“You Go in Thinking You’re Jason Bourne”: Hunted’s Puneet and Kris Share All

Hunted is the buzziest new series on the block. After dropping nine pairs of Fugitives off in the middle of Melbourne with nothing but $500 and an overnight bag to call their own, the Fugitives’ task was to remain undetected for 21 days. For anyone who makes it to the Extraction Point at the end of those 21 days, they’ll win a share of $100,000.

Of course, it’s all a lot easier said than done, because there’s an entire team of specialists, aka the Hunters, who are hot on the heels of the Fugitives. In last night’s episode, they captured Puneet and Kris with only eight days to go.

Chatting to The Latch over the phone after their elimination from the reality TV competition series, Puneet and Kris gave us the scoop on what it’s really like to be on Hunted, life as a Fugitive when you have a cameraman following your every move, and their best and worst move in the game.

Puneet said that it was originally his idea to sign up for the series, and that when he first pitched the idea of auditioning to Kris, he “really didn’t take [Puneet] seriously at all”.

Noting that Kris agreed to audition “for the sake of [their] friendship”, Puneet explained: “We went ahead with the whole process and… this is it! We are here. The rest is all history.” He laughed.

“He was so casual about it!” Kris exclaimed. “I was like ‘Yeah, sure,’ thinking there’s gonna be thousands of other auditions, there’s no way we’re gonna get chosen anyway.”


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Kris laughed. “I was like ‘You know what, I reckon I could be a fugitive, no problem, I’m from the northern suburbs, there’s criminals everywhere’, so we’ll be fine,” he added. “So we auditioned, and lo and behold, we were chosen to be part of the cast!”

After entering the competition feeling confident, the pair said that the series is very much a case of expectations versus reality, in which the reality was far less easy than they’d anticipated.

“The expectation is you go in, dress up like anything in disguise, and go and get to the extraction point and win money!” Puneet exclaimed, laughing. “But the reality is that when you go into the hunt, it plays with your head.”

He explained: “Your paranoia kicks in, all your plans go out the window, things don’t work. People you’re relying on are not available, the calls you wanted to make you can’t make, you expect people to be kind but they’ll say ‘Sorry, you can’t use my phone’ — everything goes out the window! There’s a massive gap between what you think and what happens.”

Kris agreed, adding: “You go into it thinking you’re Jason Bourne, and toward the end you sort of, you’re like Spongebob Squarepants, cowering in the corner and full of paranoia! It’s crazy!” 

They both laughed.

Related: CAPTURED! Here’s Who Went Home on Hunted

Related: Who’s on the Run? Meet the Fugitives of ‘Hunted’ Australia

When becoming a Fugitive on Hunted, you have an awareness that the Hunters will be digging through your entire existence online. If the very thought of having someone comb through all your text messages, search history, banking history and phone records is enough to give you a full body chill, you’re not alone.

Asked if they were concerned about that going into the series, Puneet and Kris both laughed.

“Yep,” said Kris, emphatically. “Yep, yep, yeah!”

“You know, here’s the thing,. You’re like, ‘I don’t want anyone to see this, or see that’, but the truth is, if they wanted to, they could anyway!”

He continued: “That’s the whole premise, isn’t it? Whatever you do, you’re being watched, and that’s just the world we live in now, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing or that’s up for debate, I guess, but the truth is that it’s happening either way!”

Another element of the show that’s caused a lot of conversation online this season is the question of just how real the series is. Evading capture is hard enough, but to do so with what Network Ten calls “covert camera operators” following you around is surely a far more difficult task. Kris and Puneet said that actually, the camera crew wasn’t as much of an imposition as you might expect.

“Obviously if you’re a fugitive, it is a hindrance to have two cameramen following you around, I mean, it just gives away the game, right?” Kris began. “But in reality, the cameramen are actually part of your team.”

He continued: “There were instances where we were like, ‘hey guys, this is way too conspicuous, can you go hide in the playground, or in the trees, and film us from a distance or something?’ and they do that!

“They’re part of your team, they’re with you the entire time, and we’re actually good friends with our camera guys and our crew now!”

Puneet agreed, saying that “they made sure that [they] were really comfortable.

“Our paranoia was off the roof,” he explained. “When they look at us the whole day through the camera lens, they feel that, too.


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“We would just go and have a talk, and be like ‘okay guys, today we are going to be bolting from this place, we’re going to be here, can you guys just keep it quick?’, because they have to do all the production stuff,” he explained, “but they really made sure that they were not giving away our location, and hiding behind the trees or behind the cars wherever possible, so that no one could see, really, most of the time.”

Reflecting on their run on the series, Puneet said that the best move that they made was to “stay within [their] networks”, but the worst move was to use their friend’s phone, which was what gave away their location to the Hunters.

“The wider Indian community, the South Asian community really embraced us with love and kindness and they made sure that they had food and shelter for us every single night,” Puneet said. “So we were not hungry and starved, and we were really grateful for that love and affection and kindness that people bestowed on us.” 

Kris agreed, adding: “I think certainly as far as the biggest mistake, it was using that phone, and not being sharp enough to realise that after the other Puneet’s phone was being hacked, to turn it off?”

He laughed. “But you know, hindsight is 20/20, right? So it’s like, when I’m a Fugitive later on in the year for real, I won’t do that!” he joked.

As for whether they’d do it all again?

“Oh, definitely!” Puneet said.

“You know, we were asked this question as soon as the run finished, and I was like ‘you couldn’t pay me to do this again, this was disgusting!” Kris said. “In retrospect, though, yeah absolutely, I’d do it all again. I’d do it happily!”

Hunted airs Sunday – Tuesdays at 7.30pm, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.

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