The 31-year-old is starring as a romantic hero opposite Richa Chaddha in 'Ishqeria', after which he would be seen playing a righteous cop in good vs evil drama 'Dussehra'. "I am doing Ishqeria, a nice old school love story. I play a college kid, a simple guy from Mussoorie, who falls in love with the plain Jane of the college, played by Richa Chaddha. Certain factors separate them, but they re-unite after eight years," Neil told PTI in an interview.
Despite claiming grey as his area with films like 'New York', 'Saat Khoon Maaf' and 'David', Neil said he is not averse to any genre, but can't be a part of mindless films. "I get more offers for love stories and rom-coms than these kind of films. I am not saying I wouldn't do a love story, I'm doing one which actually has love in it. I would do a rom-com as long as there is romance and comedy it in.
I cannot do mindless films." In Manish Vatsalya's 'Dussehra' he will be playing a policeman for the first time. "I am going to start 'Dussehra', where I play an encounter specialist. This is my first cop role ever. There is this cop who is depicting Ram in a certain way. It's an action and masala film, with an underlying layer of suspense and thrill."
The actor stands by his choices so far, saying he likes essaying roles which are in contrast to his real self. "I like doing films which are very different from me. I am a grown up guy but I'm very child-like at heart. So I like doing films which are completely in contrast to me. "When I started off, I called myself an actor. Many people said 'pagal hai, pehle star ban' (become a star first).
But I thought I should work towards being an actor first, and then become a star. Be it in 'Johnny Gaddar' or 'Saat Khoon Maaf', I love my roles. I can't go up there and be myself, I have to be an actor, a character. There is no challenge in being myself in front of the camera," Neil said.
In his latest release '3G', a horror film set to hit theatres on March 15, Neil will once again be seen playing a layered character. The film releases this week. "It's my first horror film. The character is so layered, dark, grey and grey is my area. I love doing such films. I also call it a psychological horror, since the fear is created more by the mind than by the presence of a ghost."
Directed by Shantanu and Sheershak, '3G' tells the story of a couple who travel to Fiji to spend some good time, but their lives change after they buy a second hand phone and activate 3G service. "It's doesn't have the purani haveli, aatma and chudail ( old bungalow, spirit and witch) the weird things seen in a typical Hindi horror film. This is more contemporary and out of the box.
"Fear is not limited to ghosts only. Fear can also stem from a man who you thought was somebody, but turns out to be somebody else. That leaves you with a question mark - whether the guy suffers from split personality, is he schizophrenic or possessed?"