Neeraj Kabi: We lack actors of calibre

Updated: Feb 16, 2020, 07:35 IST | Shaheen Parkar | Mumbai

Neeraj Kabi returns with the web series Taj Mahal 1989 and renewed interest to create talent as acting coach

Geetanjali Kulkarni and Neeraj Kabi in Taj Mahal 1989
Geetanjali Kulkarni and Neeraj Kabi in Taj Mahal 1989

Known for his acting chops, The Ship of Theseus (2012) and Talvar (2015) actor Neeraj Kabi, features in Netflix's new series, Taj Mahal 1989, which takes on love and relationships in the pre-Internet era. Kabi plays a professor whose marriage is on the rocks. "The Taj is symbolic, it's a monument of love, but the show takes on all its manifestations beyond romantic love. There is this scene in which I am talking about Faiz Ahmad Faiz's poetry. It is a romantic poem but the Urdu poet had written it for the motherland. The show weaves it through four different stories."

Kabi, who will be seen next in Dibakar Banerjee's Netflix film Freedom, says he is part of several projects which people may not know about "as he is not in the business of making people aware of what he is up to." Nor does he believe in having a PR machinery. "A lot of the projects may not have a big commercial release or do the film festival rounds, like Gali Guleiyan (2018), a film I am proud of."

When he is not tied up with his films, Kabi turns acting coach. He also does theatre "as it helps you grow as an actor." He adds, "We need to create performers. Senior actors should evince interest in creating talent by imparting knowledge about the craft. Instead of talking about the weather, they should help the younger lot hone their skills. We [industry] churn out mundane stuff because we lack actors of calibre. First, generate quality then work will happen."

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