'I don't understand the concept of 100-crore-club movies '

Starring in a thriller movie like Johnny Gaddaar and science-fiction thriller Aa Dekhen Zara, he might seem grim on screen, but off screen Neil Nitin Mukesh is a mastikhor (fun loving), as he calls himself. Keeping in touch with his childhood memories, the actor never misses a chance to visit the places where he used to enjoy with his family. In an interview with Metrolife, he shares his bond with the city and talks about his life.

“I was born and brought up in Mumbai but my mom’s and grandfather’s families are in Delhi. I kept visiting them during vacations, which created many memories. It is because of those childhood memories that I rush to them every time I land here. Be it a one-day trip, I prefer staying at my home and not in a hotel. A person should be intact with his roots and so I love to spend my time with my family, the best anchor that holds my life.

Whenever he thinks of Delhi, Mukesh is reminded of being chased by a horde of monkeys. “All my cousins ran away, leaving me behind. The stairs of our house were built very tall because of which I missed my balance and tumbled down. When I saw my awful face full of injuries, I took my belt off and started hitting all my cousins for their rude behaviour.”

Full of childish traits, the 33-year-old is also a cook. He believes that cooking is a form of art and is therapeutic.

“I’m myself a big foodie. Although, I have to maintain a diet during shoots but I’m not that fussy and can eat anything, says Mukesh, promising to treat Metrolife with meal, he will cook on our visit to Bombay.

The actor also spends his free time for music, painting and photography. The grandson of legendary singer Mukesh Kumar and the son of Nitin Mukesh, is soon going to release his single track titled Meherbaan. But belonging to a musical legacy, one might ask Mukesh the reason of not opting music as his career.

To this he replies, “My grandfather was such a big musician that it might have scared me to pursue a career following his footsteps. I was afraid that I might not be able to keep up to his name. Every person has a different field of creativity. And when I told my father that I want to act, my father was happy with it as long as I sticked to creativity.”

Talking about his upcoming movie Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo (PRDP), Mukesh will be seen playing the role of Ajay Singh, younger step brother of Vijay Singh (played by Salman Khan).
Portraying the role of a rebel, the actor believes that “while onscreen, the characters within the film hate him; off screen the audience will love him.”

Doing a movie with the Rajshri production was a ‘dream come true’ for him where he learnt the art of politeness and patience from the director Sooraj Barjatya. Sharing the screen with Salman Khan for the very first time, Mukesh says, “Salman is outstanding as a co-star. Our special bond was over music as both of us sing and I believe that the bonds made over music last forever A beautiful aspect about Salman is that he loves to do his job and let others do their job. He never interferes.”

According to Mukesh, he doesn’t care about the ‘big-budget’ buzz around PRDP. “I don’t understand the concept of 100-crore-club movies. I do films where cinema is going to teach me and I’m going to learn from cinema. I want to be a part of such films that irrespective of its success or failure have an impact at the audience. Numbers don’t matter for me. However,
I can guarantee that PRDP will be at leasta 400-crore-movie,” he says.

Mukesh will also be seen sharing the screen with Amitabh Bachchan in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s poltical satire Wazir, in the role of antagonist.  Commenting on it, he says, “A person whom I have idealised since my childhood is Amitabh Bachchan. No one can let go the opportunity to work with him.

Bejoy Nambiar, a very dear friend of mine, called me and told me about the role. He informed that the role is not that a bigger one but it’s an important and a very powerful-performance-oriented role. And as I got to know that I will be working with Mr Bachchan, without asking any further questions, I signed for the role.”   

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