Navdeep is tired of being typecast: ‘It hurts when filmmakers say I have potential but…’ - Hindustan Times

Navdeep is tired of being typecast: ‘It hurts when filmmakers say I have potential but…’

ByNeeshita Nyayapati
Jun 06, 2024 07:07 PM IST

Talking to the press ahead of his latest release - Love, Mouli - actor Navdeep opened up about his career, revamping himself, his idea of love and more.

Actor Navdeep has been acting since he was 17. The actor who showed great potential when he debuted with the 2004 film Jai as a boxer is tired of being typecast in specific roles two decades later. Even his name on Instagram reads Nav Deep 2.0. (Also Read: Jr NTR, Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Nani congratulate Pawan Kalyan on his victory in AP elections: ‘You are a game changer’)

Navdeep has numerous projects in Telugu and Tamil.
Navdeep has numerous projects in Telugu and Tamil.

“When I was young, I did the best with what I was offered. Soon, I realised filmmakers would approach me only for certain kinds of characters,” he tells the press while promoting his film Love, Mouli, which releases on June 7. In a freewheeling chat, Navdeep opens up about everything from his career to revamping himself, his idea of love and more.

‘I know I have more potential’

Navdeep has starred in highly successful films like Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and Dhruva, but the actor admits he’s tired of being sidelined. The actor has made a career of playing the faithful sidekick or the antagonist, but he’s finally ready to do more.

“When I look back at my career, I feel like I did not have much success besides playing one of the leads in films like Chandamama or Arya 2. Despite working in massive films with good directors, I now realise I was typecasted. Even when I took part in Bigg Boss Telugu (2017), I was in such a lean phase,” he explains, adding, “The more I saw people on social media point out that I have potential, the more I started to believe that.”

‘I was going through personal turmoil’

Navdeep says that through the years when filmmakers roped him in, even they would point out that he could do more. “It hurts when filmmakers tell me I have potential but don’t have the market to play the lead. The fact that I went through personal turmoil the last few years didn’t help either,” says the actor, who was grilled by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to a drugs case in 2017 and 2023.

But Navdeep wants to change that. From now on, he’s clear he only wants to play lead roles and play characters that let him explore his potential. “I have this nagging feeling that I need to do more because I know I can act; the filmmakers and the audience know it, too. It was time for a physical and mental revamp. For my mental peace, I have also stopped meeting every filmmaker who wants to work with me,” he says.

‘I breezed through life’

Apart from the people in the film industry, Navdeep says his father was the one who caused this mindset change. “My father told me I wasn’t sincere about acting for years. I never understood that because I go to set on time, I am disciplined…I just didn’t get it. I breezed through life. But now, after transforming myself, going after what I know I want, I understand what he meant,” he says.

For Love, Mouli Navdeep grew out his hair, worked on his body and focused in a way he never has before. “I did not trim my hair for months because the director (Avaneendra) wanted me to look a certain way. I worked hard since 2020 to have the kind of body that’s healthy and fit. We shot in difficult locations in Meghalaya; I just gave in to his vision,” adds the actor.

‘I understand love better’

Love, Mouli tells the story of an artist and biker who is adamant about finding the kind of love he thinks he deserves. Every time he falls in love, the heady rush soon turns to disappointment as none of the women live up to his dreams. Playing Mouli has helped him understand love better, says Navdeep. “I’ve fallen in love, but the relationship never worked out. I don’t know if I’ve evolved, but I subconsciously learnt from the experience. After working in this film, I’m sure I want a girl who will let me be myself and vice versa,” he says.

And while that kind of love remains elusive to Navdeep, he’s hopeful his career will take off again. “I will soon star in a Tamil film called Dear Exes with Nithya Menen, Prateik Babbar and Vinay Rai. It’s an adorable love story by Kamini. I’m also starring in the Telugu remake of the Korean show He Is Psychometric for Disney+ Hotstar and the second season of Newsense for Aha,” he trails off, adding after a few seconds, “I feel like all I need is a comedy film now to make this perfect.”

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