Neil Nitin Mukesh is the son of Nitin Mukesh and the grandson of the legendary playback singer, Mukesh. It is said that he was named by Lata Mangeshkar. Apparently, Lata Mangeshkar had come to the see the baby and remarked that he looked like a foreigner. Since his father was a huge fan of Neil Armstrong, Neil was named after the famous astronaut.
Neil worked as a child artist in two movies, as the young Rishi Kapoor in Vijay and the young Govinda in Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni.
Neil's debut film involved his playing a negative role, in Johny Gaddar. He received critical acclaim for this role. He also won the Filmfare Best Male Debut award that year.