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'Rock On!' gave me the needed recognition as an actor: Purab Kohli

He’s also busy shooting for a film opposite Rituparna Sengupta. Not content with just acting, he’s busy producing and directing short films. CS pins him down for a one-on-one.

Purab Kohli

Memorable career graph
Memories keep one going. My first experience as an actor was a campus-based television show Hip Hip Hurray. I did several travel shows for a music channel. Aften 10 years of valuable experience, I finally decided to make a career out of acting. Earlier, I was just going with the flow with no fixed plan.

No to aviation
It was every young boy’s dream to become a pilot in the late ’90s, I was no different. But I hadn’t anticipated that it was a tough and expensive call. It was only after training and meeting other pilots that I realised that it was not my cup of tea. Also, it was disheartening when I was asked by co-pilots if I was the son of a pilot or a politican because only they could manage to reach till here. It was during my ground training exams that I realised that it is not my cup of tea. I felt guilty that my parents would be spending so much of money on my training and I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to land a good job. But I don’t regret this decision because if I hadn’t given up flying, then I wouldn’t have gone for an audition of Hip Hip Hurray and eventually reach here. 

Big Bollywood break
My Brother Nikhil was a prominent film of my career. When I saw the film, I realised that a film can make a difference to people’s thinking. I hadn’t dreamt of the massive response that came from the audience. Then of course, Rock On!! happened which gave me commercial success, people started saying, ‘Hey, he can do comedy as well’. It also gave me the needed recognition as an actor.

Different strokes
As an actor, I want to surprise my fans every time. One gets stuck with an image in this industry but I want to do all kinds of roles. I started with acting on television, then turned a VJ and a travel host, and then stopped acting completely. And then, I did a negative role in Awaarapan and a homosexual in My Brother Nikhil. What I really need is a director to instigate the actor with different shades in me.

Ecologically bound
I am sensitive towards the environment. I love outdoors and being with nature, exploring the forests and taking off on treks. If you give me the option of watching non-stop television or going out for drinks and dinner as opposed to trekking, I will choose the latter. I am a person made up of my experiences.  

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