Actor, Producer, and Writer,Koël Purie Rinchet made her Bollywood debut in 2001 in ‘Everybody says i’m fine!’. In over two decades of her career she has worked with some of the big names of the industry including Irrfan Khan and Rahul Bose. She turned a TV presented with a show called 'On the Couch with Koel'. The actor is currently on tour with her new play, 'Mummy’s Dead, Long Live Mummy! in Paris which which will have its first show today.
The play, Koel says, intends to break the myth and the glorification of being a Mother and parenting. Through the play she wants to point out that even when social media and experts try to be honest about parenting, they lie and make it appear joyful and fulfilling. She says, "It may be that for 30 seconds every few days, but most of the time it’s tough, heartbreaking, and guilt-ridden. I wanted to let myself and other mothers like me off the hook. The play is raw, painfully funny and at times painfully painful - much like my journey of motherhood.”
Talking about her love for theatre Koel said, "Theatre has always been my first love. You can’t beat the immediacy of the audience's reaction. Every part of you has to be present, alive. Even if your character is in his or her own world, you are sharing the moment with spectators. You know at the moment itself whether you are reaching your audience or not. You fail and succeed then and there,” says the alumna of Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.
Touring in Paris Koel says she does not have much ecosystem to support. While being in the French capital, one may have appropriation to stage an English language play, Koel is up for the challenge. “I found a super team with excellent professional actors. The anglophone audience is coming out in hordes as they are always in search of some culture they can relate to,” she shares adding that she had a full house opening night in the most spectacular Parisian ballroom. “The sense of satisfaction of having pulled it off in the capital of chic is not comparable, "
Reminiscing her days on the camera she shares her first movie ‘Everybody says I’m fine!’ with Rahul Bose was ahead of its time and slowly but surely became a cult classic. She also appeared as a leading lady in British films and television in the early 2000s, as well as in offbeat Indian films. "But yet, all I wanted was to put on a wig and war paint and dance around trees! I was too young and silly to realise the niche I was ruling. I wanted to fit in, to be a stereotypical Bollywood star, rather than capitalising on my strengths of being unique in a world full of clones, and I could've been a pioneer of sorts," she reflects and insists that Rahul Bose taught her how to be vulnerable on camera and own her flaws.
She worked with Irrfan Khan in a movie called 'Road to Ladakh' directed by Ashvin Kumar in 2003. "Acting with Irrfan in one of my first films was like having a private masterclass in acting without words, emoting through your body and eyes. We were on a tough location in Spiti and he was young and troubled and we often spent evenings talking about the lack of opportunities for actors like him, yet as a co-star, he was always generous and inventive," says Koel.
Talking about her TV show she says it was her venture to fill the gap between the half-decent films she was being offered. “Most people remember me from the show and not from the 20-odd films I’d done! It became my most successful venture because for the first time, I was not trying to fit a mould or be someone I wasn't. I was loudly me in a time when fitting in was the norm," she says adding that has more clutter-breaking shows to present in future.
Koel will next be seen in Zoya Akhtar’s upcoming Netflix movie The Archies and Rajat Kapoor’s ‘Everyone loves Handa’. She has also written a book which will be published this year. “This is a super exciting year for me - I’ve just wrapped two films after a long hiatus on not being on screen. I feel like I’m in my prime, living my best life,” says the actor in conclusion.
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