Purab Kohli is set to return to the big screen with his upcoming film Noor, alongside Sonakshi Sinha. The actor, who was last seen on a television show, is quite excited for Noor, though he doesn't play the central role.
Noor revolves around Sonakshi's character Noor, who is a journalist and her misadventures. Directed by Sunhil Sippy, Noor also stars Kanan Gill, Shibani Dandekar in key roles and is set to release on April 21.
In an exclusive interview with International Business Times India, Purab spoke about his experience working with Sonakshi, his role of a photojournalist, his upcoming projects and more.
International Business Times: How was the experience of working with Sonakshi Sinha?
Purab: Sonakshi is great. She is a thorough professional and quite energetic. Sonakshi is a very hardworking and diligent actor, specially for a film like Noor, which is entirely on her shoulder, she worked really hard.
IBTimes: Tell us one interesting thing about Noor that made you take it up immediately.
Purab: Well, it started off with Abundantia Entertainment calling me for the film as I had worked with the production house in Airlift. So that was exciting to start off with and then T-series being involved in the project. But its primarily the script that excited me and meeting director Sunhil Sippy, whom I had heard of before. Sippy has done a lot of ad film and is quite famous in the advertising circuit.
I remember I was travelling when Sippy called me regarding the film and I had some queries regarding my character. I felt something was missing from the role and what's interesting is that Sippy too felt the same. So, we were on the same page, which was great. So, I think once your director and you are on the same page, it becomes easy to work together and kind of makes it exciting.
IBTimes: You play a Karachi-based photojournalist in the film. How did u prepare for the character and how challenging was it?
Purab: My character of a photojournalist is not based in Karachi as carried by a tabloid. In fact, he is not exactly based anywhere. He is the man of the world and has travelled the wars. He is a kind of war front-line journalist. He had been through a bad phase in his life and is looking at what he wants in his life. He visits Mumbai where he bumps into Sonakshi's character Noor, which the film is all about.
It started off with looking at a lot of photographs from photojournalists. Ayaan, my character in Noor, got quite popular with one photograph from Iraq war and that the background of his life. I took a lot of reference from photographs of war zone and that helped me imagine what photo journalists of those areas possibly go through and try and construct a personality around that. Beyond that, looking at lots of photo journalists' work and I myself enjoy photography that helped me build the character.
IBTimes: Of late, there have been many women-centric movies like Taapsee Pannu's Naam Shabana, Alia's Highway and Sonam Kapoor's Neerja. What's your opinion on female actresses taking the lead?
Purab: I think its not off late, there have been women-centric films being made for quite sometime now. But off late, it has been coming to the mainstream and they are doing well specially Neerja and Kahaani that has gone beyond the Rs 100 crore mark. For me as an actor, I would love to do films that are completely centred around me but that doesn't happen everyday for me. So when they do its great, but when they don't, then you need to look at how to get into films that are good, are sensible and are made by people that you connect with and is backed by a banner that makes people go and watch the film. So, I'm lucky to have a film like Noor.
IBTimes: But, there have been some women-centric movies that didn't receive overwhelming response in theatres when compared to a film with male lead. Do you think Indian audience is yet to accept women as the main lead?
Purab: No, I think they are already accepting. If you look at Neerja, which is a heart-breaker kind of film, it's not sort of a typical commercial film. So, I think the audience is in a strange kind of phase right now.
IBTimes: Do you intend to take up another TV show after P.O.W.- Bandi Yuddh Ke?
Purab: I don't know, depends on what comes my way. At the moment I'm not thinking about it as I came out of P.O.W- Bandi Yuddh Ke after shooting for nine months.
IBTimes: Tell us about your next project.
Purab: It's the next season of Sense 8 that will be releasing in Netflix in May. The first season was on air a few years ago.
IBTimes: What about any Bollywood film?
Purab: At the moment there is nothing.
IBTimes: Is there any possibility of Rock On 3?
Purab: I hope so. I don't know but I hope so (laughs).