Radio Jockey, stage artist, actor – Neil Bhoopalam has donned many hats. Having started performing theatre at the age of 19, he says that it’s something that comes quite naturally to him. “I’m originally a stage actor, movies just happened to me along the way. I have been doing theatre for several years now and it has been my foundation and I’m very familiar and comfortable with it,” says Neil, who will be performing in the city today as part of the play Noises off by Atul Kumar.
Explaining the difference between performing on stage and on a screen, Neil says that he finds theatre more challenging. “For me since I’ve been doing theatre for a long time, I’m very comfortable with it. I’m very used to performing in front of an audience but I’m not so used to performing in front of a camera. So that’s a new challenge for me. In films, you have to tone it down a bit as an actor, “ shares the 31-year-old.
Neil, who was seen in films like Shaitan, No One Killed Jessica, David is inclined to do more films now. “Films are fairly new for me. I find it really interesting and I’m planning to shift my focus doing more films in the future,” he informs.
Apart from featuring in several films, Neil was also seen in front of the small screen in the much-acclaimed television series 24. Speaking about his television experience, he says, “It was a very tiring experience. TV is really hard work because you have to shoot a lot of scenes. In films, there are just a few scenes that you need to shoot per day but TV is constant work.”
Neil, who plays a vital role in Atul Kumar’s Noises off is visiting Hyderabad for the first time with this production and is excited to find out how the audience responds to him. “It’s the first time we will be performing in Hyderabad. Noises Off is a play within a play. It’s a world comedy and is three versions of the same act. One of the unique aspects of this play is that it’s done in many different languages.”
Apart from acting, Neil had initially tried his hand at radio as well and worked with Radio Mirchi for a while. “Radio was my first job actually. It was something which I had come across when I was in college and I thought I’ll give it a shot for fun. They liked me and accepted me and I had a really good time as an RJ,” he shares.
His upcoming films include NH10 alongside Anushka Sharma and Ungli, directed by Rensil D’Silva, which also stars Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut and Sanjay Dutt among others. “’NH10’ is a phantom production. We shot the film in two phases -- one in New Delhi and Gurgaon and the other in Rajasthan. The shooting is complete and the film is now in the editing process. ‘Ungli’ is a project I’m really excited about -- the film’s release has been postponed a couple of times but hopefully it will release in October,” he adds.
Having been an RJ and acted in in theatre, TV and films, we ask Neil if it has now given him an edge. “I certainly think I have expanded my horizon. I feel most people don’t know what they really want to do at a young age, and only after a period of trial and error do they realise what they want to do. It has been something similar for me, but I enjoyed every minute of it,” he says on a parting note. Watch Neil Bhoopalam live as he performs along with the rest of the crew in Noises off today at Ravindra Bharati at 7:30 pm.