‘Akhanda’ villain Niitin Mehta: It was a great experience working with the legend Balakrishna sir – Times of India

Indian army officer-turned-actor Niitin Mehta has appeared in various language films like ‘Akhanda’, ‘Seemaraja’, ‘Adanga Maru’ and ‘Kotigobba 3’. Niitin was born into an Army family and after completing his education, was commissioned into the Indian Army in 1995 and retired from the army in 2016 as a Second Lieutenant. He made his Tollywood debut in 2021 after retiring from the Indian Army. In this interview with the retired army officer, he talks about his entry into films, his experience working with Nandamuri Balakrishna, his opinion on Tollywood, upcoming projects, and more.


What made you enter films after being part of the Indian Army?

I was born and brought up in an Army environment. Since childhood, I wanted to join the Indian Army like my father. So, after my 12th standard, I was selected for the National Defense Academy and after 4 years of rigorous training in the National Defense Academy and Indian Military Academy, I was commissioned into the Indian Army on 10 Jun 1995 as a Second Lieutenant. I served in the Army for 21 years and hung my boots in May 2016. I then got into modelling and eventually into films.

How ‘Akhanda’ happened to you?

Well, I was modelling and had done Music Videos for FILHAAL 1 and 2 with Akshay Kumar, and then Covid-19 happened and I was sitting at home for a long time. Then suddenly I got a call from Hyderabad in August 2020 for casting in ‘Akhanda’. I met the Director in November and was briefed about my role. The director was looking for a new face, and he found me on Instagram. He liked my pictures on Instagram and was called for the role.

How was your experience working with Nandamuri Balakrishna in ‘Akhanda’?

It was a great experience working with the Legend Balakrishna Sir. He is such a great personality. He made me feel so comfortable on the sets that I never felt like I was a newcomer. In between the shots, we would talk about everything under the sun. He is the bundle of knowledge. It is very difficult to match his energy levels. I am blessed to have worked with him.

Can you brief us on your role in ‘Spy’?

I am playing a negative role in the movie. It will be out very soon. I cannot disclose my role, but yes, it is a very gripping story, which you all definitely love.

Do you always carry a salt-and-pepper look?

My look is as per the requirement of the character. You can see me in a younger look too in Akhanda.

Which is your favourite character so far?

All my characters are close to my heart. I cannot choose one as my favourite. Every character demands a different kind of mindset and challenges, so I love each of my characters.

Do you prefer to play a villain?

As of now, I am playing negative characters in my projects. I love playing them. I try to do all the fight stunts myself, it gives a lot of satisfaction. But yes, I am open to playing any character.

Who is your favourite actor in Tollywood?

It is very difficult to name one. It’s a long list. Every actor puts heart and soul into his work. And I try to learn from everyone.

With whom you would like to work in the future.

My list is endless. I would love to work with everyone. Language too is not a barrier. I would love to work in different languages, including Hindi. There are great actors and directors in Indian cinema, the list is endless.

What do you like about Telugu Industry?

It is a very organized industry. Every person on the set is dedicated to the project. The timings, the discipline, and the working culture are absolutely amazing. I never once faced any kind of difficulty despite not being able to communicate in their language. I just love being on the sets here.

What are your upcoming projects?

As of now, I am shooting for Ravanasura, Spy, Sound, all Telugu and one Tamil film opposite Sasikumar with director Thangam Sarvanan. A few more projects are lined up, which you will come to know very soon.

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