Crackdown 2 actress Sonali Kulkarni on doing women-centric roles, ‘Directors are not typecasting me unlike films’

Crackdown 2 actress Sonali Kulkarni on doing women-centric roles, ‘Directors are not typecasting me unlike films’

Actress gets candid about her show Crackdown 2, why she loves OTT, and more

Rohit BhatnagarUpdated: Saturday, May 27, 2023, 07:19 AM IST
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Sonali Kulkarni | Pic: Instagram/sonalikul

Sonali Kulkarni is the latest entrant in Crackdown’s new season. In the show, which premiered on JioCinema on May 25, she is seen as the feisty Avantika Shroff. The Free Press Journal caught up with her for an exclusive interaction. Excerpts:

You have never played such a role before. Is the character of Avantika Shroff a byproduct of a liberal medium like OTT?

I would definitely like to give credit to OTT that is opening up a lot in today’s time. OTT is ready to take risks and not in a hurry to typecast actors. Even to the directors, it is giving ample time unlike films. We can’t dream of Titanic or any longer film anymore now because we all blame it on audiences’ patience and changing times.

Go on…

OTT is ready to see you as a character and it’s not typecasting me as Neelima Khan of Mission Kashmir (2000) or Pooja from Dil Chahta Hai (2001) only. It is willing to let us grow and experiment. And, so do our directors. The makers are ready to take risks.

What preparations underwent in playing your character Avantika Shroff?

It has been very interesting. We had the readings for the show which is very unheard of these days but our director Apoorva (Lakhia) was very clear. The writer Chintan of the show was always there on the sets. Everything was well monitored under the supervision of both director and writer. Avantika is a confident girl who is going through a big personal crisis. I could pull it off since Apoorva gave me help from every department.

Does OTT also give you more liberty in choosing varied kinds of roles as an actor?

Very true. I am really happy that I could juggle in the world of web shows with my characters. The Whistleblower (2021) is entirely different from Crackdown 2. My next show is School of Lies, where I have a smaller track, and it is very different from the earlier two. I also have a couple of shows coming ahead and it doesn’t affect my cinema career. The appetite of audiences is way different after the lockdown.

Elaborate further…

If I look back, I have always done powerful women roles. Anyone would have wanted to be in my shoes back then. I always had depth to my roles. People tend to say that I was Hrithik Roshan’s mother in Mission Kashmir but I was also Sanjay Dutt’s wife and died as his wife too. I owe everything to my directors and writers.

What are your thoughts on Marathi cinema doing so well universally?

I feel extremely proud of my mother tongue Marathi. I am also proud that I am not just working in the Marathi industry just because it is trending to work in Marathi cinema. I had always worked in my mother tongue, be it theatre or films. Besides that, I had also worked in regional industries down South and a few international projects. The kind of recognition Marathi cinema is getting today is very well deserved and overdue. Filmmakers like Nagraj Manjule and Sachin Kundalkar are making such wonderful cinema.

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