Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
'Katrina is one of the most beautiful women in the world'
Neil Nitin Mukesh
Last Updated: Sunday, November 01, 2009, 20:29
Method actor Neil Nitin Mukesh has always believed in taking the path less traveled. Although, he belongs to the illustrious family of legendary singer Mukesh, the hunk chose to take up acting as a career rather than music. And he began with an eclectic mix of films like ‘Johnny Gaddar’, ‘New York’ and now, ‘Jail’. Talking to
in the show, ‘Kahiye Janab’, the actor spoke about his sweetheart Katrina, a mysterious girlfriend and more.
: All the girls of the country are really jealous of your complexion. Do you give credit to any fairness cream?
: The credit goes to my mum and dad. (Laughs) Not yet, but perhaps if an offers comes my way I can give them the credit.
: It’s said that your complexion gets toned down make-up wise so that you don’t look fairer than your actresses. Are the actresses jealous of your natural complexion?
: Yes, if the actress is dusky or fair that has to be done all the time. My complexion has to be toned down.
The actresses aren’t jealous of me but I remember that Katrina and I had little fights over our complexions. Whenever she used to go to the monitor after a certain scene, she used to say, “How are you looking fairer than me?” to which I used to say, “Because I am.” I used to tell my make-up man- “Increase my tan.”
: Neil and frontal nudity have become synonymous. When you did ‘Jail’ with Madhur, who’s known to be a woman’s director, were you scared?
: He’s an actor’s director. He has always made his actors act. All of his films have had the male actors doing nothing but acting. Yes, it is the first time that he’s making a film on a male-oriented subject. I will call him an institution.
: You belong to an illustrious family. How did Madhur convince you to do a full frontal nude scene? Also tell us about the scene as it is one-of-its-kind. What were you thinking of when you did it?
: When he had offered me the film, with all honesty, I was ready to do anything. At least 80% of our population are either scared of the word ‘Jail’ or don’t know what is behind it. I was one of them before I was offered ‘Jail’. I am a very curious actor and person. I was prepared. Frontal nudity is a practice that requires a particular procedure that can’t be missed. We haven’t done it for publicity. It’s been shot aesthetically. I was just thinking that we have to do it in a manner where my mum and dad won’t think that I’ve done anything wrong and I think I have done exactly that. They will be proud of it when they see it.
: Acting needs preparation. What went into it?
: There was no preparation because I didn’t want someone to look at the scene for my six pack abs or muscles. I didn’t want my body to overpower the momentum of the scene, the complexity of the character, at that point in the film. If people can’t connect with that scene then the entire effort will go in vain. We’ll be a failure.
: You don’t belong to the ‘six pack’ school of acting.
: It’s very important for an actor to differentiate between what’s required and what’s not. For example, when I was doing ‘New York’, John (Abraham), who’s a good friend, made me work so hard on my body that I got six packs too. I was glad that I was in shape. When I went to meet Madhur for ‘Jail’, he said, “I think I will have to postpone the film by two months because I don’t want to portray Neil
in the film but Parag Dixit (Neil’s character in ‘Jail’).” Eventually, I lost my six-packs, a lot of muscle mass and cycled a lot. He wanted an average common guy, not an actor.
: Madhur doesn’t sell his products. Do you think the Censor Board has too ‘nanny’ like approach?
: Perhaps the Censor Board underestimates the audience. But we must also not forget that we are Indians and we have a culture and tradition that we need to care about. There are too many unsolved pieces of puzzle that we can’t put together.
: I heard you went into depression after the completion of ‘Jail’.
: Yes, I was depressed initially as I was scared of how I had portrayed the character. I followed the ‘method acting’ approach for the film by pursuing a chronological pattern. I lived the life of Parag Dixit for forty-five days. I was too much into his character. We were around 400 people together for a long span of time so we became a family. It was difficult to part with everyone.
: Your choice of movies has been quite unconventional. Your debut movie ‘Johnny Gaddar’ was different too. What (criteria) do you follow?
: I was desperate to start with a film that would give me an opportunity to be an actor because whenever I used to meet people they used to have a huge question mark on their faces and would always tell me, “You come from the family of singers so you should be a singer not an actor. Why do you want to be an actor then?” I don’t think I would’ve got a better launch and the journey continued. I like character oriented films usually.
: Do you call someone (Katrina) and say sweetheart?
: (Laughs) Well, yes, if someone is a sweetheart, I do. Katrina is a sweetheart!
Did Salman scold you? Kat also told me that you’re a great friend. Don’t you think you’ve messed up with Salman?
: No, he didn’t because he is a bigger sweetheart than her. Well, I personally love Salman and he’s one of the most dignified and gracious people around. Katrina is a close friend and I hope she remains that forever.
: Kat calls you the best looking man in Indian cinema.
: Now, she’s definitely a sweetheart (smiles). She’s working with the best looking men only, so this coming from her is surely a compliment. I think Kat is one of the most beautiful women in the world so her opinion counts a lot.
: You lost the Best Debut award to Ranbir. Is there a rivalry?
: Well, I am scared of the word ‘rivalry’. Whenever this word crops up, people forget their creativity and start concentrating on competing. We don’t work according to the BO reports; if someone works like that he can’t be creative and can be nothing more than a businessman. Everyone has his or her own niche to carve and craft to follow.
: You have a girlfriend named Priyanka? Why do you keep her under wraps?
: Well, I don’t keep her under wraps. If I get an opportunity to talk about her I would love to, but one needs to get her permission also. She has a lot of qualities that I would like to talk about. She has been a longtime friend, in fact she is a friend first and then the love of my life. I respect her a lot and if she’s taking sometime then why not.
Adapted by: Ankita Shukla
(The views expressed by the author are personal)
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