Dev, Koel & Rukmini fly sky-high for Cockpit

They have given hits like Mon Mane Na and Paglu, and this summer Koel Mallick is joining Team Dev to fly high together once more. The other leading lady on board is Rukmini Maitra, who’s gearing up for the box office fight in June with her debut film, Chaamp where Dev plays a boxer. 

  • Published 10.05.17
  •  

They have given hits like Mon Mane Na and Paglu, and this summer Koel Mallick is joining Team Dev to fly high together once more. The other leading lady on board is Rukmini Maitra, who’s gearing up for the box office fight in June with her debut film, Chaamp where Dev plays a boxer. 

The trio have come together for Dev’s home production, Cockpit, where the Tolly hero plays the pilot of an aircraft hit by turbulent weather while flying Mumbai to Calcutta. Directed by Kamaleswar Mukherjee, the film will track how the pilot lands the craft even as two engines stop functioning. Among the ladies, one is an air hostess and the other is Dev’s love interest. Who plays what? That’s up in the air for now.  

“It cannot get bigger than this. For Cockpit, we were looking for someone experienced, sensible and mature and someone who is new, vibrant. We just knew both had to look convincing. We had been thinking of casting Koel for some time now. And when I called her she just took two days to think it over. She loved the story and was very excited about the film,” said Dev.

When it comes to taking to the skies, all three have different experiences. While Dev had been on a flight that got caught in turbulence a few years ago, Koel jumped off a chopper for Rangbaaz. Rukmini has fond memories of making paper rockets from scrap paper.  “Whenever you take the first flight of your life, every passenger wants to know what goes on in the cockpit. This film will show you that,” said Rukmini.  
Picture: Pabitra Das

Koel Mallick

What made you say yes to Cockpit? 

I was very eager to work with Kamalda. My character has a lot of substance; she has gone through a lot in life and once she comes out of it, she acquires a personality that is strong yet vulnerable.

Will we see you in more films now?

For some time nothing was satisfying me as an actor. It has been years now in the industry. After a certain time, you feel hungry for better work. You want to present yourself in different ways. In between I just thought that I don’t want to repeat myself. The gap (between films) wasn’t intentional. It happened that way. Thankfully, I am getting very interesting offers.
 
Dev and you go back a long way. How do you see the both of you growing over the years?

For a pair to work, you need an X factor. That’s beyond anyone’s control. We clicked immediately. Having done so many films, our understanding and friendship has really grown. Now it feels more special because Dev is not just an actor anymore. He is a producer (smiles).
 
You and Rukmini will share screen space for the first time...

My namesake! Rukmini is such a sweet girl. Whenever we speak to each other, we go, ‘Hi Rukmini!’ When she started Chaamp, I was really excited about her getting into films. We have a great bonding.
 
Cockpit is about a flight being hit by turbulence. How has your on-board experience been?

I started going on long flights since I was in Class I or II.... Once we were going to Singapore for a shoot and the aircraft fell into an air pocket. It was like a roller-coaster ride! Lights started flickering.... We were really scared. 

Rukmini Maitra

Your first film Chaamp is set to release soon, and you have already bagged your second with Dev and Koel!

There is some strange luck working in my favour. For 10 years I have said no to films, and finally I said yes at a time when people are willing to experiment. Kamalda has a cameo in Chaamp. He saw my performance and thought I fit the bill. That has given me some confidence. 

What is the one common thing you share with Koel?

Our name! We both are Rukmini. Koel’s real name is Rukmini. Our initials are RM. Also, Koel and I are sushi lovers. We have had our little dinners. Rane (Koel’s husband) loves chocolates and I am his chocolate dealer. 
 
What do you make of Dev-Koel’s screen pairing and chemistry?

I think of them as two massive stars together in one frame. The first name that comes to mind when I think of a contemporary Bengali heroine is Koel.
 
So, the two Rukminis will work together this time... 

It is intimidating. And technically, I am not even one-film-old. In the film there are times when all three of us will be sharing screen space. It’ll be a struggle if I think of it from a newcomer’s point of view. But considering my relationship with Dev and Koel, I’m gonna have a ball!  She was the first among all the heroines to wish me when I said yes to Chaamp. Four years ago when I had met her, she told me to act in movies. 

Arindam Chatterjee

About
Author