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Exclusive! The Whistleblower actor Sonali Kulkarni: It's a great time for aspiring actors in the industry due to the OTT boom

"My character, Zainab Parkar in The Whistleblower, is my tribute to all my media friends," says the actress.

  • Sunidhi Prajapat

  • OTTplay

Last Updated: 04.39 AM, Jan 12, 2022

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Sonali Kulkarni has been one of the most versatile actresses in our country. The actress rose to fame with the character of Pooja opposite Saif Ali Khan in the 2001 film Dil Chahta Hai. She is known to explore many languages in films including Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Italian.

Sonali has recently been seen in SonyLIV’s The Whistleblower portraying the character of a journalist named Zainab Parkar. In a candid chat with OTTplay, the actress talked about her latest show and her thoughts about the OTT platforms. Excerpts. 

Talking about what attracted her to be a part of Whistleblower, Sonali mentioned that the first and foremost reason is the director of the show than the story and after that her character in the show. “Manoj Pillai’s passion that I saw in him as a filmmaker is something that made me do this project. I was really impressed by his narration,” she added.

When quipped about what matters the most to the actress while considering a project, is it the script or the co-actors, she replied that usually, it depends. “I’ve taken up some projects because of my co-actors as well but here my role and the story were the things that made me work in it.”

Talking about her prep for the role of a journalist, Sonali mentioned that she probably has been preparing for her whole life as she has portrayed the character of a journalist quite many times. “And due to having close friends in the media, I get to go to channel offices and witness the rush and the work culture of the reporters and anchors myself. So, that kind of helped me for my character as well,” she added. She further mentioned, “My character, Zainab Parkar, is my tribute to all my media friends, who are working with so much dedication.”

Talking about the story being inspired by real-life events of the country, the Dil Chahta Hai actress mentioned that the makers didn’t try to replicate any real-life character for this story.

When we asked the actress how similar he character is from Shreya Shanwanthary’s Sichitra Dalaal from The Scam 1992, Sonali replied to OTTplay, “I must say that I liked Shreya’s character in The Scam but when we are talking about the whistleblower, I don’t think there’s any similarity between the two at all.”

What makes Whistleblower different from Emraan Hashmi’s Why Cheat India? As both the projects are based on the educational scam, when we asked the actress about the dissimilarities between the two, she answered that she hasn’t watched Emraan’s film. “Although I think it’s pretty much different because here we don’t have Emraan but Ritwik Bhowmik, Ravi Kishan, Sachin Khedekar here. Every actor brings their own energy and their own talent.”

Sonali thinks that it’s such a good time for aspiring actors because of the sudden burst of content on OTT platforms. “They are guaranteed to get work and I think if they have the desire to work and have that passion to act, now is the time for them. We have OTT original films. We have web series and stand-ups also. So, I think you just need to have that passion and the work will follow you.” “I didn’t have this kind of chance, there was no torchbearer for me but I got lucky and got work due to my passion, while now the actors have such a huge opportunity,” She concluded.

The actress has been active in the Marathi cinema for quite a long time, she has also worked in Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati films as well as an international Italian film, when asked if she would love to explore any other film industry or language, Sonali said, “Honestly, I don’t have any desire to conquer any language, however, I’m glad that I worked in films of different languages.”

When quipped about what was next in the kitty for the actress after Whistleblower, the actress chose to not reveal much. “I have 2 more web series and 3 more films lined up along with a Marathi film, however, I can’t talk much about those projects,” Sonali added and signed off.


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