Interview By: ROHAN A. SAWANT
Doing a concept based film requires that kind of knowledge and perception from an actor. She certainly has the needed and so she is bagging such roles. So here is Kirti Kulhari in a very detailed and in-depth talk on how has she come up till here and about her failures and much more over a cup of coffee!
“I would like to do commercial films but, maybe not a ‘Housefull”
How did you land up with the role?
I got an email from the makers saying that they wanted me to do a lead in ‘San 75’ which I found interesting. So I met Navneet Behal the director of the film and I heard what he had to say in terms of the script, film and role. And eventually I also got more interested in it and so we decided to a screen test because this film is based on a certain period and there should be similarity in terms of the looks and physicality of the character. People should find resemblance in the character otherwise it won’t be any use. So thankfully everything worked out very well for me.
What are the aspects that you look out for when you are approached for any role?
Firstly I look out for a good script because if the script is not good nothing else will work. Secondly I look out for a good role and lastly I look out for good director. I also look out for a character that I haven’t done before because I don’t like to repeat that characters that I have done before and of course the actors, producers that always makes a difference, but primarily these three things.
To do a character which is based in one particular era, how do you get into its physicality as well as mentally?
Depending on what I am wearing, the physicality comes into me somehow. So that comes naturally as an actor. And secondly, how you look or how your appearance is okay till one level. Just because I am looking like I am from 70’s is good because that is the first thing you will notice on screen, but rather than that if you don’t see or notice that in me or if that dept is missing then after a point of time it won’t matter what I look like. So I emphasize on workshops and also I make sure that I work with people who regard workshops important.
How important you think are workshops for any kind of role?
Workshops are very important for any actor. I don’t think in Hollywood the actors step into the character without doing workshops. I’d get very afraid if I go for a shoot without workshops. They prepare you for your character. And when I say prepare, it is just not my character or my homework, it starts right from the director to my co-actors to have the right mindset about the script and the film. Also because I am from theatre, we would run through the scripts for almost 3-4 months. We’d just prepare ourselves till we finally went on stage. I have that theatre kind of mindset about films that I do and I feel that works for me very well. That is the whole idea to do workshops because it gives me the confidence to do my work. As I said, I try to do something which I haven’t done before. So to help me in doing this, workshops play a very vital role because if every time you see Kirti Kulhari on screen, then you’d get bored of it. This also gives me the freedom to see what I can do and what I cannot. You also understand so much about your character during these workshops that by the time you are ready to shoot, the character becomes a part of you and eventually the acting comes out naturally.
So is theatre and workshop based on same principles?
In theatres you every day read the script for 3-4 hours. This helps a lot because when your co-actors are reading their part of the script, you get to know lot of things about the characters. Lot of layers start opening for you and these things get fit in your sub-conscious mind of yours. By the time you are ready to perform your show, you already are the character. For films the process is different. You can do re-takes but if the initial process is like theatre then it becomes quite easy. This helps in doing effortless acting, because the more we try to become actor it is displayed on-screen and that does not go unnoticed. So to bring that effortlessness out you need workshops and theatres.
Your last release was ‘Cute Kameena’ which was a complete washout. So does that affect you and what kind of setback do you go as an actor while selecting the next film?
That is a major setback when your film does not do well at all. That is another very big factor that you think about is that who is producing it. You don’t have to be Yash Raj but you have to be somebody whom I see is capable of producing it. Over the years I have started giving it importance then I used to. It’s not that I am an actor so you give me anything and I’ll do it. You put in so much effort and when you don’t get the desired output you will feel sad. Hopefully this will change with time and I will d bigger and better films with a bigger setup with big producers who are capable of giving the film what it deserves in terms of its release, publicity and much more.
Having said this, what will you preference, if you are approached for a big production house film and on the same side you have a very concept based film to do? What would go for?
If you give me a commercial film like ‘Dabangg’ or ‘Sultan’ I would love to do it because of the obvious reasons. But if you give me film like ‘Housefull’, I will really think about it. The only reason I would want to do a big commercially successful film is, for me as an actor to become bigger. Today if I am Alia Bhatt, all the filmmakers coming to me and saying say let’s do this film together and out of suppose 50 films, I have 10 films like ‘San 75’ I will love to do those 10 films. So when I do commercial films become bigger, I eventually get bigger and better films. If that is my criteria and reason, I would like to do commercial films but, maybe not a ‘Housefull’ because it is tough for me to say to it!
Working with Kay Kay Menon in ‘San 75’ and also having worked with Amitabh Bachchan in your next ‘Pink’, is it intimidating for you as a co-star?
Not at all! In ‘San 75’ unfortunately I don’t have a single scene with Kay Kay Menon. It can be very intimidating working with such big and good actors. But thankfully with Kay Kay in the film I never felt like ‘Oh My God, its Kay Kay.’ Maybe if I had a female co-star who would be doing such an important role as Kay Kay, I would probable still think that there might be comparisons; but with him the case was different. With Amitabh sir that fact that I have done a film with him and had so many scenes with him, I didn’t feel intimidated even in my first shot with him. I felt very much at ease working with him which is very surprising. It is just an honor sharing screen space with such legends.
Finally, what do you expect from ‘San 75’ as an actor?
I don’t know actually how to answer that question actually (laughs). I have my perspectives but I don’t have any expectations as such. With my experience of how films work here, I think it is very unpredictable. So I would like people to go and watch this film because somebody has tried something very different. It is based in times that we only hear about; it’s a first film that is based on emergency and it is a very different take on various things and I think people will like what they see.