Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022

Different strokes

Cliched as it may sound,for Atul Kulkarni variety is the spice of life.

Atul Kulkarni’s comic act in Delhi-6 is because “nobody wants to be termed as an offbeat actor”

Cliched as it may sound,for Atul Kulkarni variety is the spice of life. From playing the role of a Hindu ideologue in Hey Ram to a corrupt cop in Dum,an ambitious politician in Satta,an anti-social in Chandni Bar and a crime reporter in Page 3,he has tried his hand at diverse roles. With Delhi-6,Kulkarni has taken a giant step. “It’s different from all the ‘serious’ roles I’ve played in the past. I play Gobar,a feel-good character who loves to be around people. He is the ‘go to’ person in the area and there is also a bit of comic element involved.”

So was this an effort to break away from being typecast? “Of course it was. Nobody wants to be termed as an offbeat or serious actor,” says Kulkarni.

The actor,on the insistence of director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra,had a complete makeover for the role. “Rakeysh never rushes through his scenes and spends a lot of time making his characters look different,” says Kulkarni,who is sporting a clean shaven look in the film. “Rakeysh wanted a complete change in physical appearance. So,one day I shaved off my moustache and landed up at his office. At first he didn’t recognise me. After a while he said,‘That’s it. It’s perfect for the role’,” says the actor,who after Rang De Basanti plays another integral part. “He then asked me to gel my hair and backcomb it.” The costumes too were inspired from a hawker,Kulkarni met at Chandni Chowk while shooting for an advertisement.

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Kulkarni,who has played a romantic lead in a small budget English film Mansarovar,is keen to play more such characters in mainstream cinema as well. “I would love to sing songs with my heroine,” he smiles. But for the moment the focus is Delhi-6. “Delhi-6 has a cross section of the Indian film industry. From Waheeda Rehman to Rishi Kapoor,Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor,it is a fantastic combination of experience and youth,” says Kulkarni,who considers Mehra,Madhur Bhandarkar and Kamal Hasan to be the most realistic filmmakers in the country.

Although he has won two National Awards,the number of movies he has done is inversely proportional to his success ratio. “I am rather infamous for saying no to roles. It is not like I have too many roles in my kitty. I just like to pick those that have some kind of social relevance,” he confirms,adding,“But for someone with my kind of temperament,I have got more than what I hoped for,” he says,hoping his next two releases Allah kay Banday and Bum Bum Bole will help him achieve more.

First published on: 18-02-2009 at 03:39:40 am
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