Sonali Kulkarni talks about Crime Patrol Satark’s new series Justice Reloaded, her journey, and more...

Actor Sonali Kulkarni, who has many Hindi and Marathi noteworthy films to her credit, is now all set to host a unique series of Crime Patrol Satark. Titled Justice Reloaded, this new edition of the show will present a comprehensive and dramatised account of heinous crimes that remain unsolved due to various challenges, and are given a fresh perspective for a final closure. Sonali Kulkarni, who turns host for this unique crime show, feels that she has been bestowed a wonderful opportunity and needs to make the team proud. In an interview with the Cinema Journal, she talks about the show, and more. Excerpts from the interview:

We have seen you playing emotional roles. And now you are hosting Crime Patrol. What’s your take on the same?

Well, we can’t underestimate that ‘simplicity is the teacher of Hindi Cinema’. [laughs] But I am very happy that I got the opportunity to do Crime Patrol with Sony. I have been a part of social activities for 25 years now. I am a writer, theatre and TV actor. I have made India proud by doing regional, International and a variety of Hindi films. I take it as a compliment that someone is offering me such a role that has so much responsibility. The kind of roles that I have been offered have been varied. The genres have been contrasting and absolutely different, there have been comedy films, serious films, suspense drama etc. Now that I have been approached by Crime Patrol, I take it as a compliment, and I look at it as a golden opportunity and I will do it sincerely to my best.

What was going through your mind when you were offered the show?

I was surprised! How did a female anchor become the host? Generally, such crime shows are hosted by men. And, I wondered how they zeroed in on my name. But the team definitely has a thought behind it. I have portrayed a variety of characters in my career so far. So, the trust of my audience matters. More than me building anything, it is about carry forwarding what Crime Patrol has earned so far amongst the audience. I was not aware of this audience at all. I belong to theatre and cinema. I was aware of the audience, but was not introduced to this kind of audience. And, rather than me putting in any thought, I definitely would want to make my Crime Patrol team proud! They are here for more than a decade. When I say this, that I am joining hands with them, there’s some responsibility. Right now, what I want to maintain for the next quarter is sincerity and focus towards this project.

You are a recipient of the National Award and many others... What do awards mean to you?

Awards mean absolute encouragement! It is a feel-good factor and a boost to your ego, and it is assured that not only the audience, but the critics also love you. But what I have maintained is, I don’t work for awards. Whenever people say ‘Arey isko award milna hi chahiye’ or ‘Iss film ko award milna hi chahiye’, I get petrified. How can you say that? The film has not even completed its first schedule yet.

For a while now there’s a discussion on ‘awards are fake’. What’s your take on that?

Nothing should be taken to heart. For me, awards are encouragement. But if the encouragement is not given when you feel that you deserved it the most… then you should take it within your stride and not keep cribbing for an award. You can be passionate about your work, but you can’t be passionate about an award. You should not feel discouraged, nor think that somebody is not loving you. I can’t depend on awards for my own esteem. I am far away from the people who manage awards. If someone is buying awards, that’s good for them. I can't buy an award.

Nana Patekar once said your simplicity can be seen in your writing. What would you say to that?

I keep getting compliments for my simplicity and I love it. But that’s difficult to earn. So, I would want to give credit to my family values. The environment that I live in, or the family that I have… for us small joys matter. For us, punctuality matters. Concern matters, because I belong to a household where if my neighbour is unwell then we all would be concerned. My mother would cook for them; I would go to see them. All this cannot be equated with money. I really liked when Nana sir said publicly that my acting and my writings are simple. When they say that I love it because I know what all has gone into that.

You have been associated with big names and big films like Dil Chahta Hai, Mission Kashmir, etc. How do you look at your journey?

That’s so kind of you! I feel I am having a ball. Anybody would love to be in my shoes because I have done regional, Hindi and international cinema. I have received numerous awards and rewards for the same. I have done theatre and I have done films as well. I have done a variety of roles and have earned a fabulous lifestyle for myself. I can buy whatever I want. But the best part is, after having such a fantastic career, I have a superb family. I couldn’t have asked for more. You see many times successful people are single or alone, they have an emotional back story in their lives! I have a beautiful daughter who is nine-years-old and a doting husband who supports my work and is extremely supportive of my hard work. What else can you ask for? The only word that comes to my mind is gratitude.

Is your daughter like you? Or like her father? Does she have any acting qualities as of now?

I am not judgemental about her. I like the way she is. For her age, she is full of enthusiasm and cuteness. I like her personality; she is shaping her personality herself. One day, she wants to become a doctor, the next day, she wants to become a scientist. Then she wants to model, I don’t know – 365 days, 365 different roles!

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