Gullak actor Geetanjali Kulkarni talks about her play, Piya Behrupiya and other upcoming projects
The actress will soon be seen in a bizarre comedy series, Moon Walk
Actress Geetanjali Kulkarni's play Piya Behrupiya, a translation of Shakespeare’s rib-tickling comedy Twelfth Night, has foot-tapping folk fusion music and tells the story of unrequited love.
We talk to the actress to know more about the same apart from her other upcoming projects.
What drew you to Piya Behrupiya?
Piya Behrupiya is a very special teleplay for me because its live performance opened at the Globe Theatre in 2012 which is a replica of Shakespearean theatre, and very close to my heart. That space is very important for any actor and I got the privilege to perform there. I am glad that Zee Theatre digitised the play and it is reaching a larger audience.
What role are you portraying and how have you prepared for the same?
I am portraying a 16-year-old girl who begins to dress like a boy because a shipwreck has brought her to an unfamiliar island where she feels unsafe. She wears a turban and puts on a moustache to change her appearance and begins to work at the Duke’s palace. She then begins to fall in love with the Duke and realises that the Duke is in love with someone else so there is a love triangle she has to deal with.
We approached the performances in the vein of folk theatre and it was great fun to sing, dance, and spout poetry. It was very easy to slip into the role because the writing was amazing and our director Atul Kumar really adapted Shakespeare in a very special way.
Do you still do live theatre?
I enjoy theatre -- it's my first love. It is an actor’s medium and I feel that every actor should experience theatre to sharpen their skills. Even today, whenever I get the opportunity, I love to perform Piya Behrupiya.
You simply rocked in the web series Gullak? What do you think worked?
Gullak is again very close to my heart as it was my first series and very relatable. When we started shooting, a lot of crime stories were doing very well but families couldn’t watch them together. So I find this one to be a pioneering series that has brought together families in the way Doordarshan did once upon a time. I connect with it a lot because it deals with a lot of contemporary issues despite its old-world charm. I also like the fact that it is written very well and has a great cast. As an ensemble, we really looked and felt like a family.
You recently completed a short with Abhiroop Basu. Tell us about your role and your experience.
Abhiroop and his team are a very talented bunch of people. They work hard and the stories they attempt are very different. I was offered a very challenging role and I hope I have done justice to it. I have not seen the film yet so I don't know how it has shaped up but I am sure that Abhiroop will do a good job. This is also the first time I shot in Kolkata and it was a very nice experience for me.
How difficult or easy has it been for you as an actor in all these years?
An actor's journey is difficult because you have to constantly change, adapt, work on yourself and your craft, and at the same time, earn a living and survive. For me, it is also important to choose meaningful work. I cannot work on stories that I don’t agree with. For me, to have a connection with the story and the way it is told is very important. Thankfully, I had the time and the leisure to cultivate my craft. All the pain, the struggle, and the difficulties you face while performing are worth it because ultimately you are doing what you love.
Any filmmaker you want to work with?
Yes, I would like to work with Rima Das as I really like her craft. I don't know if I'll be able to blend into her world because she basically portrays stories rooted in Assam but I really want to work with her. I would also like to work with Chaitanya Tamhane again whose directorial Court I really loved.
What are your upcoming projects?
I've just finished a series called Moon Walk for Voot which is a comedy and also a really bizarre con story. I really enjoyed working on it. Then there is a film called Minimum which is in the post-production stage. Rumana Molla is directing the film and it stars Namit Das, Saba Azad, Rumana herself, and me. It's a very beautiful and warm story about a migrant family and their issues.
The teleplay will be aired on Tata Play