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10-16-2009, 01:31 PM #1
Neil is not under any kind of pressure
Neil Nitin Mukesh bares his soul to TOI on his choice of films and his passion for challenging roles...
Your last outing, New York, did well at the BO. Does that put any kind of pressure on you?
Itís unfair to compare my films. Not only are they all different, but they also have their distinct individuality. As far as the BO is concerned, right now there is no success formula. If your film is good, it works; if not, you try again. I think my forthcoming film has a lot of heart, soul and grit in it. So, Iím not under any kind of pressure.
What are your expectations from your new film?
Every person involved in film-making expects a lot from the movies they do. There is so much effort put in there that itís difficult to ignore it. Iíve always been proud of the films that Iíve done and I expect the audience to like it as well.
Your new film has been in news because of certain scenes in the film. Did you have any apprehensions about doing the film?
I remember Madhur had told me, ĎNeil, I want to make a film called Jail,í When I heard the word Ďjailí I immediately jumped at the offer. Madhur was shocked because I hadnít even heard the script yet. But the title itself was enough to convince me that this is one film that I had to be part of. And I must confess, this has been the toughest film of my career so far. I donít think anyone would like to identify with a jail inmate. While shooting for 44 days, the only two people I was interacting with, was my makeup man Wasim Sheikh and Madhur. I disconnected myself from my family and friends. I know that I caused a lot of grief to them because of my behaviour. But I had to resort to method acting because it was the only way to get into the skin of the character. Iím a law abiding citizen and Iíve always maintained a clean image, so getting the act right for the film was a tall order.
Starting from your debut, your choice of films seems a bit unconventional.
I come from a musical background. I needed to convince people that I am indeed serious and passionate about cinema. Thatís why, I chose films that were different from what others were doing. My debut film, Johnny Gaddar, had me play a character with grey shades. Similarly in other films, my roles were character driven. Itís not easy. Some people think itís cool and fashionable to be an actor. Iím not one of them. For me cinema is art, passion and larger than life. The 70mm means a lot to me and to convince the industry and the audience that I indeed deserve to be here, I have to work doubly hard. My choice of films has helped me a lot to this end.
Critics have been pretty kind to you as well...
The day I sit back and say that Iíll always give good performances, that day everything will go for a toss. For me every film is a learning process. I approach it in this manner and the sincerity reflects in the performance. I must also take this opportunity to thank all the critics for writing good things about me. They have been appreciative and that helps a lot. But honestly, I donít read criticsí reviews with any expectations. It helps me stay grounded.