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Fortunate I Never Had To Struggle Much For Work: Atul Kulkarni

Mumbai: Actor Atul Kulkarni believes it’s surreal that he has not only survived through the highs and lows of the industry but also never gone out of work in the last 25 years. Kulkarni said though he has battled his phase of “uncertainty and survival” in the industry. The actor who moved to Mumbai in… Continue reading Fortunate I Never Had To Struggle Much For Work: Atul Kulkarni

Atul Kulkarni
Atul Kulkarni-(Photo: @atulkulkarni_official/Instagram)

Mumbai: Actor Atul Kulkarni believes it’s surreal that he has not only survived through the highs and lows of the industry but also never gone out of work in the last 25 years.

Kulkarni said though he has battled his phase of “uncertainty and survival” in the industry.

The actor who moved to Mumbai in the mid-90s, first garnered praise as Mahatma Gandhi in the play Gandhi Viruddha Gandhi, which caught the eye of actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan, who cast him in his 2000 drama Hey Ram.

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“I was extremely lucky because I got my first professional play within three months of landing in Mumbai. I did that in three languages. Kamal ji heard about the play and called me for ‘Hey Ram’. That’s how I got my first film. I actually didn’t have to struggle that much to get work”.

“There are phases in every actor’s life, but my phases have been few and for a short period, where I did worry about the uncertainty and survival. But it never really reached an extreme stage,” the actor told PTI in an interview.

Kulkarni established himself as a bankable performer with films such as Rang De Basanti, Chandni Bar and Marathi drama Natarang among others.

When he graduated from the National School of Drama in 1995, Kulkarni said he was clueless how his acting journey would pan out.

“Survival was on my mind, not only when I came to the industry but also when I went to NSD. I had no idea what I would do after passing out from college. The only accessibility I had was Marathi professional theatre. I had never ever thought of films because it was absolutely inaccessible to me. TV was not much at that time, there were no daily soaps. All of us had fewer chances.”

At a young age, he figured all he wanted to do was act, not as a hobby, but as a profession. “When I started doing amateur theatre and acting, I liked what I was doing. My only motivation was to spend more time acting. I didn’t want to do a job and act in my spare time. I wanted to act 24 hours. I am fortunate I was able to do this for the last 25 years.”

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“You are born with it and then try to learn the technique of the craft, which you slowly start enjoying. One doesn’t need external motivation but what one does need is sustainability in the field. “Can you sustain with pleasure?’ That’s important to know. It is not easy. There are very few lucky ones who get to do only what they want. Survival is extremely important. It’s futile and wrong to only think about art.”

The actor is currently seen on the second season of Disney +Hostar show, City of Dreams.

Kulkarni said his endeavour is to constantly adapt to changing storytelling landscapes and moving from one medium to another.

“There are efforts, but when you see people like Amitabh Bachchan, and if that person can adapt so much, we are nothing. The kind of eras he has seen and adapted, it would be a shame if we don’t adapt,” he added.

(With inputs from PTI)