His last film, Jail, may not have been a box-office bumper, but Neil Nitin Mukesh is unfazed. He points out that while it’s important for a film to work commercially, he does not feel the need to go into a postmortem about how much his film earned.
"Jail was a small budget film and did not lose money. It was well spoken about and I’ve been offered another film by the same production house for double the amount. After Johnny Gaddaar, people were calling me Johnny, after New York, I was Omar, and after Jail, Parag," he smiles, adding that after Lafangey Parindey that opens on August 20, he’s hoping to be addressed as One Shot Nandu.
Game for it
Nandu is a biker boy who indulges in some dirty street fighting. The actor admits that boxing was never a sport that caught his fancy.
“I’d rather watch cricket, tennis, badminton, basketball, volleyball or gymnastics,” says Neil. “Boxing is dangerous and one of the toughest sports. It requires plenty of strength, energy and will power.”
Fortunately, since he wasn’t playing a professional in the ring, Neil who did most of the stunts himself did not need any kind of special training or expertise.
“The fights are choreographed by action director Sham Kaushal and exude raw physical power. I wouldn’t advise young boys to imitate my bouts though. They have been executed professionally for your entertainment only,” he warns, adding that he is looking forward to his second Yashraj Film.
“New York was my first big hit and this is my first solo film. I’ve really slogged for it.” Neil has also recently completed Vishal Bhardwaj’s Saat Khoon Maaf in which he plays one of Priyanka Chopra’s seven husbands.
“It’s incredible that I landed such a challenging role so early in my career. Vishal’s faith is heartening. I doubt if I’ll get to play a character like this again,” he asserts. Quiz him about PC and he says, “Priyanka is beautiful, both outside and inside.”
Neil recently broke up with his fiancée and is an eligible bachelor again. Has his fan mail tripled? “It’s gone up,” he admits, “but I don’t know if that has anything to do with my ‘single’ status. I’d like to believe it’s because of Omar, Parag and soon One Shot Nandu.”