Neil Nitin Mukesh on playing baddie in Saaho: Was worried that I may be replaced

Playing baddie in Saaho, Neil Nitin Mukesh on fearing the worst when the film was delayed

Thrilled as he is to be part of one of the biggest films of Indian cinema, Neil Nitin Mukesh says Saaho has had a long journey from the conceptualisation stage to the big screen. A chance meeting with director Sujeeth at an awards gala set the ball rolling. “A few days after the awards function, he met me for the narration of Saaho. I loved the way he had envisioned the film and my character and instantly said yes. This was around the time that Baahubali [2015] was about to release. After it became a massive hit, we had to wait for over two years because Prabhas had to shoot for the second film. Even though I did other films during this period, my only worry was that I might be replaced in Saaho as many actors had changed. Fortunately, Sujeeth kept his word,” smiles the actor, who plays the baddie in the actioner.

He counts the role among one of his “most physically demanding” since it boasts of several high-octane action sequences. “The shooting of Saaho took longer than I expected. At the same time, I was also filming my home production Bypass Road, for which I had to lose weight. So the fluctuation in the body weight was difficult.”

Having collaborated with Prabhas for the first time, the actor says sharing screen space with the South superstar was an enriching experience. “Despite his success, Prabhas is so down-to-earth. While shooting in Abu Dhabi, he came to know that my wife [Rukmini] was expecting. He came to specially meet her and got her many gifts. That was sweet of him.”

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