Breaking away from the
stereotype of the glamour dolls that crowd acting profession, Sonali Kulkarni is a breath
of fresh air who refuses to let ever changing masks rule her. .
naked in a sea of baroque artifice, never breaking character, yet comfortable in her skin,
Sonali Kulkarni uncurls with a sultry sensual laziness in front of the camera. And
naturally, reborn each time in front of the sacrosanct camera.
She responds with an easy candor about her
profession and its expectations, "Spontaneity! One word that marks my trip in front
of the camera. Playing a part that I am convinced about wants me to linger in its skin,
infusing life into it. Each part is a guide, a friend...not a trans fixation or an
obsession with it! Though, the spurts of portrayal unveiled before the lens is infinitely
more challenging as compared to an exhausting characterization in a play. Maybe that is
the only time when one wants to rise upto the expectations that people have from the
In a sea of gyrating clones, Sonali has arrived as a
real actress, with her debut in Girish Karnads Cheluvi, Moving onto
intense portrayals in Mukta and Doghi and then the lead in
Lamberato Lambertinis's the Vrindavan Film Studio, Sonali has refused to play
the clinging or dumb girlfriend heroine leads in tear jerkers that Bollywood churns
Poised on the threshold of commercial cinema, Sonali
wants to essay roles of substance as she puts it bluntly; "I am a selfish
actress. Silent, in between shots trying to imbibe and interpret every detail of the
character or trying to play it through my director...Quiet similar to a piece of clay that
has to be molded by my director. And I like to be the play the character in totality.
From mannerisms to clothes to stance.."
Reflecting on her persona, Sonali asserts, "Friendly. Sincere. Hardworking. But
behind all that grit and the warmth of my personality, is a Sonali who is crazy,
funfilled, yet sensible. I feel like I am two sides of a coin. And my spirited side is always
clamoring to emerge.I perceive my characters as people who have helped
me go through myriad emotions. From a doctor in 'Band Jharoken' to a protagonist
returning from USA in 'Mukta', it is learning, experiencing different thoughts...Which would
have been difficult to feel as just Sonali."
And like Sonali's persona, her attitude towards life is a reflection of her
personality - simple! "I feel lucky to be able to live my life as an emotional
journey. It excites me. And I am unafraid to gather it totally in my arms and enjoy it
all! It is like a canvas of experience, where one can pick out the right shade to enjoy
and celebrate its existence! There is no fear about what tomorrow would bring, only a
strong awareness of my responsibilities!"
In a five year span, Sonali has already reached at the top rung of the parallel cinema
ladder. She talks confidently about the future. "I am absolutely committed to my
work. In fact I believe, it is my time. As an actress who is in her twenties I
am shedding my insubstantial shades and cashing in on my work opportunities with a gamut
of different hued roles, talented directors, different personas and different ages.!"
Aware of breaking barriers with her performances, Sonali is quick to point out that she is
aware of the long way ahead! A laughable thought as it brings into mind immediately, her
clutch of films in the pipeline like Dr. Ambedkar where she faces the camera along with
veteran actors like Mamootty and Mohan Gokhale, as well director Jairajs Malyalmam
film with Mohanlal.
Sonali Kulkarni... Innocent, Unmasked.... Just Sonali!