Govind Namdev – striking negative performer

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By Faz Zia

GOVIND Namdev has delivered some of the most striking negative performances we’ve seen in our films in the last few decades. From Bandit Queen to Oh My God, the maverick actor has left an impression.

Namdev, who graduated from theatre to television and films, has had a journey to reckon with. Having appeared in TV shows like Byomkesh Bakshi, Aahat and Aashirwad in the 90s, to giving memorable roles in movies like Virasat, Satya, Pukar, Sarfarosh, Johny Gadhaar and others, Namdev has made his mark on almost every medium.

The actor might have made his official Bollywood debut with Shola Aur Shabnam in 1992, but it was the film Sardar (1993) which he had actually shot before, that can be called his maiden project. Namdev went on to play Shankar, the assistant of Sardar Patel in the biographical drama.

For his performance, Namdev received unanimous praise from critics and the audience. 27 years on, the thespian reveals why despite the massive success of his debut film and superlative reviews for his performance, he decided not to play a cop on the screen again. 

When he was shooting with actor Mahavir Shah and Shah told him that it’s his 25th film as an inspector and that no one offers him any other roles, that’s when Namdev decided he won’t accept a similar role. He thought it’s okay to play a cop once more, but not more repeatedly.

He was then offered a television show Parivartan. But Namdev began to have conflicting thoughts. “First, I wondered if this is the opportunity I have been waiting for, a chance to showcase my talent and prove that I can do more than just cop roles. Second, I feared that if I said yes, I would be slotted as a television actor and the film industry won’t accept me.” But once the story was narrated, all his doubts were clear and he agreed for the show. 

When he looks back at his journey that comprises over 150 films among other things, Namdev is more than happy. He says, “I have done a lot of films that I am proud of. It’s been a satisfying journey. Even if I feel that my potential hasn’t been tapped to the fullest, I am sure it will be done in the future. “

As for villainous character in today’s cinema, Namdev feels it’s because of realism that that superhuman-villain characters are not finding that much space. “In those days, there was a lot of stylised training – for talking, body language and expressions. But now the stories told are of and from real people.”

While he’s worked with some of the film industry’s biggest stalwarts, the actor expresses a desire to collaborate with filmmakers Karan Johar and Mani Ratnam.

Veteran actor Govind Namdev was honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke film foundation award for best versatile actor on 11th May for his versatility in acting in film industry. 

On sharing his joy on this achievement, “I’m feeling really grateful and joyous on receiving this honour. It acts as a source of vitamin and accelerates you to do more better in life. It’s a recognition of my years of work. It’s because of all the applause and praises I got from people and place I made in their heart through my work. This motivates me to keep on doing more and more better work and binds with a responsibility of performing best. Appreciation makes you better day by day. So I’m feeling very happy at the same time responsible to live up to audiences expectations,” Namdev said.

On sharing about his upcoming projects, “My film ‘main zaroor aaunga’ will be releasing on June in which I’m playing the role of detective. It is a murder mystery. The whole film is shooted in Switzerland. The film also casts Arbaaz khan and Aindrita Ray.”

Govind Namdev to unite with actress Amisha Patel for film ‘The great Indian casino’. The veteran actor has also bagged web series, tentatively titled “the red land” and also has many other films like Jhalki, the great Indian casino.

On talking about his role, “I’m playing a role of a commissioner who tries to unfold the activities related to under world in the casino . He is keeping a check on all illegal activities taking place in casino. But as the film continuous further my character holds the major suspense in the story which unfolds. Later on it turns out to be negative and he is the one who runs the casino with the support of Amisha Patel who plays ‘female fatale’. The film is full of suspense and thrill,” he apprised. 

The teaser of his two films ‘the great Indian casino’ and ‘Jhalki’ (based on child trafficking) was recently launched in concluded Cannes Film Festival. The great Indian casino is set to release in July.