New Delhi: In director Pa.Ranjith’s crime drama Kaala that releases this week, superstar Rajinikanth plays a Mumbai-based don. It might be interesting to know that the legendary actor who has achieved iconic status across the country over the years, started his career with villainous roles. A look at ten characters with negative shades.

Apoorva Raagangal (1975): In his screen debut, Rajinikanth played the role of Srividya’s abusive husband in the K.Balachander directed film. The movie featured Kamal Haasan in the lead role and was remade in Hindi as Ek Nai Paheli (1984).

Moondru Mudichu (1976): The K.Balachander directed film saw Rajinikanth play roommate to Kamal Haasan, pretending to support his love for Sridevi but actually plotting to topple him over. In an iconic scene, he watches Haasan drown to death without jumping in to save him.

Avargal (1977): Rajinikanth plays a jealous and sadistic husband to Sujatha in the romantic film directed by K.Balachander. It yet again, featured Kamal Haasan in the lead role.

16 Vayathinile (1977): Rajinikanth plays a village ruffian lusting for a schoolgirl in the P.Bharathiraja directed film. Kamal Haasan and Sridevi played the lead roles.

Aadu Puli Attam (1977): Rajinikanth plays the main villain against Kamal Haasan in the black-and-white crime film directed by S.P Muthuraman. It is supposed to have given birth to his immortal dialogue, “This is Rajini style."

Gaayathri (1977): Rajinikanth plays a blue film producer, recording intimate moments of his wife (Sridevi) to sell tapes in black. The film was directed by R.Pattabhiraman.

Billa (1980): A remake of Amitabh Bachchan’s 1978 hit Don, the Tamil film saw Rajiniknath play a feared Madras gangster. Directed by R.Krishnamurthy, it featured Sripriya in the lead role opposite him.

Netrikann (1981): Rajinikanth plays a middle-aged womanizer and rapist in the S.P.Muthuraman directed film. It featured him in a double role, also playing the son who exacts revenge from his menacing father.

Enthiran (2010): In S.Shankar’s blockbuster science fiction film, Rajinikanth plays a scientist and his robot creation which later turns evil, opposing its own master. The film co-starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was released as Robot in Hindi and Robo in Telugu.

Kabali (2016): Pa.Ranjith’s gangster drama featured Rajinikanth as a formidable but good-hearted don based in Malaysia who spends years in prison on a false charge. It also featured Radhika Apte and Sai Dhanshika in pivotal roles.