Exclusive: Rahul Kohli Says He and Mike Flanagan ‘Have Big Plans For the Future’

Rahul Kohli made serious waves with his excellent performance on the gone-but-not-forgotten CW show iZombie, but it arguably wasn’t until his work with modern maestro of horror Mike Flanagan that Kohli became well-known. He was excellent as Bly’s cook Owen Sharma in The Haunting of Bly Manor, and he blew everyone away when he played a sheriff in arguably the best horror series of 2021, Midnight Mass.

Kohli is now headlining Mali Elfman’s largely unclassifiable film Next Exit, a kind of road trip ghost story about two mismatched individuals ride-sharing toward their assisted suicide for a massive experiment proving that ghosts exist. It’s a very sad drama, an often witty and clever comedy, and a disturbing horror story all at once.

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Rahul Kohli Only Wants to Work With Mike Flanagan

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Kohli co-stars with another Flanagan favorite in Next Exit, Katie Parker. In fact, the two of them are starring in the highly anticipated upcoming series from Flanagan, The Fall of the House of Usher, an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s famous tale. “I was asked about it during Midnight Mass, and Mike told me who he wanted me to play,” Kohli tells us. He continues, with evident emotion:

To be honest, the material’s fantastic, but I don’t really care about the material, I care about the man. Mike has been just so [great], I’m so fortunate that our paths have crossed and that I was cast in Bly, and from there, a friendship and a professional relationship has blossomed to the point where I, like to a certain degree, I don’t really feel like working with anyone else but Mike, and it takes really fu*king strong material to block out some time that isn’t for Mike.

Fortunately, Next Exit was one of the few projects Kohli felt was strong enough to take a detour outside ‘Flanagan town.’ Now that Next Exit has finished, though, Kohli is more than happy to be right back with the acclaimed writer/director.

Mike and I, we’ve got grand plans for the future. I don’t know, I’ve always romanticized those relationships between a director and a performer, like the people I’ve looked up to in the past, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese and then obviously DiCaprio and Scorsese […] I’ve always been waiting for someone to be my Scorsese. Maybe I romanticize it more than he does. Maybe to Mike, I’m just another one of the ensemble, but to me, it’s someone I am excited to work with. I’m excited to be a part of [The Fall of the House of Usher].

Mike Flanagan Gives Kohli Great Acting Opportunities

Netflix

Part of the passion for acting in Flanagan projects is the wide range Kohli is able to work in. As he tells us, “The best part about it as well, is that Mike really doesn’t want to see me play the same thing twice. And in an industry where you’ve usually booked your next gig based off the last gig, people just want you to kind of repeat that because they don’t want to take risks. Having someone like Mike say, ‘Okay, you’ve played Sheriff Hassan [in Midnight Mass], now play this thing which doesn’t resemble that person in the slightest,’ it’s just a wonderful privilege to have, and have that kind of support and trust with him.”

It’s clear from the group of actors who keep coming back to work with the filmmaker that Flanagan is doing something right, fostering the right environment and putting out consistently excellent material. Kohli is excitedly looking forward to their future work, and I’m sure Flanagan would say the same about him. Kohli’s film Next Exit recently premiered at Tribeca, Flanagan’s new series The Midnight Club will be released Oct. 7th on Netflix, and The Fall of the House of Usher will be wrapping production soon.