Govind Namdev is a known face in Bollywood with numerous films to his credit. He has played some outstanding characters – from a police commissioner in “Wanted” to the villain in “OMG – Oh My God!”
The 66-year-old actor has played the antagonist in films such as “Bandit Queen”, “Prem Granth”, “Virasat”, “Satya”, and “Sarfarosh”, among others.
Namdev is now all set to play the role of a cop again in Salman Khan’s “Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai” and will also be seen in Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani’s “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2”.
The actor, who is happy to play negative roles, spoke to Outlook’s Eshita Bhargava about his body of work, his journey, films he is looking forward to, and much more.
Excerpts from the interview:
It’s almost been three decades in the industry, tell us something about your journey.
I have done more than 125 films and it will go on. I'm very much satisfied with my journey – How things fell into place at the right time and I got to work with some amazing producers, directors and actors. I got to play many remarkable characters in some of the most iconic films that managed to leave a mark on my audiences.
More characters are coming up where I will be showcasing my versatility. I'm hoping to keep on creating impact through my roles in future too.
We’ve mostly seen you playing a villain. Do you feel – you’ve been stereotyped or was it a conscious choice?
It was a conscious choice. When I came to Mumbai from Delhi after completing graduation from NSD, my observation about the film industry during that time was that there were only three lead roles in a film – hero, heroine and villain. I couldn't be a hero because of my age, so from the beginning, I decided to go for villainous roles. Since I had received a lot of praises and appreciation in Delhi, I didn't want to play a small or normal character, hence, I started with playing lead and I focused on negative roles so that people notice me.
Now the scenario has changed completely and that myth of being a hero, heroine and villain has gone. In today's time, content is the hero and versatile roles are coming my way. So, after “Shola Aur Shubhnam” and “Bandit Queen” I was totally into playing negative characters.
I have always tried to do things differently – I can play every character and make it remarkable. I always ensured that though the character is that of a villain – it should look different, sound different and have a different style in every film
How did it all start? You always wanted to be an actor?
I didn’t plan anything, but becoming an actor was always on my mind. I wanted to do something extraordinary so that people would recognise me and my family, my district could feel proud of me.
Did theatre help you grow as an actor?
Yes, it really helped me a lot. I was part of a professional group of NSD whose work was to direct and write plays and perform shows in different places and overseas and eminent theatre directors used to associate with us from all over the world. It really helped me enhance my acting skills and take to the next level. Then when I realized that I have become mature in acting and can act in front of any star, I decided to come to Mumbai.
Was it difficult for you to establish yourself in the industry? Please comment.
Luckily it was not that difficult for me because the theatre had taught me a lot and gave me that confidence. I got my first break within 3 months after coming to Mumbai. After “Shola Aur Shabnam”, people started appreciating my work and I started getting more offers.
There was a time after “Shola Aur Shabnam” when I was only being offered police officer roles but I didn't want to get typecast and do stereotypical role so I decided to not do those roles. That made people believe that I'm arrogant and egoistic and I say no to projects due to which people stopped calling and even responding. For two years I had no work. However, I finally got a call from director Bharat Rangachary for a show on Sony TV for the lead role of a businessman. I was first sceptical to do television but then I decided to do it.
Soon, we’ll be seeing you in Bhool Bhulaiya 2. Tell us something about the movie and what was the experience like? How was it on the sets?
I can't disclose much but it was really great working in Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani and Tabu. I’m playing a pivotal role in the film. It feels really great to work with such talented actors of this generation. Anees Bazmee is an exceptionally talented director. Working with new generation actors helped in doing improvisation on the spot and they took my suggestions.
I'm very impressed with both Kartik and Kiara. I have worked with Tabu before, she is one of the finest actors.
2021 is a fruitful year for you – you have eight more releases. How does it feel?
Satisfied! This year is going to be remarkable for me and I hope it will leave a mark on audiences. I'm very lucky to be working on such varied projects. I love to challenge and push myself to keep working hard towards developing and updating my craft. I'm very excited to play different characters in films and web series.
Was playing the lead role ever your goal?
I feel in today's times' web series have a lot of scopes. The kind of roles I didn't get in films, I'm getting in web series now. As I have started shooting for web series “The Paradox” in which I'm playing the main negative character who is a doctor. Also in “Inspector Avinash” a web series based on the real-life of a cop who tackled criminal activities in Uttar Pradesh heroically. I'm playing Randeep Hooda's father who is very dramatic and dynamic.
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