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Purab Kohli On Playing A Serial Killer Opposite Sonam Kapoor In Blind: ‘It Was An Intense Character’ | Exclusive

Purab Kohli has redefined himself with the kinds of projects he has been headlining off late. From playing a complicated father in Rohan Sippy’s legal drama Criminal Justice: Adhura Sach to his big Hollywood stint in Keanu Reeves, Priyanka Chopra starrer The Matrix: Resurrections, the actor has truly proven himself that his craft is as pristine and nuanced as it was when he made his acting debut with Hip Hip Hurray in 1998.

Maintaining the trajectory, Purab was seen in Shome Makhija’s thriller Blind in which he played a serial killer. The film brought him together with Sonam Kapoor and Vinay Pathak. During an exclusive chat with News18 Showsha, Purab spoke about his character in the film, the graphic-style storytelling style and treatment, reuniting with his teacher in Hip Hip Hurray Vinay Pathak after so many years and more.

Here are the excerpts:

Tell us about your journey with this character. Actors have time and again played serial killers and they have their approaches, what was yours?

My approach has always been to take from the script first as much as I can and a good well-written script can provide you a lot. Not that I go and meet a lot of serial killers, but there’s enough information available online, you can watch content. Some of these OTT platforms are filled with documentaries on real life stories. And then also books on real life incidents and reasons explaining the psychology of people like this. It was quite an intense character to research and play.

From what I perceived from the trailer, the whole setup of the film seems quite atmospheric which in turn adds intensity to the overall story. So how will those factors gonna add more thrill in the whole experience?

You’ve actually pointed it out very well. Because I think what Shome has really tried to attain was a very graphic novel kind of feel. And I think they really succeeded in that. And I think that’s gonna add a whole another layer to the story that’s being told before. Not just Blind being a Korean film but I think the cat and mouse chase between the cop and the serial killer is not new to our eyes or our minds. But how they’ve done it is interesting and how Shome has looked at his characters. And even the driver which I play in the film, he does look with his eyes, the lenses they have given me, the hairstyle they’ve given me, it’s like the super-hated villain and that’s the whole vibe of the film. It’s like a superhero villain sort of thing. That’s how we’ve tried to make it different and entertain everybody with.

Whenever we talk about the chemistry between two actors, we always talk in the context of love and passion. But here in this trailer, I see a very different, menacing chemistry between you and Sonam. And it’s far from love. So how did you both achieve that? Since from the trailer, it looks natural and not contrived.

I have to give credits to Shome over here because he was very effective and conscious that I as a character would stay apart from everybody else and the film. You do a lot of readings and you do tests and all of that. So while I did all of that but I did mine very separately from everybody else. And I remember asking Shome right at the beginning if I can meet any of the actors in the reading sessions and he said no let’s keep you at a distance. And even in the film, my character, given the nature of the serial killer, he is always at a distance, lurking in the background which adds to the whole intensity or the frightfulness of the character.

How was Sujoy Ghosh as a producer in Blind? What was the best aspect about collaborating with him?

Sujoy Ghosh is always a pleasure to have him around on the set. It’s always a pleasure to work for him.But then again, he knows when he is captain and when he’s not. Here Shome was the captain and whatever inputs Sujoy might have given would have been before Shome came onto the floor. He is around as the guiding force at any point of time. I also want up to him once or twice and asked him a few questions about what he felt about the way the character was coming out. So he’s always around and he always ends up by saying ‘it’s Shome’s call’ and I think he really gives that to the director he works with. To let them make those decisions and make the final call about their project. It’s wonderful to have him around and it’s also wonderful to have a very capable director Shome Makhija. It was such a joy to shoot with him because he was clear about what he wants and how he wants it. So there was no hanging about or wasting time shooting unnecessary things. We used to finish each day an hour before time. So Shome was very efficient and it was a pleasure being on the set. As you might know, I’ve worked with Sujoy’s team a few times now right from Typewriter. It’s great to be involved in films that come under the same umbrella.

Apart from you and Sonam, this film also has Vinay Pathak. From Hip Hip Hurray to Fatso to Ek Tho Chance to Blind, it’s been quite a journey. How did it feel reuniting with him on this? Did you guys reflect on your respective creative journeys?

I think Vinay Pathak and me last were on sets together was during Hip Hip Hurray. In Fatso, he played a small role and in Ek Tho Chance, I don’t even remember him in it because it’s been such a long time. So I never had any interaction with him on screen or on the set even after Hip Hip Hurray and something I’ve been talking a lot about is that Vinay has been one of my first acting teachers. So it was an absolute joy to be around him. Vinay and me are there is certain parts of the film together but like I said, I was lurking in the back. But there’s one proper scene that we have together which is quite dramatic. But we were in same hotel, we were seeing each other everyday and we were going for long walks. There was a lovely park behind the hotel where we were staying so it was great fun catching up with him and reuniting with him.

Since it’s a remake of a Korean film, are they any original twists and turns that one should expect from the plot that might not be there in the main movie?

It’s been a long time since I saw the original film so I can’t quite remember. But it has been Indianized largely for the Hindi version. There’s a South Indian version too but our film definitely looks very different from the real film as well as the South Indian version of it and there’s no doubt about that. I think Shome has brought in a few things that are quite clever.

The kind of work you’ve done in recent times is phenomenal. Whether it’s Criminal Justice or London Files or Matrix, at this juncture of your career, what kind of roles that really excites you and that really drives you to be a part of?

I think you always want to do a part that is prominent in the film or the story or which is involved in the central part of the story. After being around for so many years, I just din want to narrow down on a role that I only want to do this. It sounds very boring. I am open to doing anything and everything. I do feel a dearth of some things so right now I am looking at something which is a nice romantic comedy or something. That would be nice too.

Any update on Rock On 3 as fans have been eagerly waiting for the third part?

Why don’t we all put our questions together for Excel Entertainment and say ‘When’s Rock On 3 gonna happen?'(laughs)

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