Popular Bollywood actor Purab Kohli, who was last seen on Farhan Akhtar-starrer Rock On 2, is currently garnering praises for his role in ongoing television show P.O.W- Bandi Yuddh Ke. Directed by Bollywood filmmaker Nikhil Advani, P.O.W- Bandi Yuddh Ke is an Indian adaptation of the critically-acclaimed Israeli series Hatufim, on which popular U.S. series Homeland was based.
P.O.W.- Bandi Yuddh Ke is a thrilling family drama and narrates the story of two Indian jawans, who were declared Missing in Action after the Kargil war in 1999. The story focuses on their journey, their return to their spouses after 17 years, how they overcame the trauma, and the scars of the torture over a period of time. Purab plays the role of Naib Subedar Sartaaj Singh on the show, which also stars Sandhya Mridul, Satyadeep Misra, Amrita Puri and Manish Chaudhari in key roles.
In an exclusive interview with International Business Times India, Purab spoke about what made him take up the show, how he prepared for the role, his personal life and more.
International Business Times: You are making a comeback on TV with P.O.W.- Bandi Yuddh Ke. How do you feel?
Purab: It's amazing to be back to television after so many years and also with such a good project. It is getting a great response. I think people were doubting that we are making a big noise of the trailer and lots of people were waiting for the first week to pass to see if it was a good show. But I myself am hooked to the show. I comeback every night from work and watch the episode on hotstar and I must say I feel very proud to be associated with a show like this.
IBT: Tell us one interesting thing about the show that made you take it up immediately.
Purab: A couple of years back, I did a show for Netflix called Sense8. I recently finished shooting the second season of Sense8, which releases next year. When I shot for the first season, I realised that there are some really interesting series and content being produced internationally and I was wondering why no one in India doing it yet.
24 has already been made here and that was the only one, so I was wondering how can I be part of some path-breaking show and then Nikhil Advani, with whom I did Airlift, said that he was making a show that was an Indian version of Homeland. And I asked him if I can be a part of it and that's how it started.
IBT: The unique concept of the show has been receiving positive reviews from viewers. Did you expect this response?
Purab: To be honest, I was expecting good response because we knew we were making good show. We are proud of the product and we know what we are into and the kind of work we are delivering. But, again, to get such good response from a large number of audiences was something that we didn't expect. I get calls from people from my society building telling me how they love the show and want to know more about the story ahead.
IBT: How did you prepare for the role and how challenging was it?
Purab: Naib (Purab's character) is a very challenging role and probably the most challenging role that I have done in my life. He is quite a complex character with his upbringing in Punjab and moving on to the army, then captured and tortured for 17 years and coming back and dealing with the family.
IBT: You have done TV and films. How do you feel about web series? Will we see Purab Kohli venturing into that space?
Purab: Like I have mentioned, I'm doing a series Sense8, which is being directed and produced by The Wachowski Brothers, who have written and produced the Matrix trilogy.
IBT: Coming to your recent release, Rock On 2 didn't receive a good response at the box office. Do you think demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes affected the movie?
Purab: Absolutely. Rock on 2 was such an anticipated film and it's unfortunate that it had to release on the same week when the Government of India decided to pull all the black money, which I think is a great exercise. I'm not criticising the act of demonetisation, I think it's a wonderful thing and it's just a wrong timing for Rock On 2.
IBT: Is there any other reason for the film's low box office collection?
Purab: I don't think so, because whoever is going to the theatre is liking the film. We have got some mixed reviews from the critics but I trust my group of friends and family. They watch all my films and are strong critics of my work. They have all come out saying that they enjoyed it. Some of them even felt it was better than the first one. I think Rock On is a rage and this film does offer great story, a lot of drama, some great music. So I think the film didn't get a chance because of the demonetisation. Had it released on a better week, it would have definitely done better.
IBT: You had been a part of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. Are you open to a reality show like Bigg Boss as well?
IBT: Talking about your personal life, you recently had a baby. So is marriage on the cards soon?
Purab: Yes, next year. September 2017 is what we are planning to. The wedding will take place in UK most likely.