Fitness and a healthy lifestyle are a way of life for model and actor Navneet Malik. He wouldn't compromise on these for anything or almost anything. The actor didn't think twice before adding as much as 10 kgs to his person for his portrayal in Neeraj Pandey's The Freelancer. Navneet essays a negative role of Mohsin in the thriller based on Shirish Thorat's book 'A Ticket to Syria'. To be convincing on his part and pass off as a baddie who means business, he had to look heavy and powerful.
Navneet had to let go of both for six months despite being used to a workout regimen and being particular about his diet. "Stepping into the shoes of Mohsin for the 'The Freelancer' demanded more than just stepping on a scale. As a model, grams matter, but I embraced ten hard-fought kgs. It was a battle, no denying that. Yet, focus fueled my determination. This role wasn't just a part; it was my proving ground. Shedding the image was tough, but sculpting a character was tougher. Every extra bite was a step towards authenticity. Every sweat drop was a pledge to the craft. In those daunting months, I realized cracking the surface isn't enough; sometimes, you've got to break it to shine through. The scale might have shown a different number, but what truly mattered was the weight of the character I carried."
Navneet adhered to a specific diet to gain muscle mass, facing initial challenges that he ultimately conquered with great skill. "Initially, there was this constant feeling that something was off because being particular about my health is my second nature. But it had to be done, and I always look at the bigger picture. A role is not just about performing well, but you must look convincing as well to create an impact," Navneet added.
Of course, shedding the extra weight is an arduous task, but Navneet was never worried. "I'm as passionate about my health and fitness as I am about my career and craft. So, whether I need to gain weight for a portrayal or lose it to be in ship shape again, I do it all with all my might," he concluded.
The Freelancer features Mohit Raina, Anupam Kher, Kashmira Pardesi, Sushant Singh, Manjari Fadnis, Sarah Jane Dias, John Kokken, and Gauri Balaji in key roles. Navneet will be seen playing the role of Mohsin, the negative lead in the Neeraj Pandey-created series.