"Debuting with Johnny Gaddar was the biggest risk I took," says actor Neil Nitin Mukesh

  • Veenu Singh, Hindustantimes.com
  • Updated: Apr 26, 2015 16:34 IST

If you weren’t in showbiz, you would have been...

Doing nothing. I would definitely have been a part of this industry in one way or another.

What requires more effort: being a singer or an actor?

I’m more passionate about acting. Singing is a very difficult task. It’s not easy emoting through your voice. Singing and acting complement each other.

The best thing about your father is...

That he has never pressurised any of his children. He has always encouraged us to follow our dreams.

Which song of his is your favourite?

I really love the title track of


(1979) and

So Gaya Yeh Jahaan

(Tezaab, 1988).

A classic film you would have loved to be a part of?

Mughal-E-Azam (


The best thing about Bollywood is...

That creativity has no boundaries. Today, the rules have changed. Actors are producing and singing, and directors are acting. And I don’t want to compress my creativity, either.


What kind of films do you enjoy doing more: romantic ones or thrillers?

I may do more thrillers but I’m a romantic at heart.

A fictional character you identify with.

I think it will probably be Superman. I think the biggest dream for any man is to fly. He has powers and responsibilities. Like another superhero Spiderman says, “With great power comes great responsibilty”. And this holds true for Superman too.

Your favourite joke based on the fact that your name is three first names?

Oh God! There are so many that I love. I tweeted about them also. One man emailed me asking whether I would win three trophies for Neil, Nitin and Mukesh, each.

Whose sense of humour do you admire?

My younger brother’s. He’s 10 years younger than I am. His sense of humour is wicked.

The biggest risk you took.

My debut

Johnny Gaddaar

(2007). Everyone told me that I was the stupidest man to have taken up such a film. And I told them to trust me. You know what you are capable of but you are still answerable to all those people who are doubting and questioning you.

Define your sense of style.

I like to keep it simple, but at the same time I’m conscious about how I dress up for special occasions.

A piece of advice you wish someone had given you 10 years ago.

Everyone has their own opinion about everything. But the decisions that you make in life should be yours.

The stupidest pick-up line used on you.

I was in a bar once and this girl came up to me and said, “Hey, you are fair.” I said I know. Then she said “You are fair, even fairer than I am.” I said yes, I can see that. Then she said “No, nothing. I just wanted to say hi.”

Will you ever endorse a fairness cream?

Why not? I don’t see anything wrong in it. Fairness is not just skin deep. It is about radiating confidence. Normally, men are dark and handsome, but I’m fair and handsome!

Grooming products you can’t do without.

My hair clay, Issey Miyake fragrance and my Cinthol soap, the red one!

Your fitness fundas.

Your body is what you put in it. I work out for two hours every day.


What makes your day?

When I wake up and my dog comes over and licks me.

What spoils it?

When I feel homesick.

The best thing about Delhi is...

The food, the family, the memories and the roads.

The last line of your autobiography would read…

“…and it has just begun.”

From HT Brunch, April 26
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