By IndiaFM News Bureau, IndiaFM
So here is another star kid in the making. The legendary Mithun's son Mimoh will soon be seen making his debut with his upcoming film Jimmy. The debutant actor spoke to IndiaFM about his relationship with his father and his career in Bollywood.
Weren't you supposed to make your acting debut with 'He - The Only One'? How come your other film 'Jimmy' is releasing first.
He - The Only One was supposed to be my first film as we did the mahurat and also started shooting. But during the course of the shoot the Padmalaya film producers had a major rift between them. That's the reason the film is on halt.
Jimmy was my second film but because He - The Only One is on hold, Jimmy will release first. I shot nearly 60 percent of the film but then due to this problem the film is kept on halt. He - The Only One is an out and out action film. It's a complete contrast to Jimmy. Jimmy is basically a thriller and has everything in it whereas He - the Only One is a hardcore action film.
Your father Mithun's name in his biggest hit 'Disco Dancer' was Jimmy. Even your first film's name is Jimmy. Was that intentional on the part of the director to strike a connection?
It was never meant to have any specific connection with my father's and my film. When the story was being written, it struck the director that the title Jimmy goes with the story and later we realized that there is a connection. It just happened unknowingly. But then we realized that it's a plus point too. Jimmy was my father's name in Disco Dancer and now my first film has the same tile but it wasn't intentional. There is no connection in Jimmy and Disco Dancer. It's an out and out thriller film there is not even a single trace of Disco Dancer except the title.
So then what is Jimmy about?
Jimmy has everything a newcomer can ask for. It's basically a thorough entertainer. It's got action, drama, emotion, romance. Everything is well balanced and for me as a newcomer I couldn't have asked for anything else.
In Jimmy I am play a character that has two shades. During the day he works as a car engineer and at night he works as a DJ. He has to work to for his mother and make her dreams come true. It's a very responsible character. He doesn't show his pain or his frustrations to others. Even though he has to go through this pain everyday he always keeps this lively approach towards people. And then an incident changes his life. From there the story takes an interesting turn.
Even your second film is with Raj Sippy
Yes, I am doing a film called Hamilton Palace which is a murder mystery produced by Salim and directed by Raj Sippy. Raj is fantastic. If I start telling you about him it will take me hours to finish. I am very lucky to have him as my director for my debut film because he has been a director for so many years and has worked with so many big actors. Working with him was so comfortable. He never made me feel that I am a newcomer. We had a very good trust level between us. When he says the shot is ok it's definitely ok, I never once went to the monitor to check the shot. I had complete faith in him.
What was your father's reaction when you said you wanted to take up acting as your career?
Actually I was the one who told him that I wanted to take up acting as a career. But at that time I had huge spectacles on my eyes, a big face and to be honest I was very obese. So I didn't have the guts to tell him about my career plans in the beginning. So I told my mom to tell him that I wanted to show him my dance. He finally agreed and said ok show me your dance. So I picked up a song and did some stuff, to be honest the dance was quite bad. The moment it got over, my dad said Mimoh you are too bad. I was devastated and I thought my life is over. But he told me that no Mimoh you have the rhythm and if you are willing to give your 100% only then can you make it. So I said ok and I started to diet and workout etc. Dad still hasn't given me 100% but just pass marks, he says Mimoh you are ok. It will take time for you to grow.
How involved was your father in your grooming?
My father has prepared me since day one. He told me that this is only the beginning. If you feel that this is difficult, wait until your movie releases and ten people criticize about you. Because it is a free country, people just want the opportunity to hammer you down. So don't take it seriously, learn from your mistakes. It's not like people will only want to insult you, they may also be true. So just keeping on improving your work then they will shut up and know your worth.
Being Mithun's son is an advantage or a drawback?
Being the son of a superstar is extremely difficult because when you become popular your fan following always expects you to do well. When I visit my father's fan website his fans keep saying 'Oh Mimoh we know you can do this'. It makes me feel so responsible and at times even afraid. The 'what if' question is always on my mind. What if I don't do well and don't meet their expectations. Newcomers who don't come from an acting background feel that they aren't lucky enough, but ask us what we go through. I know the fact that when for the first time people will go watch Jimmy they will compare me with my father. They want to see how good or bad I am. My father told me that see Mimoh this is inevitable just do your best. Don't make it a point that you have to do everything better than me.
Everyone knows Mithun as an actor but how is he as a father?
I really don't have words to describe him. I have faced the most brutal humiliations from him. He has been very cruel with me since day one. He has always been loyal to me. Today I thank him for all those humiliations because if he wasn't that strict with me I wouldn't have been here giving this interview. He has taught me everything in life, I was horrible. I did not how to walk properly, I did not know how to respond to people. I was like a total looser in every angle. He always motivates me, he compliments me when I do a good job and when I do a bad job he also criticizes me. He told me that Mimoh if you have to look good you have to starve, you have to sacrifice and let go everything. Even when I am one film old and my film is all set for release he still comes to me and tells me on my face that Mimoh you did a very bad job. He doesn't care whether I like it or not. He has dedicated his entire life for his family. Even today whatever he does he does it for his family and hats off to him for this. And whatever he was cruel or nice it was 100% for my benefit.
Mithun is also remembered as a great dancer. How polished are your dancing skills?
I cannot tell you how good I am at dancing. That's for the audience to decide. I have been under my father for the last seven years. Being in America I have learnt the entire western dances. When I came back to India I learnt all the basic Indian classical dancing. I love dancing. You give me a good song and I will start dancing right now.
Mimoh is your screen name. What is your real name?
My real name is Mahakshay and it is a Sanskrit name. Mahakshay means the immortal. But my father thought that there are already so many Akshays in the industry so Mimoh will be a better name and plus it is a small name and people will remember it. And also Mimoh happens to be my pet name so he thought that lets keep it Mimoh.
So far you have been associated with your father Mithun. But you derive your looks from your mother Yogita Bali. Tell us about your bonding with your mother.
My dad always jokes about it saying that I am a mixture of a Sikh and Bengali. I have got the brains of a Bengali and the looks of a Sikh. With my mother I am an open book. Even without telling her anything, the way I approach her she knows what is going on in my mind. I have always been open to her about everything in my life because mom is more lenient towards me. There are things which I can't tell my dad and so I convey to him via my mom.
Why did she quit acting post marriage? Any plans for her comeback
This is what I keep on asking her that when you have everything why did you quit. Even today I have seen mothers and wives coming back. But she told me that I never wanted all this, I always wanted a family and I just can't believe it. Even today I tell her that mom you should come out with me, say for a photo shoot. But she says that I don't want all that. I just want you to become a big star and that touches me a lot. She is very simple she doesn't go to kitty parties or outings. She is always at home and has dedicated her life for her children
What's in store from you in future?
I am doing four more films besides Jimmy. I am doing a film with Shammi Kapoor's son Aditya Kapoor who is directing his first Hindi feature film which is called India Rocks. It is being produced by Sudhir Mukherjje for Filmalaya. In the film I play a sweeper in London and from a sweeper I become a superstar. Apart from me there is Riya Sen and another foreign girl in the film.
Then I am doing a film called Hamilton Palace which is a murder mystery and is produced by Salim and directed by Raj Sippy. The other film is for producer Anjum Rizvi called Fast Forward. It's got two heroes and two heroines, but the star cast isn't finalized as yet. And the last one is a film by the producer of Chandni Bar, R Mohan. He has taken a Punjabi director who has done a lot of films in Punjabi and has won many awards too. There are also talks going on for the remake of Satte Pe Satta by Raj Sippy. There are plans to start it in the end of this year.