FHM India|October 2019
With a family lineage of music and melody, Neil can also be called a boy with the golden spoon. But destiny was set to make him known amongst the masses as a diligent actor, who is versatile with the roles that he takes up. Amidst his busy schedule and an intense workout at the gym, Neil opens up about turning into a producer, creating his own content and being the best bad guy onscreen. Edited excerpts...
You come from a family of singers, yet you chose to be an actor. What made you bypass the musical route for the theatrical and commercial aspect?
I like to don one hat and add many feathers. I’m an artist and that’s the umbrella brand, and all of the rest are just offshoots. After cinema, I guess it’s music and production that are my stress busters. Music anchors me and helps me connect with my emotional side. Becoming a producer was a long-awaited dream and something I worked towards for many years. I happened to meet Madan Paliwal of Miraj Group and he was kind enough to back my vision. I think everything I do compliments the other and it just polishes that multi-faceted tag. Someday I’d like to launch my own restaurant chain because I dig quality cuisine and can cook up a storm. I’m actually a pure-bred romanticist, when I make a commitment, I endorse it a 101 per cent.
Your choice of films, right from your debut movie Johnny Gaddaar (2007), has been unconventional. Is that a deliberate move?
My choice of cinema stems from a challenge. I’m a pretty culturally rooted man and I like to try my hands at different things, that I don’t do 365 days in a year. Cinema for me is an adventure where I get to create, evolve, and yet have fun all along the way. Every hero is incomplete without a villain. The grey shades and negative roles attract me. Having said that, I’m open to doing all kinds of films, provided I get the right team backing the project. I think I can make quite the conventional good-looking bloke in a romantic film. Sometimes playing bad pays off and in my case it clearly stands as testimony.
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