Namashi Chakraborty: ‘I wanted to be an actor from the day I was born!’

Namashi Chakraborty with Amrin Qureshi in Bad Boy. Photo: Universal Communications 

He is rooted to the core. The younger son of Mithun Chakraborty, Namashi Chakraborty, is a sorted, chilled-out and humble young man who is set to make his debut in this week’s Bad Boy. At the same time, he’s honest and candid in his replies.

With a heavy baggage of a legendary dad, a one-time top star but now retired mom, and an elder brother who, as yet, has not seen success, Namashi feels that “If I am good, I am competing with all the young heroes around, but if I am not, then I am not competing with any!”

The newbie is a delight to talk with when we meet up at Mumbai’s Hotel Sun’N’Sand for an invigorating talk.

Excerpts from an interview follow.

What is the prime emotion you are feeling on the eve of your debut film’s release?
I have a lot of happiness, gratitude, hopes…There is nothing negative. I have to prove myself.

To whom would you credit the fulfillment of your dream to be an actor? And when did the dream begin?

I probably wanted to be an actor since I was born, and decided on it on the way home from the nursing home! (Laughs ) I would give full credit to Raj-ji (director Rajkumar Santoshi) and (producer) Sajid (Qureshi)-bhai. I never knew the film’s story or character when I signed the film. I first met Sajid-bhai, and then Raj-ji, and they guided me all along, believed in me.

So, what is Bad Boy all about?

It’s about two opposites who fall in love. I play a tapori (uneducated) person and she is an academic topper from a well-to-do family. It can be called essentially a comedy between a prospective father-in-law and son-in-law.

How easy or difficult is comedy for you? Even your father has excelled in some comedies.

I think that to make anyone laugh is the greatest gift. I love Govinda, and have loved Raj-ji’s comedies, Andaz Apna Apna and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. Comedy is the hardest thing ever to do, and more draining than action, romance and emotions combined! It needs madness and timing, and you either have the knack or you don’t! And Raj-ji’s sense of comedy is mad! This film can be called his tribute to Hrishikesh Mukherjee, and I don’t think anyone makes as good comedies today as David Dhawan and him!

You have many scenes in your very first film with the comedy king, Johny Lever.

Yes, in this film, I had to match him, as he and I have so many scenes. But he is such a lovely co-star, as he helped me in every shot. On the very first day of my shoot with him, I touched my head to his feet.

And in your very first film you also shared frames with your father!

(Smiles) Yes! I am so lucky to have been able to do that! He plays a cameo in our song, Janab-e-aali, and to dance with him was incredible!

How much does the baggage of your legendary father lie on your shoulders?

I am overwhelmed by the legend my father is. When our unit had gone to Russia to shoot, I saw how much of a craze he was, even there. There were women who said they would love to marry him! I would just request the audience to accept me as they would any first-timer, and judge me accordingly, not compare me with my father, who has been around for 47 years!

Your brother Mahakshay debuted 15 year ago, but is still struggling. Do you foresee a time when both of you will be competing, like the Kapoors at one time?

To be honest, my brother Mahakshay has inspired me more than dad. Despite not reaching anywhere, he is still a fighter. That is a strange way inspired me. But now, if everything goes right, we brothers will be seen back-to-back on three Fridays! After Bad Roy, the next week sees Rosh on Jio, and the week after that Jogira Sara Ra Ra, both starring my brother.

Among the younger actors, who do you admire?

There are so many—Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Vijay Varma, Pankaj Tripathi and even slightly senior artistes like Kangana Ranaut and Manoj Bajpayee. In fact, I would rate Kangana as the finest actress this side of Nargis and Nutan!! But my all-time favorites are Govinda and Shah Rukh Khan!

Not your dad?

(Smiles) Yes, but for me, he has been primarily a father!

How many films of your mom, Yogeeta Bali, have you watched, because she retired in the 1980s?

I have watched some, though she is embarrassed about the few movies she did with dad among the later ones!

Both your brother and you are known as Mithun’s sons, not Yogeeta Bali’s as well. Why is that?

Yes, I am Yogeeta Bali’s son. But my mom retired 38 years ago, and started work in the 1970s at the age of 14. She has steadfastly refused offers after we shifted base back to Mumbai from Ooty, stating that she was completely busy looking after four children and 11 dogs—all 15 were her kids, she told producers!

So that’s probably the reason why we are known as our father’s sons, unlike Esha Deol, Janhvi Kapoor or Sara Ali Khan. But the fact that some people tell me that I look more like my mother is enough for me! (Smiles again)

That reminds me—her aunt, Geeta Bali, is also a legend and was one of the most versatile actresses from olden times.

Yes. I wish I had met Geeta aunty!

How ambitious are you? Right now, are you having any pressures?

An actor should keep his horizons open, and I am ready to play even a woman if I have to. Today, the demand is not just for a good actor but an interesting actor—look at Pankaj Tripathi or Manoj Bajpayee.

For a newcomer, there is no pressure of the box-office, just a pressure to do better work. Look at the variety in my dad’s films—if he was a disco dancer, he also played Krishnan Iyer in Agneepath, Ramakrishna Paramhans and Jallad. Yes, audiences do expect too much from a star kid, but the legacy is also a privilege, as it comes with so much goodwill.

Yes, because many big names are tweeting about you already.

I am very grateful to them all—among them is the original He-Man, Dharmendra-ji, Amitabh Bachchan-ji, Salman Khan, Suniel (Shetty) uncle, Farah Khan, Karan Johar and others.



When did you realize you were born to celebrity parents?

In Ooty, where we had our hotel, my father would face crowds of fans, people who wanted to touch him, and I knew he must be someone special! Before that, I would see him in different costumes every time and think in my childish, simplistic way that he was getting fired from every job all the time!

Any advice your parents have given you about your chosen career?

Yes, my dad just said that since I have decided to be an actor, I should be prepared for everything that comes my way. I have no agency or PR pushing me 365 days, and now that I am fortunate to get a film, I must focus on working on my craft. My mother is more emotional and protective, but dad is very practical, as he has gone through so much of struggle. He keeps giving me reality checks all the time. He also said that if you are the chosen one among 140 crore Indians, you have to do well, as the journey will not be easy.

Other than singing in one film, Ilaaka, your father has strictly remained an actor in cinema. Of course, most actors, even your father, have been producers, but do you plan to do anything else that is creative, like direction, writing or anything else?

I would like to say this I am also a writer. Plan A is acting for me, but I definitely would like to write scripts as I think that I have a knack for it.

What do you have to say about cinema and writing today?

I think that all the blockbusters reflect the good old style of cinema writing, and we need better writers.

Many of your father’s generation have said good things about you on social media?

I can only be grateful to them all: the greatest He-Man, Dharmendra-ji, Amitabh Bachchan-ji, Salman Khan, Suniel uncle, Farah Khan, Karan Johar, others as well…it’s all my parents’ goodwill.











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