Actress Harleen Sethi on life after Kohrra

In this web series, Harleen played Nimrat, the much-wronged daughter of police officer Balbir played by Suvinder Vicky
Harleen Sethi
Harleen Sethi

If Kohrrra is on your list of recently watched web series that stirred you with its stark plot delving deep into the realms of the human psyche, then Nimrat -- the much-wronged daughter of police officer Balbir (played by Suvinder Vicky) played to perfection by actress Harleen Sethi -- surely have left you feeling for her with all your heart. We speak to the talented rising star about the same and more in this freewheeling chat.

What a spectacular performance you have given in Kohrra. How does it feel?

I feel overwhelmed, validated, loved, accepted, blissful and all of these. The last few days have been wonderful. So much love pouring in from everywhere… it feels like the hard work has paid off for all of us.

<em>Harleen Sethi</em>
Harleen Sethi

Nimrat’s role required a lot of balance, how did you prepare for it?

I would say it was a very complex part and required extreme emotional investment - that's the first thing I would like to mention apart from learning the language. It really needed me to break down her psyche and understand where she is coming from, and what she is feeling at the moment because there are so many dynamics she's dealing with. First, she's dealing with her toxic relationship with her father who is very oppressive, and her relationship with her son and husband. Also, the guy she loves with whom she reconnected and feels happy. It was very important for me to break down all of those dynamics when I got the script. I spoke to a couple of women who had toxic relationships with their fathers and people who have dealt with patriarchy, some women who tried to attempt suicide many a time and how they came out of it. Also, I had to work on my Punjabi accent and trained with my dialect coach Gunjan Chopra who is also one of the writers of the show.

How was it working with Suvinder Pal Vicky, who played your father in the series?

It was like a cakewalk because he was very calm and composed. Just like Balbir, he is not a loud guy in real life as well. He's very supportive as a co-actor and we had very difficult scenes together. He was extremely helpful and kept encouraging me throughout.

<em>Harleen Sethi</em>
Harleen Sethi

How was it working with Randeep Jha?

Randeep gives absolute creative freedom to explore the character which is so liberating for an actor. 

What kind of roles do you like playing?

I really love to play parts that are multidimensional, real and layered. I want to bring about some changes in our society through the characters in my own small way. I always choose parts that connect with people -- characters that are flawed and grey, going through some conflicts and emerging out of them strong and victorious. 

How difficult or easy it has been to survive as an actor?

It's not easy for sure but I won't say it was very difficult either. I think it also depends upon your perspective. Not taking rejections to heart and growing through it all.

<em>Harleen Sethi</em>
Harleen Sethi

Your parameters for choosing a role?

When I give audition for any project, I see how well the role is written. Obviously, I look at the script and the team I'm going to work with once I get selected for the part. I try to pick varied and versatile parts that challenge me as an actor because I want to live different lives on screen and learn from my characters. 

I do like to live my characters. I like to eat and drink like them and stay in that zone at least while I'm shooting.

Your upcoming projects?

A very exciting medical drama will be out hopefully by Diwali on a big OTT platform. Apart from that, I've done a dance number in a big-screen film. I just finished shooting for an Amazon original film with Abhishek Bachchan and filmed for a show which is very much in the space of Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. 

Your daily diet and fitness routines?

Generally, I follow a very healthy lifestyle and I try to exercise at least four times a week. I sometimes do yoga, hit the gym or go for a walk. I have three meals a day and keep it healthy. 

Any director you want to work with?

I want to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Zoya Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar, Shoojit Sarkar, and Imtiaz Ali.

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