‘My mother (Yogita Bali) tells me you were camera ready as soon as you came out of my womb.’
Star kids may get a head start in Bollywood, but ultimately, it’s their talent that has to speak for itself.
Mithun Chakraborty’s younger son Namashi is aware of his privilege and feels he can pave his way in the ‘ruthless’ and ‘heartless’ industry that Bollywood is.
Ahead of Bad Boy‘s release, Namashi tells Mayur Sanap/Rediff.com, “I have to be seen, heard, and experienced as a newcomer because I’m a 30-year-old man making his debut.”
How did you prepare for your debut film?
Whatever you saw in the trailer, whatever you are going to see in the film, is all Rajkumar Santoshi.
I have imitated my director.
He used to act and I used to copy.
If I look effortless, if I look good, the entire credit goes to my director, who didn’t leave any stone unturned. That man is a genius.
Your Instagram bio says: Live to Act. What is your equation with acting?
The problem with me is that I can’t think of anything else but acting.
Bachpan se hi mujhe actor banne ka shauk tha.
My mother (Yogita Bali) tells me you were camera ready as soon as you came out of my womb. You were waiting for the clap to happen.
I am a born actor.
I’m obsessed with the world of acting.
I genuinely feel that the magic of movies and acting is so inspiring in every way that we can have an endless conversation about this.
I always wanted to act. I had no other plans in life.
Does the tag of ‘Mithun Chakraborty’s son’ come with added pressure?
I look at it as pressure, but also a privilege.
I hope people watch me for who I am, not for who my father is.
If they watch me as a newcomer, I can assure them they won’t be disappointed.
But if they look at it as someone who has a father with 400 films experience, then I cannot live up to the mark.
I have to be seen, heard, and experienced as a newcomer because I’m a 30-year-old man making his debut.
My father is 72 and he has won three National Film Awards.
There can’t be any comparison here.
Thirty is pretty late to debut as mainstream hero in Bollywood. Do you agree?
I would have made my debut at the age of 27.
We had to wait for this film due to COVID.
What do you remember of your father’s stardom during your growing up days?
I had a very strange relationship with my father.
I was born in Mumbai, then we shifted to Ooty in 1994.
We own a hotel called The Monarch, which is still there.
I did not have any connection with Mumbai per se.
But I knew he was a very important man.
Wherever we used to go, people would come and ask for his pictures and autographs. They used to hound him.
Initially, I did not understand this frenzy. As a child, it was so scary to be with him because these were random people.
But I knew he was very special.
As I grew up, I understood he was a film actor.
I didn’t realise how important it is until I was literally known to be his son.
Thanks to his name, you have 10 more questions to ask me because I have a legacy.
I always looked at my father as a fighter, who has fought his way in this industry. And I saw my father, not at his peak.
My father peaked in the ’80s and until the early ’90s. When I was growing up, my father had a sort of decline.
I saw my father being very busy, but he was no longer the biggest star that he once was.
I used to wonder how he does so much hard work from morning to evening, every single day.
I looked at him as inspiration.
After so many years, we, as an audience, are still enjoying his stardom.
What was his reaction like when you told him about your acting aspirations?
Oh, both my mom and dad knew about it.
They were like Yeh kuch aur nahin karta toh actor hi banega.
When I was offered an out-and-out masala film like Bad Boy, my father said, ‘Chalo, now show what you can do.’
They were very happy.
Fortunately, I was working under Rajkumar Santoshi.
My father had the desire to work with him.
He even told Rajji that you never worked with me but you are working with my son.
Your brother Mahaakshay’s career did not pan out the way he probably wanted it. What did it teach you?
Honestly, this industry is a ruthless place, a very heartless industry.
Today, my film is coming up so there is this media frenzy.
It was twice as big on my brother’s debut.
Unfortunately for my brother, things didn’t work as planned, although Haunted was a blockbuster and he was appreciated.
But the industry had chosen not to give him a chance.
They judged him too soon.
I feel that my brother is the most under-rated actor in the film industry. Nobody has a 100 per cent successful track record. Everyone has gone through ups and downs in their career.
My brother just needs a good opportunity to strike back.
The only lesson that I learned is how not to get bitter about things and to keep fighting.
I salute my brother for his resilience, patience and will.
Despite intense criticism, he is still standing on his feet.
Rajkumar Santoshi’s recent film Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh did not click at the box office. Do you have any apprehensions?
Not at all. See, he has done so many films in his career.
He has made classics.
He is a legend.
It is beyond hit and flops for him.
Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh did not work, but it does not mean it was a bad film. It was a super film.
Audiences are anyway not watching many films in theatres these days. I am sure that film will have a huge impact on OTT.
Bollywood is a highly competitive world. How do you brace yourself for the fierce competition within the industry?
Your biggest competitor is yourself.
What’s happening around you should not bother you.
Even after the release of my film on Friday, nothing will change for me.
If I’m good, people will take me. If I’m not good, people will ask me to move.
Everyone around us feeds insecurities in our heads that we are in a race.
I’m not in a race with anyone. I’m competing with myself.
Who are some new-age actors you greatly admire?
I love Alia Bhatt.
She is that rare star kid who has surpassed expectations. I’m her huge fan.
Kangana Ranaut is a brilliant actress. The versatility that she has shown is unbelievable.
Pankaj Tripathi is a superb actor.
My favourite actors are Shah Rukh Khan and Govinda.
How do you plan to shape your career from here on?
My first film Bad Boy chose me, I did not choose it.
I cannot say that I am in a place of privilege because my debut film is yet to release.
Hopefully, after this, I will have the privilege to choose another film.
I believe that unless you are not working, you are not improving.
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