Neil Nitin Mukesh

Neil Nitin Mukesh (born 15 January 1982) is an Indian actor, who appears in Hindi-language films. Born to singer Nitin Mukesh, and the grandson of Mukesh, he began off his film career playing brief parts in Vijay (1988) and Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharnii (1989).

Neil Nitin Mukesh
Neil Nitin Mukesh at the Volkswagen event.jpg
Mukesh at the Volkswagen event in 2012
Born (1982-01-15) 15 January 1982 (age 38)
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
OccupationActor
Years active1987–present
Spouse(s)
Rukmini Sahay
(m. 2017)
[1]
Parent(s)
RelativesMukesh (grandfather)

After graduating from HR College with bachelor's degree in commerce, Mukesh returned to acting, playing the title role in Johnny Gaddaar (2007) where he received a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut nomination. His first commercial success was in the thriller film New York (2009), for which he was nominated for a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. Following a series of poorly received films, he made his debut in Tamil cinema with the majorly successful Kaththi (2014). Mukesh's highest earning films include the romantic drama Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015), the comic film Golmaal Again (2017), and the trilingual action thriller Saaho (2019).

Early life and backgroundEdit

Mukesh was born on 15 January 1982 in Bombay, Maharashtra.[2] His father is Bollywood playback singer Nitin Mukesh, son of veteran singer Mukesh.[3] He was named by Lata Mangeshkar after the American astronaut Neil Armstrong.[4] As a child, he appeared in Vijay (1988) and Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharnii (1989) as the younger versions of Rishi Kapoor and Govinda respectively.

Mukesh was educated at HR College in Mumbai, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in commerce[5] at his father's insistence. He then decided to pursue a career in acting, despite being born into a family of singers.[3] In an interview with The Times of India, the actor said "singing is my hobby, but acting is my passion. A passion that even my grand-dad harboured. So, while my father continued his legacy and became a singer, I pursued his other passion. I am living his dream".[3] Neil trained at a four-month workshop at the Kishore Namit Kapoor Acting Institute, and received training from actor Anupam Kher.[5]

2007–10: Debut and breakthroughEdit

Mukesh made his debut in Sriram Raghavan's 2007 thriller Johnny Gaddaar. His portrayal of a crook received positive reviews from critics[6] and earned him a Best Male Debut nomination at the 53rd Filmfare Awards. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama described Neil as a "complete natural": "The youngster carries off the part with dexterity. There's just one word to describe his performance – superb!"[7] However, despite critical acclaim, the film failed to do well at the box office.[8]

His first 2009 film was the science-fiction thriller Aa Dekhen Zara. Co-starring with Bipasha Basu, he played a struggling photographer who inherits a camera (whose photos predict the future) from his scientist grandfather. The film was a critical and commercial failure.[9] His performance received mixed reviews from critics; while Nikhat Kazmi described him as charming and effortless,[10] Raja Sen of Rediff.com said he "seems to have cleverly picked another character that doesn't require him to act much beyond the fish-out-of-water routine".[11]

 
Mukesh with Katrina Kaif and Kabir Khan on the sets of New York, 2009

His next appearance was in Kabir Khan's action-drama New York with John Abraham, Katrina Kaif and Irrfan Khan. Exploring the aftermath of the 9/11, the film was a critical and commercial success, earning over 610 million (US$8.6 million) worldwide.[12] His performance was praised by critics, earning him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 55th Filmfare Awards.[13] Subhash K Jha wrote: "Neil as the sophomore with stars and stripes in his eyes is fully convincing credible and supportive of the two central performances."[14]

His final film of the year was Madhur Bhandarkar's Jail, a drama revolving around the cruel reality faced by prisoners in Indian jails. The film's aesthetically shot nude scene (demonstrating the torture Mukesh's character received in jail) and a masturbation scene sparked controversy;[15] as a result, the latter scene was shortened.[16] Mukesh remarked, "My nude or masturbation scenes are not for titillation. It's a very practical need in the script. My character is in jail without sex for 2-1/2 years. What does he do? He naturally seeks pleasure by himself."[16] A commercial failure,[17] the film and his performance were praised by critics.[18] Taran Adarsh wrote: "Not only does Neil Nitin Mukesh deliver his finest performance to date, but the performance would easily rank amongst the finest this year. He conveys the pathos and helplessness that this character demands with amazing understanding. He deserves all praise for his extra-ordinary portrayal."[19]

In 2010, Mukesh featured in Pradeep Sarkar's romantic drama Lafangey Parindey with Deepika Padukone. While the film received mixed reviews, his portrayal of a fighter was appreciated by critics.[20] According to Sify's Sonia Chopra, Neil's "underplayed acting style complements the character's sketch perfectly".[21] Blessy Chettiar of Daily News and Analysis noted: "He looks great in every frame and carries off [the character's] rugged demeanour with panache."[22] Lafangey Parindey was a moderate commercial success, with a worldwide revenue of 310 million (US$4.3 million).[23] Neil then starred in Sudhir Mishra's dramatic thriller Tera Kya Hoga Johnny.[24]

He has also been a brand ambassador to one of the leading clothing brands of the country, Oxemberg, in April 2010.[25]

2011–present: Recent workEdit

The following year Mukesh starred in Vishal Bhardwaj's 7 Khoon Maaf, a black comedy (based on Ruskin Bond's short story "Susanna's Seven Husbands")[26] featuring Priyanka Chopra as a woman who murders her seven husbands in an unending quest for love. The actor was cast as Chopra's first husband, Major Edwin Rodriques, an arrogant, jealous and possessive army officer who lost a leg in Punjab's Operation Blue Star in 1984. The film premiered at the 61st Berlin Film Festival;[27] it was a commercial failure, receiving a mixed response from critics, but Mukesh's performance was praised. Nikhat Kazmi wrote that he "excelled as the brute."[28]

In 2012, Mukesh starred in Abbas-Mustan's Players as part of an ensemble cast including Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and Bobby Deol. The film was a remake of the 2003 Hollywood heist thriller The Italian Job;[29] it was also a commercial failure,[30] receiving mixed to negative reviews from critics (as did Mukesh's performance). Subhash K Jha said he "brings a mean menacing tone to the villainy."[31] And according to Rediff.com's Sukanya Verma, Mukesh "mistakes sinister for superficial, resulting in a truly phony performance."[32]

In 2013, Mukesh worked in three films, though all were commercially unsuccessful.[33] His first release was Bejoy Nambiar's action-drama David, in which he played a gangster whose boss controls the Asian community in 1970's London. The actor said his character's dual personality appealed to him: "Here was this hardcore, extremely violent gangster and on the other hand, my director wanted me to show the emotional and romantic side to him too."[34] The film received mixed reviews, but Mukesh's performance was critically acclaimed.[35] Writing for The Times of India, Madhureeta Mukherjee described it as "restrained and powerful"[36] and CNN-IBN's Rajeev Masand said that Mukesh is "nicely understated".[37]

He next appeared opposite Sonal Chauhan in Eros International's horror film 3G. Filmed in Fiji, the film told the story of how the duo face supernatural occurrences when they buy a 3G-enabled phone.[38] The film was not well received by critics.[39] In a review for Rediff.com, Ankur Pathak said that Mukesh is "aggressively over the top" and added that his "body language is consistently uncomfortable."[40] He also appeared in Susi Ganeshan's crime thriller Shortcut Romeo with Ameesha Patel and Puja Gupta. The picture ran into trouble when it got a limited release by its producers, and emerged as a major commercial failure.[41][42] On his performance, Madhureeta Mukherjee of The Times of India said: "Neil performs well as always, he looks good (he needs to tone down his physicality for such roles) and proves that actors like him need better scripts to justify their true potential."[43]

Mukesh has completed work on two films – Prerna Wadhwan's romantic drama Ishqeria, which will see him star opposite Richa Chadda,[44] and Manish Vatsalya's Dussehra, where Mukesh will feature as an encounter specialist with Tena Desae.[45] He debuted in Tamil cinema with AR Murugadoss's Kaththi. He also acted in Sooraj R. Barjatya's 2015 family drama Prem Ratan Dhan Payo with Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor.[46] He also made a guest appearance in Wazir.

In November 2018, he turned producer and started filming Bypass Road, a thriller-drama film directed by his brother Naman Nitin Mukesh and written by himself. The film is scheduled to be released on 1 November 2019.[47][48]

In 2019, he appeared in Saaho, a multilingual film directed by Sujeeth, playing an antagonist Jai aka Ashok Chakravarty.[49]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2017, Mukesh married Rukmini Sahay in a traditional Hindu wedding arranged by the familial elders.

In April 2018, Neil Nitin Mukesh announced via Instagram that the couple were expecting their first child. A daughter, Nurvi Neil Mukesh, was born on 20 September 2018.[50]

Mukesh eats Gujarati food such as vatanu shaak, rotli, daal and kadhi for lunch and dinner and frequently attends dandia-raas.[51]

Other venturesEdit

Social activismEdit

In 2009, Mukesh started an NGO to support and help needy women by providing them with food, shelter and vocational training to support themselves. The philanthropic project was named for his grandmother, Saral Devi Mathur. The actor said: "I have read about women getting oppressed, exploited by men and other family members. They get sold like commodities and are driven into prostitution. I'm always pained to hear all this and at the back of my mind I had thought that I would start an organisation to support such women."[52] In 2012, he joined with Volkswagen in support of an environmental campaign called "Think Blue", an initiative increasing awareness of water scarcity and other pressing ecological issues.[53]

Award ceremony participationEdit

Mukesh participated in the Hiru Golden Film Awards 2016 in Sri Lanka as a special guest, along with Bollywood actors such as Sunil Shetty, Jackie Shroff, and actresses Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit and Karishma Kapoor.[54]

FilmographyEdit

Year Film Role Notes
1988 Vijay Young Vikram
1989 Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharnii Young Ravi Verma
2007 Johnny Gaddaar Vikram / Johnny G Nominated - Filmfare Best Male Debut Award
2009 Aa Dekhen Zara Ray Acharya
New York Omar Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
Jail Parag Dixit
2010 Lafangey Parindey Nandan Kamthekar
Tera Kya Hoga Johnny Parvez
2011 7 Khoon Maaf Major Edwin Rodriques
2012 Players Spider
2013 David David / Iqbal
3G Sam
Shortcut Romeo Sooraj
2014 Kaththi Chirag Tamil film

SIIMA Award for Actor in a Negative Role - Tamil

2015 Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Yuvraj Ajay Singh
2016 Wazir Wazir
2017 Indu Sarkar Sanjay Gandhi [55]
Golmaal Again Nikhil
2018 Ishqeria Raghav
Dassehra Rudra Pratap Singh
Kavacham Vikramaditya Telugu film
2019 Saaho Jai / Ashok Chakravarthy Trilingual film (Hindi, Tamil and Telugu)
Bypass Road Vikram Kapoor Also producer

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Film Result
2008 Filmfare Awards Best Male Debut Johnny Gaddaar Nominated
International Indian Film Academy Awards Face of the Year Nominated
Screen Awards Most Promising Newcomer–Male Nominated
Stardust Awards Superstar of Tomorrow–Male Nominated
Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards Best Actor in a Negative Role Won
Zee Cine Awards Critics Special Award Won
2010 Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actor New York Nominated
2012 Screen Awards Best Supporting Actor 7 Khoon Maaf Nominated
2015 South Indian International Movie Awards SIIMA Award for Actor in a Negative Role Kaththi Won
2017 IIFA Awards IIFA Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role Wazir Nominated
2020 Zee Cine Awards Telugu Favorite Supporting Actor Male Saaho Won

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ India TV Entertainment Desk (15 January 2019). "Happy Birthday Neil Nitin Mukesh: Check out ten best family moments of Golmaal Again star". India TV. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Naval Shetye, Aakanksha (11 September 2007). "Neil Nitin Mukesh's Bollywood break". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Celebs named after famous people". Mid Day. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b Mulchandani, Amrita (16 June 2008). "I am in Love: Neil Nitin Mukesh Chand". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  6. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (29 September 2007). "Johnny Gaddaar". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 15 July 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
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  49. ^ "Mandira Bedi and Neil Nitin Mukesh in negative roles - Saaho: Interesting facts about the Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor starrer - The Times of India". The Times of India. 15 September 2017. Archived from the original on 31 August 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  50. ^ Team, DNA Web (23 September 2018). "Neil Nitin Mukesh welcomes daughter Nurvi Neil Mukesh home, See pics". DNA India.
  51. ^ Trivedi, Tanvi (29 September 2009). "I stripped completely: Neil". The Times of India.
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  54. ^ "Hiru Golden Film Awards". hirugoldenfilmawards.hirutv.lk. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
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External linksEdit