'I have only become more mature'

SPONTANEOUS ACTOR

'I have only become more mature'

Actor and VJ Purab Kohli’s appearance in a well-known television commercial has only added to his popularity. But the actor seems to be breaking new ground with regards to acting! Playing a rustic character in his upcoming film Jal, Purab spoke to Metrolife during his recent visit to the City.

For the actor, who took up acting as a summer job, it has been a long journey full of ups and downs. “I always wanted to be a pilot and took up ‘Hip Hip Hurray’ as a summer job. Soon, Channel V offered me a job and I was travelling the country. I did all kinds of things before taking up acting seriously,” he says.

“‘My Brother Nikhil’ was like a new reality for me. When I saw the movie in the theatre, I realised how much it had affected me. I decided that acting was what I wanted to do. Then ‘Rock On’ happened and things looked all set. But soon, there was a recession in the film industry and my films began to get shelved. But it’s been 16 years since I started acting and I have only become more mature in the process,” says Purab.

Ask him about his upcoming movie Jal and he speaks about his character Bakka, who is a water diviner, in the parched lands of the Kutch region. “It was only a couple of years back that I reconnected with the director of the film — Girish Malik and he offered me the role.

Being brought up in the City, I had no idea about the ways of a villager. Girish and I went on a recce and he asked me to find anyone who was close to the character. I met two tribal young men — Rakha and Bachhan. Rakha loves the forest and wants to stay away from the city and village. Meeting him was like a stepping stone to learning more about the character. In fact, he taught me a lot of things. He did not need a watch to tell the time or a map to say which part of the forest we were in,” he says.

He explains that it was easy for him to get typecast in a particular role, especially after essaying the role of a homosexual in the film, ‘My Brother Nikhil’. But he decided to accept the challenge and do films that brought forth his talent. “I was offered many such roles by big directors. But I was sure that they would not treat the subject well and mock it instead.

When I was offered ‘My Brother Nikhil’, I wanted to be a part of it as soon as I read the script. I think the subject of homosexuality is not treated well in the Indian film industry. But again there are directors who have a different way of approaching the subject and also make the audience accept it,” he details.

Purab adds that he has become quite popular due to his famous coffee commercial but he wants to let his films do the talking. 

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