Rensil D'Silva's much anticipated Kurbaan is based on the London subway bombings of 7 July 2005. This is not the first film where Om plays a terrorist mastermind for the same gruesome terrorist attack in London.
Says Om, "In Jagmohan Mundhra's Shoot On Sight, I was also one of the instigating factors in the bombings. But there I played a far more basic character perpetrating hated. In Kurbaan, I'm a suave intellectual with a mind behind my religious beliefs. The people who planned 26/11 or 7/7 had very precise deep and scientific minds. They weren't the rabid illogical kind of religious fanatics who work on their own rationale. And that's what makes my character in Kurbaan far more dangerous."
Om suggested the character wear spectacles to look normal. "The dangerous thing about global terrorism is that people with terrorist leanings have begun to emerge from educated normal rational households. That's the kind of mastermind I play in Kurbaan."
Om Puri had absolutely no qualms stepping into the terrorist mastermind's role in Kurbaan, a role that Irrfan Khan said no to.
"I don't know why Irrfan said no. To me every character is equally challenging and desirable. I've played Raavan in Shyam Benegal's Discovery Of India. And I still remember how much that helped me to grow as a human being and actor. The one line from Raavan's dialogues that I remember very clearly is, 'If it's something worth doing then do it right away. Don't delay. If it's something not worth doing then think about it again and again. I've followed that dictum in my life."
And the one lesson that Kurbaan taught Om? "The character is not a rabid mullah but an educated thinking individual. This is what America's policy of arming Islamic countries has done. It has given birth to a culture of hatred and violence even among educated people."