Kirti Kulhari, so far has had an amazing journey in the showbiz. She never believed she could become an actor but destiny had other plans for her. Acting happened to her by chance, there was no stopping her after she bagged her first film Khichi. She has been a part of some hard-hitting films like Pink, Uri: The Surgical Strike and Mission Mangal. And now Kirti is all set to shine on the web with the second season of Four More Shots Please.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times India, Kirti Kulhari spoke at length about her experience of working with her co-stars, pay disparity in Bollywood, how she had been spending her time during lockdown.
How has been your experience of working with your co-stars? Was there any kind of competitive environment on the sets?
Well, we have finished two seasons of Four More Shots together and it's been a great experience both onscreen and offscreen. We have had our shares of ups and downs. There have been days where we have not been okay with each other, feel a lot of love for each other and connect a lot. So we have had good, bad and ugly moments together. And I think we have learnt and grown so much. So I won't say that it was lovely all the time, it would be a lie. Like it happens everywhere, like we fight with our family members. With two seasons down, I think the bond between four of us has only become stronger than ever.
Tell us what's new in Four More Shots Please 2 and how it will shape your character to make you stand out against all odds.
What's new is there's always a resolutions and spillovers happened in season 1 for all the characters. But there are also new challenges coming in with new situations and characters. There are new things, new issues and new problems.
Talking about how my character will stand out? Well, it's a journey that will show how my character has been solving her problems and how she gets into new situation. It's filled with lost of ups and downs, love and friendship. So wait and watch and you'll get the answers for all of your questions.
Do you think there will come a day when female led films get bigger openings than its male counterparts?
I don't have any idea. I don't think that's a question that I really think about. Yes, it's a possibility. Bollywood has been a male dominated industry for years now. So for it to change and people's mindset, producers, distributors, everybody to look at female projects in a different way, it will take a lot of time. It's possible but I don't think it is important either because I am happy with the change that has happened in the industry for the last few years now. And such important and interesting female projects being explored in films, on OTT, I think it's great change. So I am happy about it and I'm glad to be a part of a movement that many people are joining in to witness a change.
Very few people know about your early life, your likes, dislikes and how you got into modelling and acting? Would you like to tell us all and make your followers more familiar with you?
Well, acting happened to me by chance. I had never planned on becoming an actor or even a possibility from where I come from. My father was in the navy. I belong to Rajasthan but I'm born and brought up in Mumbai. And while I grew up watching Hindi films, I was active in school with co-curricular activities. It was fascinating to see the heroes and heroines on screen, but I never believed that I could do this.
So when I was in college, about 17 and a half or 18, I got a film from NFDC (National Film Development Corporation of India) on a female subject. That happened to me suddenly and I decided to just go and give it a try. While I never saw the film, and I don't know what happened to the film but that's when I realised that this is what I want to do, to act.
Then, I finished my studies and everything and in 2017, I got into acting properly. I asked for two years from my parents to see how it goes. I started with ads, I had a great ad film career. Simultaneously, I started doing theatre, workshops, plays for one and a half month. And I think that's when I learned a lot, and that's how Khichdi happened and everything started falling in right place. So now its 2020, and this is where I am. I kept doing theatre and had always been in touch. And I am happy to be here.
What's your take on pay disparity in Bollywood?
As I mentioned that the industry has primarily a male-dominated one and they are the ones who are getting numbers, and people to watch their films and eventually the revenues of the film. They are bound to be the ones who get paid the most. But as I also said that things are now changing and female actors are doing the roles of protagonists, and they are doing the numbers as well. So it's slowly building up and I'm sure, both in films or OTT, this pay disparity is being challenged.
I don't think it should be questioned blindly because of a certain business that is behind it. But I think there are also enough examples where female actors are being paid more than their male counterparts as well. There are more than one factor on which these things are decided and all that needs to be considered when we talk about being fair or unfair.
Personally, what matters to me is what I am getting is enough for me or not. Unless the inequality or pay disparity is in my face, I will be happy with whatever I'm being paid.
Lastly, tell us what activities have been helping you cope with social distancing amid coronavirus outbreak.
Well, I am a very home person. If I'm not working, I just feel like being at home. For me, it's forced kind of a break. I think my routine pretty much stays the same. And I'm actually using this time in very constructive way and not just whiling away time just like sleeping all through the day. I do my yoga, my workout, my meditations, I'm helping in the house activities, I'm cooking, I'm reading, I'm watching stuffs on Netflix and Amazon. I'm working, I'm finishing Four More Shots which is coming on April 17, I'm in the middle of interviews, live chats and all of that. And generally, just being around my people, and just being safe in a very healthy environment. There are few times when I actually feel bored, so there's enough to do.