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Monday, May 23, 2022

First of Many: Purab Kohli revisits Hip Hip Hurray

This week's 'First of Many' features Purab Kohli. In the 43rd edition of our exclusive series, the actor talks about his debut acting project, Hip Hip Hurray, which was directed by Nupur Asthana.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi |
Updated: June 1, 2020 11:50:16 am
purab kohli hip hip hurray mazhar Purab Kohli played Mazhar in 90s TV show Hip Hip Hurray. (Photo: Purab Kohli/Instagram)

Actor Purab Kohli has been in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years. But he is still fondly remembered for playing Mazhar in the 90s cult show Hip Hip Hurray. The Nupur Asthana directorial revolved around the life of 12th-standard students at the DeNobili High School, their coming-of-age, struggles with studies, peer pressure, family, heartbreaks, drugs and more.

But how did Kohli land his debut role in the popular ZEE TV show. Here’s what the actor shared:

1. How did Hip Hip Hurray come to you?

The first time I faced a camera as an actor was in 1997 for Hip Hip Hurray. I wasn’t really an actor then, just a college kid looking for something fun to do over the weekend. Little did I know or even imagine that I would make it my profession, and enjoy it for 22 years. I had heard about Nupur Asthana from my aunt. She told me Nupur was casting for a show and was looking for new faces.

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2. What do you remember of your first day on set? Were you nervous?

Everything. The whole bunch of us had already spent two weeks workshopping with Nupur and Vinay Pathak. So, the first day on the set seemed like an extension of that. Actually, I have to say the entire shooting of Hip Hip felt like an extension of that party. But yes, facing the camera for the first time and the invasion of our party by new guests in the form of crew members made me very nervous.

3. How many retakes did you take?

My first line was “Zyada safedi Whitehall se.” I must have rehearsed it a thousand times before I said it in front of the camera. The scene was the one with whole Hip Hip gang sitting on the steps taking the piss off the new girl in school, Alisha (Candida Fernandes). So it was all of us. And when the time came to deliver the line, I said it so fast that you almost missed it in the scene. It was just one take, but when I think about it now, it was terrible delivery!

4. How was the rapport with your co-stars when you got to meet or work with them again later?

Anyone who has seen Hip Hip knows the rapport we had, as that rapport is what translated onto the screen. After all these years, we are still connected and stay in touch with each other. We even do re-unions every once in a while.

5. If given a chance to go back to your debut role, what would you like to change or do better?

Nothing. It has to be the most fun project I have been a part of. It got so popular in the time of no internet or social media. The journey of one and a half years was pure and innocent.

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6. One film or role that inspired you to become an actor?

I didn’t really want to be an actor, so I don’t have an inspiration that ignited it. I did a film called My Brother Nikhil, and when I saw that film, I knew that this is what I wanted to keep doing.

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