Free Press Journal

Atul Kulkarni: ‘Star power matters’


Atul Kulkarni tells NIKITA WADHAWAN when asked to choose between a content-driven or star-driven film

Atul Kulkarni recently completed 20 years in the film industry, but while his contemporaries say that regional cinema is better in terms of content than Bollywood, Atul feels otherwise.

“The press choses to ignore the kind of cinema that Bollywood is doing in the past few years, maybe they act like a mother who loves her poor son more. Ten years back you couldn’t have imagine movies like ‘A Wednesday’ would be made in Bollywood. It is demeaning to say such things about regional cinema,” retorts Atul.

Although Atul believes a strong content story will always be successful, he doesn’t negate their importance of a star power. “Star power has importance, but when people don’t like the content so much they won’t go for the same movie again. But there are some films that have overpowered star films. Star can entertain people, they fulfil the expectations of the audience,” says Atul.

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Atul has starred with top Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan (Rang De Basanti) and Shah Rukh Khan (Raees) and has reunited with his Rang De Basanti co-star Sidharth for their horror-thriller The House Next Door. While horror film in Bollywood have not had a very good track record, Atul says it is not the genre that people are dismissing it is because the way it is made.

“It is not about the genre, it is always about how the film is made. One can say that just because some action films failed at the box office or some romantic films flopped, doesn’t mean that genre is a failure. Only badly made films fail. People go to the theatres to see a good story and to get entertained and if you have made a good attempt, then they will see your film and that has been proven.

I think here (THND) is a film that has been tried and tested,” Atul remarks.

Albeit the 52-year-old actor has not had or heard about any supernatural experience, he doesn’t think only what he believes in should he portray on screen. “If I am doing a movie like Dum where I have to be villainous for no reason, I am not someone who is villainous in real life. The actors job is to believe in the vision of the director, it absolutely doesn’t matter what I believe.