Zain Khan Durrani is set to star as an Indian spy in the upcoming web series Mukhbir. The show, inspired from true stories, is set in Kashmir of the 1960s. Apart from the fact that it is his first web series, Mukhbir is special for Zain as it is about his homeland–Jammu and Kashmir. The actor says that it is hard to stay neutral and detached when you come from a conflict zone like Kashmir. Also read: Mukhbir trailer: Prakash Raj, Adil Hussain star in this action-packed tale of unsung Indian spy
Kashmir is the most heavily militarised region in the world. Since 1947, India has fought four wars with Pakistan and China for the control of the strategic region, which still sees violence and insurgency regularly. Mukhbir is the story of an Indian spy embedded in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in the 1960s. The title character of Harphan is played by Zain. Talking about drawing inspiration from his real life in playing Harphan, he says, “Yes, Kashmir is a politically affected state. It helped me gain a perspective on Harphan’s mindset because his character starts off being detached from the duty towards his nation. Coming from Kashmir it’s very hard to stay neutral. You see all the sides and just want to sincerely wish and pray for the betterment of the people.”
The actor adds that there was a time when he detached himself with Kashmir because of how traumatic following news from his home state became. “Mukhbir gave me an insight into so many political factors. When you come from a place like Kashmir as a youngster you want to run away from there. During college days I had stopped reading news because it was disturbing and I wanted to stay as away from it as much as possible. It was traumatic and I needed mental peace. That part of Harphan I can totally relate to because I have been through it. Of course, as you grow older you have to be politically more responsible and aware. Hence, the graph of Harphan going into adulthood and the entire journey of him becoming a spy was interesting to play,” he says.
Mukhbir is in the middle of the heavily-populated spy thriller genre on OTT but Zain believes the show has it in it to stand out. “There is a lot of content on OTT platforms and it’s good too. People have the luxury on OTT to watch the first 15-20 minutes of the episode and decide whether it floats their boat or not. I feel, with so much content, people still believe in word-of-mouth. Mukhbir is a show which gives people a real perspective into the spy world. It is not a James Bondish space. It is authentic, fascinating and delves into the mind of the spy who is just like an ordinary human being. I see that as the biggest relatable factor,” he adds.
Mukhbir – Story of a Spy also stars Prakash Raj and Adil Hussain and is directed by Shivam Nair and Jayprad Desai. The show will begin streaming on Zee5 from November 11.
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