'A glimpse into reality'

Honest attempt

Exhausted but upbeat, pink-cheeked and baby-faced (despite the facial hair), Neil Nitin Mukesh was down in the City on a whirlwind tour to promote his film Jail.

“It was a challenging and demanding role that required me to push the envelope in many different directions as an actor,” he says.

“For most law-abiding citizens, the very word jail is taboo and by association, words like police and lawyer also fall in the same bracket. The film is a glimpse into the reality that any ordinary person will encounter if he lands behind bars. It makes an honest attempt to demystify and debunk some of the notions people have about what goes on behind the walls of a correctional facility in the country,” he explains.

Regarding the much-hyped nude scene that finally got modestly blurred by the vigilant Censor Board, Neil says the controversy was blown way out of proportion. “It was necessary for the ethos of the character in the film. Stripping a person of his clothing denudes him of dignity and self-respect. It is a psychological weapon used in such situations and my only concern was my parents’ reaction. If they were OK with it, I knew the entire country would be too,” he explains.

When he is not intensely involved in films, the actor has a slew of hobbies that keep him busy and engrossed. “I compose music, I paint and I’m a passionate photographer. Of course, when my kid brother Naman is around, I have to put all these activities on hold and play PS3 with him,” he laughs.
Still discreet about the love interest in his life, he says that he is in a committed relationship but not ready to go public just yet.

Reading and travelling are his passions.

“I love to travel. I enjoy the cool picturesque hills of Musoorie or the buzzing excitement of New York City equally,” he adds.

Fish is his favourite food and he prefers it steamed rather than overcooked or over-spiced. Books on philosophy and light fiction by good storytellers like Jeffrey Archer or Ruskin Bond are perfect for a relaxed and quiet entertainment when his schedule permits him to take some time out.

 Does he have to work hard to keep in shape? “I workout at the gym at least four times a week doing a combo of weight training and cardio,” he says.

What about his style statement? “Oh, well-made jeans and comfortable tees work nicely for me. I don't really get too hung up on big brands,” he says and signs off.

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