He does a full monty in Madhur Bhandarkar's upcoming movie Jail, but Neil Nitin Mukesh insists the nude scenes won't distract any mother because the narrative is high on emotional quotient.
"I was asked to strip down completely and the only question before doing the scene that I had in mind was - what would be my parents' reaction when they watch the film? Would they be ashamed of me as their son? But I think they'll be extremely proud of me as an actor to have gone ahead and done it with a lot of courage," Neil told IANS in an interview here.
"In fact, no mother sitting in the audience will be distracted with the skin show in the film. My character Parag Dixit is extremely high on emotional quotient and people are going to be attached to that. I don't want anybody to notice the body in that scene and if someone still gets distracted, then probably he or she is not yet connected to the character," added the 27-year-old.
But wasn't he apprehensive about going full monty?
"There was a slight hesitation initially in the sense that I was a bit shy in terms of taking off the clothes, thinking it was for a billion people. But I was confident that Madhur sir will handle it with a lot of grace and dignity, which he has," said the young actor who debuted in an unconventional role in Johnny Gaddar.
Co-produced by Percept Picture Company and Bhandarkar Entertainment, "Jail" is the hard-hitting yet sensitive tale of an ordinary man who finds himself inside a prison due to a series of unfortunate events.
Releasing Nov 6, it also stars Manoj Bajpai in a pivotal role with Mugdha Godse in the female lead.
Asked about the controversy over the nude scene, Neil said: "I won't say it is blown out of proportion. It deserves the attention it has been getting because it is for the first time that an actor has gone ahead and done something like this. Though that was not the motive behind it; it was to actually project what really happens inside a jail.
"And it's a reality-based film, so we wanted to portray and show everything that actually happens with jail inmates. This is one of the most important, crucial and initial procedures that one really goes through in a jail.
"We couldn't take that off and go a step ahead because people who are law-abiding or have studied law and belong to the system would obviously know this is one process that has been completely ignored," he explained.
The actor, who was last seen in the hit movie New York, also had to get rid of his muscular body for the role in Jail.
"When I came back after doing New York, I was in the greatest shape of my life. But when I met Madhur, he told me to lose all my muscle and get into the character of Parag Dixit and leave Neil Nitin Mukesh aside," he said.
Not many know that the four-film-old actor tried his hand at the "method-acting approach" for the film.
"I adopted the method-acting approach for Jail because otherwise I wouldn't have identified with the character. Somewhere on the screen it would have faltered and looked rehearsed. I didn't want to prepare at all before I did the scenes," he said.
"In fact, I asked Madhur sir to shoot the film in a chronological order from first to last and that's what he has done, so that I could live the life of Parag Dixit and the graph could grow that way," he added.
Neil's future projects include films with Pradeep Sarkar and Abbas-Mustan while his Tera Kya Hoga Johnny is waiting to roll out.