‘I felt like a child’

Winning two National Awards the same year – Best Actor (Male) and Best Screenplay for the Marathi film Deool...

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Published: March 30, 2012 3:51 pm

Winning two National Awards the same year – Best Actor (Male) and Best Screenplay for the Marathi film Deool – has strengthened Girish Kulkarni’s resolve to shun mediocre work and box-office gimmickry.

Had you anticipated your selection for the awards?

Not at all. I was expecting nominations for my earlier films in the state awards category. However,I was thoroughly disappointed not to have won them even once. So,I had stopped thinking about awards. It takes a big toll on you psychologically. I had decided to concentrate on my work and not think about the awards at all.

What was your reaction when you got it?

I was overjoyed. I felt like a child. I instantly felt grateful towards the whole team that contributed to the making of the film.

Through Deool,are you questioning the very vehicle of change (liberalisation) or just the quality and direction of transition?

It’s not a commentary on the vehicle of change. Nor is it about the change per se — change is something we must adopt. It’s just about the quality of changes,or rather the lack of it. Cities are becoming filthier. Swanky cars plying on big highways passing by the countryside and TV serials showcasing luxury are raising the aspirations of rural folks. They are itching to hop on to the bandwagon of money,without realising how big a price they have to pay. I am not trying to put the onus of it all on the system or the political exploiters of the system. The attempt here is to make people realise that they are as responsible for the mess as they are the agents of a possible positive change.

Do you write with your part in mind or in a way to facilitate the actor?

Since both acting and writing come from within,they indistinguishably coincide with each other. But yes,the actor within me does help me to write in a nuanced manner.

You are the second Marathi actor to win the Best Actor award within three years. Does that help the upsurge of Marathi film industry?

Marathi films have been doing well of late,but I think their success rate is still less. I feel,we need to have more number of successful films. We also need to have the bent of mind of some Hindi filmmakers like Yash Chopra. They don’t get deterred and withdraw after a failure but push hard to emerge successful the next time.

What’s the new film Masala about?

It’s a take-off on the fascinating persona of industrialist Hukumchand Chordia,maker of the Pravin brand of spices. Chordia has become a symbol of business with a human face in his lifetime. Farmers trust him and accept the rate he quotes as they know he will always safeguard their interests. We have tried to capture that spirit of the man.

Any plans to enter Hindi films?

Anurag Kashyap has approached me. I will grab the opportunity when it comes.

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