Rohit Purohit Interview: I was destined for the role of Alexander in Porus

Cut to ancient era 350 B.C., when India was hailed as one of the richest countries in the world, contributing significantly to the world GDP, with its vibrant trade relationships, prosperity, rich culture and happiness across the land. India was aptly called the Golden Sparrow (‘Sone Ki Chidiya’). The opulent Sony TV show Porus, produced by Swastik Productions, helmed by the Siddharth Kumar Tewary, is an extravagant visual ode to that glorious era. Premiering on Monday, November 27, at 8:30 pm, it will air Monday-Friday on Sony TV.  It will be the first global TV series made-in-India.

TV actor Rohit Purohit, who is cast in the central character of Alexander-The Great, also popularly known as  Sikandar in Indian folklore, speaks his heart out.

What is so special about this Siddharth Kumar Tewary’s  show Porus on Sony?
Porus is bound to create TV history. It will not only unfold a gripping tale of ancient India’s history – a little known, rather untold story of two legendary warriors, Alexander and Porus, their epic battle but will also go down in history as one of the most epic TV shows. Set in the ‘Before Christ’-era, the story will trace its roots and history to a time when our country was at its glorious best and a time when Porus resisted the first attack on Indian soil by Alexander. The show will present a chronological narrative and will trace the journey from birth to the epic battle of these two legendary warriors born on the same day.

The entire ensemble-cast clad in their costumes seems to be quite captivating. What’s the final cast of the show?
As you are aware, while I am cast as ‘Alexander’,  there are a galaxy of popular celeb faces with smart dude Laksh as ‘Porus’, Rati Pandey as ‘Anusuya’, Aditya Redij as ‘King Bamini’ (father of ‘Porus’), Sameksha as gorgeous ‘Queen Olympias’ (Alexander’s mother), Sunny Ghansani as the ‘one-eyed’ King Philip, Suhani Dhanki as the charming ‘Laachi’ and the dusky, sensuous Shraddha Musale as the femme fatale tribal queen.

Why was it that you initially refused the parallel lead role of ‘Alexander’ twice?

My initial incorrect impression was that the TV show would be concentrating only on Porus versus Alexander during the Battle of the Hydaspes in Punjab and my screen-character would hardly get his due focus and footage. Secondly, Alexander was a Greek (foreign) character, which would be very difficult for any Indian to portray. After the detailed briefing-narration, I realised that Alexander had a parallel role of equal importance. Secondly, our show also highlights the childhood-teenager- phase portions of Alexander in Greece, which are not commonly known in India. Since the ‘Porus’ TV show was being shot lavishly like our own desi-blockbuster ‘Baahubali’,  I felt I should grab this ‘dream-role’,  as I now felt the strong vibes that I was destined for it.

Did you have apprehensions that the Alexander role would have negative shades?
Not really. That’s because ambitious Alexander’s character is also motivational in today’s times for someone from a small country like Macedonia, who thinks big, has a global vision and daring leadership qualities. Due to the marital discord between his parents, his mother Olympias considers Alexander as ‘God’s child’. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by the revered Greek philosopher-scientist Aristotle until age 16. By the age of 32, he proved himself a great and glorious conqueror, after which he passed away. During his lifetime, he had his romantic streaks and was married thrice but he respected women.

What were the challenges that you faced?
In my acting career, I have acted previously in TV historical shows like Chandragupta Maurya and Razia Sultan. Out here, playing and looking like the legendary character ‘Alexander-The Great’, in my blonde-haired get-up, was itself a supreme challenge. After all, he was an iconic Greek king, a tactful warrior with a commanding personality. Which meant I had to undergo intensive training in action scenes, sword-and-spear-combat and horse-riding. In almost all my risky action-scenes, where there are mid-shots and close-ups,  I  do not use a ‘body-double’ and prefer to do it myself.

What are your secret-fetish passions?
Besides being fond of wearing a variety of ‘caps’ off-screen, I have this fond fetish for a wide variety of branded exotic perfumes. Even while shooting, I use different perfumes to match the mood of that particular scene.