Mumbai: Veteran actor Prem Chopra, who was one of the most sought after villains in Bollywood, is once again back on screen as the bad guy in `Agent Vinod`, and feels that times have changed now as heroes are not shying away from playing negative roles.
Chopra made his debut in Chaudhary Karnail Singh (1962), a Punjabi film set in pre-partition times. The film was a success and it won a National Award and gave Chopra the much-needed break. In those days, someone rightly directed him to go for villainous roles in Bollywood.
With the success of his roles in Hindi films such as Woh Kaun Thi` (1964), `Teesri Manzil` (1966), `Upkar` (1967), `Do Raaste` (1969), `Kati Patang` (1970), `Bobby` (1973) suddenly Chopra`s negative image became strong. His famous dialogues like `Prem naam hai mera, Prem Chopra` (My name is Prem, Prem Chopra) from `Bobby` became very popular.
In the Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor starrer film, the 76-year-old actor essays the role of a villain named `Kazaan`.
"I am playing a bad man this time after quite some time. Now heroes are willing to play bad guy as they have felt that negative characters do get established. Now-a-days heroes are not shying away from playing negatives a role that was a rare thing in the past, in our times," he told reporters in an interview.
"One has to accept change. I have also accepted roles of all kinds, not restricting myself to do only negative roles. I have been doing positive and little hearted roles in films like `Rocket Singh`, `Golmaal 3`, `Dhamaal`..," he said.
About his role in the film, he said, "In this film I play the don of Morocco. He is not totally evil kind of a person. But there are lots of shades to this character. I speak the language of Morocco. It was difficult but we took help of local people. We sat down with them to learn the language. He speaks in that language only when he meets the local people otherwise the conversation is all in Hindi."
`Agent Vinod` an action spy film, directed by Sriram Raghavan, is up for release on March 23.