Though age-wise, Neil is a few months older than Priyanka, Neil, it is reliably learnt, initially felt he would look incompatible with her.
Says a source, "Neil didn't want another situation like Aa Dekhen Zara where everyone commented on how incompatible Bipasha and he looked. At the same time, he's a big fan of Priyanka's work. So when he heard that his colleague Ranbir Kapoor was working with Priyanka and prepared himself to match Priyanka's maturity level (Ranbir has stubbled, lean red-eyed look in Anjaana Anjaani), Neil was game for it."
Neil's character will require a heavy physical transformation. He will apparently be unrecognizable on screen.
Says Neil from the location for Yashraj Films' Lafange Parinday, "When I heard the script, I was zapped. This was something I had to do. I play one of Priyanka's husbands, the youngest of the lot. The fact that I get to be in the same film as actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Mohanlalji was incentive enough. I read even Irrfan Khan is in the film." (However sources close to the project deny Irrfan's casting).
While all the actors playing Priyanka's husbands (and these include an unknown American actor) have been finalized , the seventh actor is yet to be finalized.
Neil starts shooting for Saat Khoon Maaf from April. "I've a somewhat crowded date diary this year. I join Abbas-Mustan from June to December for The Italian Job."
Neil, who moved to Powai to be near Yashraj Studios to avoid the daily traffic to and from South Mumbai, is wondering if he made the right move.
"The traffic on that side of town is just as bad. It's excruciating to travel even from Powai to Yashraj Studios. On Thursday, I had a day off and I invited my mom over to do up my new home the way I wanted it."
Neil, who has been a part of a joint family household all his life, says he has no time to miss his family in Powai. "Because I use that old flat of ours only to sleep....alone!"