Actor Atul Kulkarni says he seems to have had luck on his side in his 20+ year career in the entertainment industry where his credits include films like ”Chandni Bar”, ”Rang De Basanti ” and ”Natarang”, and the web series ”Bandish Bandits”.
The actor, who graduated from the National School of Drama (NSD) in 1995 and started acting, wowed audiences with his work in films in all languages - Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.
“I consider myself lucky. When I came to cinema around 2000, my first movie was ‘Hey Ram’, ‘Chandni Bar’, those weren’t the movies people thought were hits. Especially ‘Chandni Bar’, but it did well and then a lot of movies like that were made. I felt I was in the right place at the right time.
“And again now when the OTT has arrived, I feel like I’m in the right place at the right time because as an actor you can explore so much now, like in a movie ‘One Thursday’. or on the web shows I do,” Kulkarni, who won the National Best Supporting Actor award for “Hey Ram” and “Chandni Bar,” told PTI in a Zoom interview.
The 56-year-old actor will soon star in “One Thursday,” a thriller that revolves around a theater teacher named Naina Jaiswal (Yami Gautam), who takes 16 toddlers hostage.
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Premnath Rajagopalan, the film will stream February 17 from Disney+ Hotstar.
Kulkarni, who plays a sensitive policeman named Javed Khan in “Thursday,” said he was drawn to the film thanks to its screenplay by director Behzad Khambata.
”I’ve always been drawn to stories first as a viewer, as a listener. If I feel interested then only do I accept it as an actor. So ‘A Thursday’ has a fantastic story.
”Besides the story, the director is important because he is a storyteller. So it’s entirely up to him how to tell the story. So those are the two reasons why I accepted “A Thursday”. OTT (over-the-top) platforms are often criticized for distributing crime dramas or suspense thrillers, which the actor called a ‘misperception’.
“This type of material is talked about more in the media, so it is believed that only gritty crime thriller material is available on OTT. (But this is not the case. If you take a little trouble picking things out on the web, you have plenty of material. There is so much to explore on the web. Citing the example of his SonyLIV family comedy ”Sandwiched Forever” (2020), Kulkarni said that excellent comedies are also available on streamers.
“So if on the one hand, ‘A Thursday’ will be available or ‘Rudra – The Edge of Darkness’, there is ‘Sandwiched Forever’, which is available. So I think it’s all about exploring and choosing the material of your liking,” he added.
He is also happy for his wife, actress Geetanjali Kulkarni, who has received accolades for her work in web shows such as ‘Gullak’ and ‘Taj Mahal’.
“I always believed that she was a much, much, better and much more talented actress than me. I’m really, really happy that after waiting so many years, she’s getting her due,” he said. he declares.
Next, Kulkarni has two projects in his kitty – Aamir Khan’s film “Laal Singh Chaddha” as a writer and “Rudra: The Edge Of Darkness”, a Hotstar special series, as an actor.
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