'OTT has created an opportunity for new characters', says Bollywood's OG villain Govind Namdev

Govind Namdev, one of the OG villains of Indian cinema, gets candid on doing negative roles, how the industry has changed over the years and more.

Namdev, who acted in numerous movies as an antagonist onscreen made a powerful impact with his roles in films like Oh My God, Dum Maro Dum, Bandit Queen, Virasat, Satya, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Pukar, Raju Chacha, and Sarfarosh among others.

The 66-year-old says that he chose to be the “bad guy” since cinema back then was limited to only hero, heroine and villain. But despite the restrictions he did experiment and delivered various shades that spoke for his versatility as an artiste.

Govind states, "I have always been experimenting with my roles. If you’ve seen my negative characters onscreen, they’re quite distinctive from each other. None of them have the same shade. However, at a certain point I did feel like I should do some positive characters. But if you look at the cinema back in the day, it revolved only around three main elements – hero, heroine and villain. The positive ones were only used as fillers, which is why by choice I decided to be a villain.”

Speaking on how things have changed in Indian cinema Namdev says that the medium has evolved and there is more scope for people like him who would generally get typecast.

He says, “OTT or low budget films, they’ve opened doors to narratives with more realism, new character scope. A lot has definitely changed. I didn’t imagine I would get to play such characters at this age. People do have some reservations regarding OTT considering they’re too violent or have nudity, but it is a phase, and the bad ones will get eliminated and only the good will remain.”

However, he asserts that films back then were overdramatic, which is something the industry has left behind to a certain extent, but what the new generation lacks now is a passion for making celluloid.

“Earlier everything used to be extremely loud and there used to be more passion for making a project. But now it is more commercial and the passion of filmmaking has transformed into a passion for making money. No one can make a Mughal-E-Azam now,” he adds.

Govind is an alumnus of the National School of Drama where he studied alongside veteran actor Anupam Kher. When asked about what he thinks of his classmate, he says, “Anupam Kher is an exceptional human being. He is a multi-tasker who used to make connections while shooting, delivered good performances and also did social work, which left me surprised as to how would he manage to do all of that. I am very inspired by him. Not to mention, at this age he is even working on international projects, doing films, series, is active on social media and is also politically aware. Everything about him is super.”

On work front, Namdev has multiple projects in his kitty including Salman Khan-starrer Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, Arjun Rampal-starrer period drama The Battle Of Bhima Koregaon, and Kartik Aaryan’s Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2.

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Free Press Journal