Gone are the days in Bollywood when heroines were meant to only sing and dance around the trees and seduce their all-important heroes.
These days every heroine wants to play character driven roles; roles that would substantiate their credibility as an actress.
Gone are the days when the pretty actresses would opt for a body double to perform her high-voltage stunt scenes.
If a male actor can jump, kick and punch, so can the heroines; call it feminism or just a new age of dare-devil actresses.
Indian Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan poses on the red carpet. (AFP)
The former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is not just a pretty face. She is an actress with abundance beauty, brain and action.
Aishwarya may look petite but she has proved her ability to do action roles - with films like 'Dhoom 2' and 'Jodhaa Akbar'.
Acting opposite Bollywood hunk Hrithik Roshan, Ash showed her mettle.
Her action sequence in 'Dhoom 2' was highly appreciated. The scenes where she jumps off a cliff in 'Dhoom 2' and the deft sword fight in 'Jodhaa Akbar' were commendable enough to seal her grit as an action heroine.
Bollywood actress and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra arrives for the grand opening of Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai November 20, 2008. (REUTERS)
Priyanka Chopra is known for her glamour and beauty but after the 'Don' series the actress has convinced everyone of her ability to kick. and hard.
'Don' and 'Don 2' saw Priyanka’s ability and grace to do action scenes. The actress was not only agile but also flexible. After her body double passed away it came down to Priyanka to perform her stunts.
She was impressive in the martial art scenes with super sense of timing and quick reflexes. She blew the audience away with her bare fist, hand-to-hand combat with some goons in one scene.
Even in 'Drona', Priyanka played Abhishek's bodyguard and trained in the Sikh martial art, Gatka, which made her the highlight of the film.
Katrina Kaif (REUTERS)
There is a strong buzz that Katrina Kaif will perform some dangerous stunts in her upcoming action film 'Dhoom 3' opposite Aamir Khan.
Katrina's stunts would be at par with the stunts done by Hollywood actresses.
Previously the 'Dhoom' heroines Esha Deol, Bipasha Basu and Aishwarya Rai had limited stunts to perform. But Katrina is given at least 3 major action sequences for which she had to be specially trained.
After her blockbuster 'Ek Tha Tiger', Yashraj Films is adding a couple of more action sequences which would be managed by a fleet of action co-coordinators.
It is rumoured that Katrina might even have some underwater fight scenes to do.
Indian Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor poses on the set of a television show during the promotion of the forthcoming Hindi film “Dabbang 2” in Lonavala some 50kms south-east of Mumbai late November 30, 2012. (AFP)
Kareena Kapoor has never been very fond of the action genre, but Kareena played an ISI agent who goes undercover as a personal doctor to a mafia boss in 'Agent Vinod'.
The movie might have been a bit of a damp squib, but the actress proved her versatility by playing a seductress in an item dance and acting in the action scenes with such aplomb that her then boyfriend (now husband) and co-star Saif Ali Khan went gaga over her stunts.
Deepika Padukone (AFP)
Joining the bandwagon of stars, who are doing their own action sequences these days is Deepika Padukone.
The actress apparently decided against getting a body double to do a risky sequence in her upcoming film 'Race 2'.
The sequence took place in Istanbul where Deepika had to balance a moving car with an open door and drive through a heavy traffic.
Before this the actress played a dual role in 'Chandni Chowk to China', one of which was the femme fatale Suzy.
Deepika underwent martial arts training for three months for her role. The actress was very convincing in the action sequences and competed with the likes of action star Akshay Kumar.
Fearless Nadia (AGENCIES)
And let’s not forget the original action lady of Indian cinema - Fearless Nadia (Mary Ann Evans).
She was an actress and stuntwoman, who is most remembered the masked, cloaked adventuress in 'Hunterwali' (The Princess and the Hunter) released in 1935, which was one of the earliest female lead Indian films.
'Hunterwali', the role defined her career, and made her synonymous with the genre of stunt film.