• Tuesday, March 05, 2024

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Purab Kohli: Regrets can be converted into learning

Eastern Eye recently spoke to Kohli about his journey, his upcoming projects, and much more.

By: Mohnish Singh

With a career spanning a remarkable 25 years, Purab Kohli stands as a testament to perseverance, versatility, and undeniable talent. From gripping dramas to rib-tickling comedies, the seasoned actor has graced screens both big and small, leaving an indelible mark on audiences.

Eastern Eye recently spoke to Kohli about his journey, his upcoming projects, and much more.

How has 2023 been for you, and what are your expectations from 2024?

Well, the first part of 2023 was very exciting and very busy. I shot three films back to back. I came to the halfway point of the year and had an excellent summer holiday with the family and I think now things seem to be slowing down in the business where not too many things are being commercial. I think it’s going to shift a bit. I think the web platforms, of late are a sort of finding grounds like on a sort of make sure they are commissioning the right projects and I think they are sort of resetting, a lot of resets are happening, some corrections are happening. So I think the latter half of the year, also there have been huge strikes in the Western world with writers and actors striking. I think the writers’ strike is now resolved but I the actors’ strike, the thing still goes on. I know that shouldn’t affect India, I think now all these big players like Netflix, and Amazon are global. So I think if it affects them globally, it sort of also affects them in India. I think the decisions they make are the top ten filtered down throughout the world. So anyway, my point is that I think 2024 is going to be very exciting because it will come with new protocols, new shows, and new movies and I have a few releases lined up for 2024. So I think 2024 is genuinely going to be very exciting. So, yeah, the first half of 2023 was great second half was slightly slow. The first half of 2024 I think is going to be a huge pump-up. I sound like an analyst.

This year, you complete two decades in showbiz. How do you look at your journey?

It’s two and half decades, 25 years. Hip Hip Hurray released for the first time 25 years ago. So we started shooting it a few months before and the first release happened in October 1998. So 2023 would be 25 years. Ups and downs, like any other journey 25 years ago, and today there has been a huge growth in not only my age but also in my thinking, and my maturity. I mean you go through so much, I mean I was in my late teens when I started working and now I am in my 40s, early 40s. So it’s a huge journey, 25 years and I wouldn’t have asked for any other journey. It’s been so fun, there have been highs, there have been lows. You learn from the lows and you should ride the highs. I think that’s the lesson really from the 25 years that I have lived in this industry.

Do you have any regrets?

I did have some regrets but the regrets can be converted into learning, so you don’t regret them anymore. You say thank you for your learning and you move on with your life. I think initially regrets bother me, but then I think after a certain point of time the things that you regret in doing and say right, this is what happened back in life and then move on with it and you know, make better decisions for the next time for an opportunity like that comes. I have seen that work so; there is no point in waiting for too long. So you sort of just use it as a learning.

Do you ever feel the industry failed to tap into your real talent?

No, I think the industry has tapped into some of my talent and I think there is a lot more for me to give. So I don’t know about real but there is a lot more I am discovering. So I think the industry has tapped my talents at certain times and now I feel, that the film especially that I have done this year, has unleashed a new sort of side to me which I enjoyed bringing forth the projects I have done and I think once these films have an opportunity to have proper releases people will get to see that. Yeah, I am looking forward to 2024, as I have already mentioned earlier. I am hoping to give the industry more to put it that way. Let’s see what happens after these releases.

If today you had to give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

I mean I think my younger self was pretty cool and I think my younger self can give me some advice to be a lot more carefree about things. I think that my younger self was quite a sort of adventurous and explorative and I think that younger self can give me a lot of advice but there is one piece of advice I would give my younger self, yes I think I would ask my younger self to be sort of may be more focused possibly. I see myself having a lot more focus now than I had when I was much younger. Much younger, I was like taking life as it comes, having fun which is a great way to live. So I don’t regret it. So yeah, I cancel that. No advice to my younger self, go live life to the fullest, as you did, and thank you for being you.

You had a part in The Matrix Resurrections. Are you planning to explore more work in Hollywood?

Yes, of course, that’s why I am here, in London. The main reason is to try and sort of extend tentacles or hands or limbs and try and place them in the Western world. Not only in Hollywood but also in British work. I think in the UK there is always some great writing, the shows that get produced here, get carried forward to the rest of the world. So I am hoping to place myself here as well as in the West, yeah. For the West, that would be in America and Hollywood. Try and back some big projects, fingers crossed. It’s hard work. It’s all very new to me; I am all very young over here. I mean it’s been 25 years working in India but here I think I can fairly say that, I mean it’s only in the last two or three years that I have already given it a shot and managed to get some traction over here. So fingers crossed, something will take off.

How do you remember your grand uncle Dev Anand whose 100th birthday was a few months ago?

Well, very fondly. Of course when I was born and when I met him and the memories I have, I mean I met him as a kid but when I was older, I started acting, and he called me to see him once. I mean he was pretty old already. So, it was a great interaction, he was making a film and he was keen to wanna cast me in it. But when he met me, he thought I was too young for the role that he was wanting me for, wanting me to play. So, he said, “Tu thoda bada hoja fir karenge kuch.” Because he had not seen me in years, he heard about me, so he said come and meet me. I mean I met him and he said, “Tu abhi bahut chota hai, my role is for someone older. You come in a few years. We will do something.” So, very encouraging, very positive. I mean all the things you felt about him from his work and seeing interviews of him. That was what he was even within the family, and every time, anything you would hear of stories in the family that this happened, that happened and then Dev Saab would come and he would always have a positive approach to everything. So, very loved within the family also and I have very fond memories of him and miss him being around.

When will the audience see the next seasons of Out of Love and Criminal Justice?

Well, I don’t know. That is the question for BBC not for me. Criminal Justice, I don’t know if I will do another season because the format is such that this case has moved on and so I don’t think Criminal Justice will have another season unless, they include Neeraj into one or the other episodes or other seasons, and Out Of Love, I hope another season happens and there is definite scope for another season happening but of course, again the question is to BBC not to me.

What else are you currently working on?

Well, three films are there as I said. There is a film called Puthun, and then there is another film called Let There Be Love. The third one is called Ahuti. Let There Be Love might release first and then Puthun and Ahuti. So 2024, as I said is very exciting.

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