Chit-chat with Sonali Kulkarni
"I am fond of and it doesn't matter if the film is in any language", says a versatile actress Sonali Kulkarni. Sonali holds the pride of being India's first actress to work in an Italian film and, what more, has even won the best actress award for it. Director Lamberto Lambertini loved Sonali's performance in her English film called Vrindavan Film Studios and asked her to work for his film seven years back. Sonali shares her experience with IndiaFM.
I play Graziella in Fucco Di Su Me
The film is called Fucco Di Su Me which means 'Fire At My Heart'. I play Graziella in the film. It's a very poetic character based on real life; very sensitive and simple and at the same time very mysterious too. She is a typical Italian protagonist. I play coral worker, who leaves in an island called Procida. It's a love story of a prince who falls in love with Graziella.
Graziella is different from every sense of Indian character
Playing an Italian role is absolutely different than playing an Indian. Entirely different from every sense, be it my body language or dressing or my look or dialogues, everything was different.
Hard work has paid off
After the awards it feels proud that the hard work has paid off. Esp. since I had taken a lot of efforts to learn the language and to understand what it is. The character is inspired by a real story. And that is why there was so much confusion, initially. I had to struggle a lot to learn the language and to get into the nuance of the character.
I had a coaching period of about eight weeks. I had gone to Italy where I had two coaches who taught me Italian language, improved my accent and groomed me. They gave me the meaning of my lines and rehearsed with me all the time. I was provided with costume rehearsals well in advance. Nothing was new for me when I came on sets. Since I am from the theatre background, rehearsals didn't tire me at all. I like to be in the process as much as I can.
No hullabaloo before the work
It's been my nature. I never like to talk about the things that I am going to start with. I always love to work first and then let the work speak for me. I never like to talk big and do small. It's fun to talk about your work once you have finished it. And getting a role is not a big thing. It's actually an achievement when you prove yourself later. I love to do that.
I love to get into the skin of the character
I am an actor so I take my job very sincerely. I never like to impose myself on the character; rather I love to get into the skin of the character. I like the character to be more prominent than my personality. Otherwise it would very boring. We see many actors who appear same in every role. I personally like Aamir Khan. He really takes efforts to portray his character. One has to work towards the character rather than only enjoying the luxuries fame and money.
Darna Zaroori Hai is ready for release. My story is directed by Vivek in which I play Suniel Shetty's wife and Rajpal Yadav get into our house. Then there is Karan by Manoj Gaikwad and one more M.F.Husain's untitled film which stars Shreyas Talpade and me. I have signed the film which will start soon. I play the lady love; rather lady luck. Apart from that I am doing this film called Restaurant a film by Sachin Kudalkar. I am playing a chef in it.
Coming back to the RGV
He is such a vibrant personality. Whenever he is on sets it's a different trip altogether. I think he is a very good director, who knows to take the best out of an actor. He understands actors well. I feel great to interact with him after a while.
Eight films have been stalled
It's not true that I want to do offbeat movies only but the fact is that eight films of mine have been stalled because of various reasons. Including films like Mukt, Laagi Prem Lagan, Hanan, Junoon, Raja Dil Ka Gulam and Danav. It's probably for some reason or the other. Either they ran short of money or they had some fight with the producer and these films couldn't release. Eight to nine unreleased films at the peak of your career is really painful. But I have moved on.
Working with Nana was a challenge for me
Taxi No 9211 was fun. I had brilliant actors like Nana and John Abraham as co-stars. Again it was a brilliant story and framed very well. I would say it was entirely a Milan Lutheria film. He was so particular while taking each and every shot. I played the main supporting actress, Nana's wife. Though the numbers of scenes are lesser but the length is bigger and the content is much bigger. It's a challenge to act with Nana because he is very well known as an actor. He is known for his passion for acting so to stand in front of him confidently was a challenge. We got along well. It's important to understand your character and work to your fullest. Bold scenes don't matters to me since I am an actor. I am comfortable doing anything because it just acting.
Omar Sheriff wanted me to be his daughter in law
I met Omer Sheriff in Venice and I will never forget meeting him. He is such a cultured man. He used to charm me with his compliments. I was really blushing all the time because we met in excitement. When I told my director that I love kids, Sheriff told me that he wanted me to meet his grandson. I said yes I love to meet children. Then he said he is 26 years old and six feet in height and very handsome. I wanted you to meet him; you will make a good couple. I was embarrassed and he was enjoying it. He thought I look good in saris and carry western outfit with equal ease and grace. Most important of all he complimented me on my performance which is something very special for me.