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Neil Bhoopalam: I worked with Star TV at 24, most bosses were women | Web Series


Neil Bhoopalam is a familiar face in the OTT space and has much to offer this year and the next. The actor is a pro at playing restrained characters but goes a bit too far as Dhairya who won’t mind being overlooked by his crush in the web series, Masaba Masaba. The actor says he is far different from his reel self, which he believes is too good to be true. He also claims facing absolutely no difficulty in playing the part which required him to only show up on sets and act, thanks to multiple good writers on the Netflix show. Also read: Masaba Masaba season 2 review

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Neil opens up about his almost superficial character in Masaba Masaba and much more. Excerpts:

Finally, you got to be the prince who wins Masaba Gupta’s heart on Masaba Masaba? So, we can be assured you are the male lead in season 3?

Hope so.

What prep is going on for season 3?

Everyone is just enjoying how season 2 is coming along. Not so sure what’s happening about season 3 but yes, something is cooking. They are expected to get into the writing process in near future.

You played a very restrained character in Masaba Masaba. What brief were you given for your role?

I was just told to keep it simple and straightforward. You really like her but at the same time there are many constraints as you have a professional avatar as well, so just balancing that was the entire game. It was great to watch it because we shot a year ago and there were many details which I had completely forgotten. I loved the opening shot of Dhairya arriving with a bouquet of flowers, (which was kept aside by Masaba without a thought, after asking him who had sent them).

Do good men really win at the end in 2022?

I think so. But I also think that someone like Dhairya is completely fictional, I have never come across a person like that. It is like Michelangelo building a statute with amplified muscles, you don’t really see a human being with that kind of structure. Its aspirational, its something you look up to, that’s what Dhairya is to me. The name in itself is the brief.

How different are you in real life from your restrained character? How would you have reacted in the opening scene?

I am perhaps 20% of what Dhairya is, not more than that. If I was there, I wouldn’t hold back or hesitate to express myself. If I had done the effort, I make it a point to disrupt whatever the other person is doing and share my thoughts.

How was it working with Masaba and the team once again?

There is great love, camaraderie and a collective passion when we do what we do. It’s always nice to come back.

I come from a theatre background, we do plays. We have been running Hamlet The Clown Prince for 14 years now. This time we are taking the show to New York and Boston. So, we are the same crew and keep meeting, it’s like no time has passed.

The show mostly has a women-dominated cast. Is it any different from shooting with a male-dominated team?

I was born in 1983. Cable TV had come about and I was working with Star TV at 24. Most of my bosses were women. I am used to a creative space where most of the HODs are women.

From what I have gathered, earlier most families were not okay if their girls were getting into the media line. It was considered by some a loose-moral sort of industry. That was just ignorance. Some of the best writers in the world are women. The mind has no gender.

Tell us more about your upcoming projects?

I will be doing plays until January next year. I have a little part in Made in Heaven season two. I have also shot for a film in Goa and have a Rajat Kapoor film as well, besides the next season of Four More Shots Please.

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