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It’s been more than five years since American actor Zachary Coffin made Mumbai his home. The actor, who has worked in thirty countries and is known for his work in A Mighty Heart and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has also worked in Hindi films Baby, Mary Kom and Housefull 3.

Now Coffin makes his debut in south Indian cinema with Jackson Durai, a horror comedy directed by Dharanidharan.

In between shots he talked about his role, that of a British colonel.

Colonel Jackson is an autocratic British officer who terrorises a village not just when alive but also as a ghost. With part of the story set in India’s pre-Independence days, Jackson is in conflict with a team of freedom fighters led by Durai, played by Tamil actor Sathyaraj.

“I was always keen on working in the south and had been looking for an opportunity when I was offered Jackson Durai. I was impressed with Dharanidharan’s Burma. I watched it without subtitles and enjoyed it. His direction showed promise,” Coffin said.

Coffin praised the south Indian film industry for its professionalism and the camaraderie shared by the cast and crew.

“It was a fun experience,” said Coffin, who studied screenwriting at Columbia University, film production at New York University and direction at University of Southern California.

He is now working on a Bollywood film directed by Himangshu Dhullia.

“I always get to play evil guys and this time I am an American army officer who is providing intelligence support to the British in this period story,” he said.