By Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama News Network
The two new films that Neil Nitin Mukesh has signed have peculiar titles. "One of them is called Fame while the other is tentatively titled Freeze. I guess audiences expect unusual titles from me after Johnny Gaddar and my next release Tera Kya Hoga Johnny", laughs Neil who turned 26 this week.
Forget the staid family-oriented good-boy image that Neil Mukesh has cultivated even after playing the roguish double-dealing Johnny Gaddar. On his 26th birthday on Jan 15 Neil Mukesh decided to really let his hair down. "Well on the night before my birthday, I was with my family. My brother who's ten years my junior, has his board exams coming up. So I've been keeping up late nights with him, trying to coach him overtime. So, the birthday eve was a quiet family affair."
But the next day Neil whooped it up with the babes. "Don't ask me where how and when. And I'll tell no lies. But I cast aside my good-boy image on my birthday night," Neil laughed wickedly.
He has also gifted himself some brand new roles. "There's Tigmanshu Dhulia's Fame about how the young today are ready and willing to take any road as long as it gets them money. It's about the shortcuts to a bulky bank balance taken by youngsters, again a moral fable like Johnny Gaddar. Maybe producers see me as the good boy gone to seed."
Another day another role. Neil Mukesh has also bagged his own super-hero flick, thereby creating an atmosphere of more comparisons with Hrithik Roshan. Neil demurs, "The film from Eros tentatively titled Freeze is going to be directed by debutant Jehangir Surti. It's about a man who sudden comes upon a supernatural power and how it changes his life. Lots of FX and yes, one more morality tale."
But the first one out will be Sudhir Mishra's Tera Kya Hoga Johnny. "It's an episodic look at the life of a street child named Johnny. I come into one of the episodes." Tell him it's bizarre that his first two films have 'Johnny' in their titles and he laughs. "Yeah it is rather uncanny. And when I was a child I'd often call myself Johnny for no apparent reason."
Turning pensive at a family on his birthday Neil sighs, “I already feel old. At 25, I felt young. At 26, I feel I've crossed the age where I could be a kid. Johnny is no longer Papa's kid."