a punch, but it’s another feat altogether when female characters stand up to fight the abusive society and its misogynistic perspectives. In this strong feminist drama, Sarah-Jane Dias, Anushka Manchanda, Pavleen Gujral, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sandhya Mridul, and Amrit Maghera do just that in this film.

Alia Bhatt in Raazi (2018)

Unlike any role we’ve seen her in before, Alia Bhatt steps into the skin of a weaponized Kashmiri woman who offers herself in the service of her nation for this film. Her utterly authentic, vulnerable, and powerful performance earned her overwhelming praise from critics as well as audiences.

Deepika Padukone in Padmaavat (2018)

Based on Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s 1540 Sufi poem of the same name, this Sanjay Leela Bhansali film found itself in the midst of a massive controversy. But when it finally hit theatres, Deepika Padukone’s heady performance as a woman with beauty, brains, and valor gained the film some much-deserved praise.

Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika (2019)

Kangana played the legendary warrior queen Rani Laxmibai in her film Manikarnika. Directed by Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, this film opened up to positive reviews and Kangana’s empowering performance gave this film the wings it deserved.

Rani Mukerji in Mardaani 2 (2019)

We’ve seen tons of actors deliver action-packed performances in the role of a cop. But when Rani Mukerji stepped into the same role for this film, we knew she wasn’t just messing around. She talked the talk and also packed a solid punch as she set out to take down a young and ferocious man who goes on a raping and murdering spree.

Kangana Ranaut in Panga (2020)

Kangana is all set to take Panga with the box office with her upcoming film. She is all set to play the role of a Kabaddi player who relentlessly follows her passion in spite of several hurdles and challenges.

The much-awaits sports drama is all set to release on January 24.