Juggling many hats

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Juggling many hats

A congenial Purab Kohli is a multi-talented star who is perennially connected with his fans, first as a model, then a television star, VJ and now, an actor.

Kick-starting his big screen career with ‘Bas Yun Hi’, he has explored his acting styles while fitting in the shoes of a hero, villain and as a supporting cast. With the much anticipated war thriller ‘Airlift’, starring Akshay Kumar, hitting the screen, Purab talks about his exciting role in the movie and gets candid about his life — on and off screen.

Tell us about your role in ‘Airlift’?

I play the role of a man named Ibrahim, an Indian working in a supermarket chain in Kuwait. I am one among the 1,000 Indians who were settled in Kuwait during the 1990s, when Iraq waged a war. This war had a great impact on Indians living in Kuwait as it killed many and left the others half-dead without any food or shelter. Ibrahim is one among those helpless Indians who is in search of his missing wife. The protagonist of the movie, Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), is involved in the evacuation process of Indians struggling in Kuwait. Ibrahim meets Ranjith and gets into the core evacuation team and involves himself in the ground work of helping fellow Indians.

You sport a very rugged look in the movie...

This is the second time that I am working with director Raja Krishna Menon. When I learnt that he was making a movie on Iraq-Kuwait war, I called him up to grab a role. But he responded saying, ‘You are a great actor, but the character I am looking at is a small town guy and you have a very urban look’.

I gave him some time and met him again after a couple of months. I wore a kurta, unlike the usual pant and T-shirt, and walked into his office. He was impressed with the look and cast me immediately. In the movie, the make-up really did the magic. The ‘kajal’ under the eye, the ring and the ‘taweez’ lifted my look. It helped me get into character completely and when I look at the pictures, I feel more like Ibrahim than Purab.

Will your upcoming movie ‘Rock On!! 2’ keep up to its prequel?

It is an interesting sequel. There are many sequels in Bollywood that do not have any connection to the prequels. But ‘Rock On!! 2’ is not one among them. The main focus is still the band and with the excellent production team, we are sure to keep to the anticipation of our fans.

Any plans on trying on the director’s hat?

I have directed a couple of music videos, but it is writing that I look forward to indulging in now. I want to take a break for a couple of months and start writing, maybe by the end of this year.

Your place of peace would be...

I wish to go to the mountains or the North-East, rent a house there and get inspiration for writing. Also, I am blessed with a baby girl with my fiance Lucy Payton, who is presently in London. I want to go on a Europe trip with them, travel to a quieter place and switch off from everything else.

As told to Prajna GR

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