After playing a police inspector investigating a haunted house in Goa in Netflix’s Typewriter, Purab Kohli is back in another web series this year. In Hotstar’s Out of Love, released on November 22, Kohli plays Akarsh Kapoor, who is cheating on his wife Meera Kapoor (Rasika Dugal). A remake of the BBC series Doctor Foster, Out of Love, directed by Aijaz Khan and Tigmanshu Dhulia, explores the effects of infidelity on a marriage as Meera sets out to find ways for retribution.
“Akarsh is a character who enjoys having fun in life,” the 40-year-old actor told Scroll.in. “As long as he is happy and content, everything is fine. The way he justifies infidelity is that, okay, I love two people at the same time. That kind of thinking isn’t correct, but it is alright to him. You can say he operates in a grey area, like most of the characters in the series.”
Kohli plays Akarsh with a poker face, seemingly unaffected by the consequences of his actions. About playing Akarsh, Kohli said, “The hard part was explaining to yourself as an actor that loving two people at the same time is reason enough to cheat on your spouse. The series never offers any explanation or point of empathy for Akarsh, which made it difficult for me to enter the role. After discussing with Tigmanshu, I realised the character is totally hollow from the inside. Once I figured that, it was easy to play Akarsh.”
Kohli has typically played characters his age, which includes the 40-year-old Akarsh. “Some people actually said I looked too young for my Typewriter character, including the director Sujoy Ghosh, who could not believe I could be playing someone with a nine-year-old daughter,” he said. “Especially, once I shave, I lose the age on my face.”
Out of Love is the fourth web series for Kohli, his first being the Wachoswkis’ science-fiction series Sense8. He then appeared in the Voot series It’s Not That Simple, and Typewriter earlier in 2019. Kohli feels there are pros and cons to the abundance of web series today.
“On the one hand, actors are finding more employment, getting to act in stuff which takes more risks than films, and good actor but not saleable faces are playing lead roles,” Kohli said. “On the other hand, there’s just too much content out there now, and to find something worthwhile to watch or to be a part of is quite the task.”
Asked to pick his favourite roles from his decades-long film and television career, Kohli picked Bakka from Jal (2013), Ibrahim Durrani from Airlift (2016), and Munna from Awarapan (2006).
“I have never played many lead roles in my career,” Kohli said. “Jal is one such a film, and it’s a nice film about water conservation and I enjoyed the entire process of doing it. I also never played many unhinged bad men in my career and Munna from Awarapan was someone like that: a total nutjob who’s violent and all over the place. I remember my film career was just starting out, and I was looking for some solid roles, when Mohit Suri offered me this role of a bad guy. Till the day of the shoot, I had no idea how to play him. Right before the cameras began rolling, Mohit said just do whatever you want, and I played Munna at the most outlandish pitch possible, and then I stuck to that through the rest of the film. It was a lot of fun.”