January 20, 2016 4:16:52 pm
Purab Kohli, who started his career with the weekly TV show ‘Hip Hip Hurray’ has time and again been seen on the silver screen. The actor, who will next be seen playing the role of Ibrahim Durrain in Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Airlift’, spoke exclusively with IndianExpress.com, where he revealed that he did not worry about being overshadowed by Akshay’s screen presence in the film. The actor said that he is capable of holding his own scene.
Ques: You are working with two big stars, Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur. At any point of time, did you feel that your character might be overshadowed by their onscreen presence? (Read: Jewellery, make-up helped Purab Kohli in ‘Airlift’ role)
Purab: Well No! I know that my character is not a lead part of the film. The film is really about Ranjit Katyal and his journey, so I was really aware of that from the start. The only thing I could do was try and be noticeable and get some sort of standing and from what I hear is that Ibrahim has come out really well and prominent and people are enjoying him in the film. I haven’t seen the film yet because I was busy shooting for ‘Rock On 2’. So, quiet honestly there were no expectations. About being overshadowed, I think I’m capable of holding my own scene.”
Ques: What role do you play in the film? (Also read: Purab Kohli inspired by Akshay Kumar, will learn martial arts)
Purab: I play this character named Ibrahim Durrani, who works for a supermarket chain and is a middle class fellow and works in the Gulf. He has a wife who has been called into the war zone and disappears in that. He is in constant search and is looking for her.The film is around the track that many Indians were stranded in Kuwait at that point of time and how Ranjeet Katyal (Akshay Kumar) is trying to evacuate these people getting them all together. I am a part of the team who tries to get things done too.”
Ques: This is the first time you have worked with Akshay Kumar in a film, how has your experience been sharing screen space with him?
Purab: Yes, this is the first time and I have interviewed him in the past on Channel V. It’s interesting working with him, because when he is front of the camera, he is not a star, he is just a regular guy who is trying to give his best to a scene. Sometimes maybe it’s you trying to do more than him to get the same right. Only when you step out of the shooting space, is only when you realise what a big star he is because there are hoardes of people outside trying to get a feel of him or say hi to him. He is quiet simple, hard working and dedicated and an unassuming star.”
Ques: Since your film is releasing with ‘Kya Kool Hain Hum 3’, and often happens that clashes affect one or the other film. Do you think this clash might be a setback for ‘Airlift’?
Purab: Since they come from completely different spaces, they both stand a clear chance. Airlift is not a typical Akshay Kumar film, but it’s a typical Akshay Kumar Republic Day release film. People have seen ‘Special 26’ and ‘Baby’ and now I think Airlift is going to do the same magic that those two films did. So, that’s a space, it’s a sense of patriotism and feeling Indian. That’s a nice emotion that Airlift leaves you with. Since I have been very busy, I haven’t even seen the ‘Kya Kool Hain hum 3’ trailer yet. You are going to have select audience coming in to the theatres for the two. Both big producers, so theatre space is going to be at war I’m sure.”
Ques: Shekhar Kapoor is your Uncle, has it somehow helped you in the your career?
Purab: It helps me in the press definitely (Laughs). I’m Shekhar’s nephew, but ya he is a different generation than me. He hardly works in Bollywood, he works internationally. He hasn’t made films in India for a while now. He is my father’s cousin, so he is not my direct uncle. We meet occasionally.
Ques: You have had quiet a journey from being a VJ and TV actor to acting in films. How has your journey been so far and what is it that you would want to change in your past?
Purab: I started off as an actor in ‘Hip Hip Huray’ and then became a VJ on Channel V. I did some guest appearances in two or three shows but I never really go into regular TV. I did travel shows for eight years. And then slowly into films. I love the path my career has taken. But if I go back and change one thing in my career is if I had decided early that I wanted to be an actor. In the early eight years of my career, working on television, I wasn’t serious about it. I was doing it as something that was making me money. That realisation came when I did ‘My Brother Nikhil’. I had fun on the set and got a lot of appreciation for my role, I enjoyed that and wanted to make a career out of it. That happened very late, I was already seven years down the line in TV. Then I consciously started trying hard in the film industry and I always came with that image that had already been set on the television. People who wanted to cast me, cast me with that image of an urban cool guy on TV. And you can’t play that character in every film.
Ques: If you got an opportunity to work on TV again, would you accept it?
Purab: I still get offers from television but since I’m was busy with Airlift and Rock On 2, I didn’t have dates for them.
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