Interview: Actor Khushboo Atre will debut as a filmmaker with her first short, Kalakaar
Currently, the actor is winning hearts with her portrayal of the enterprising wife Ratna in the web series Criminal Justice 3
Khushboo Atre always wanted to become an actress but never had the guts to say it out loud. Where she hails from in Madhya Pradesh, acting is not always looked upon as a great career choice.
"So, I never had the courage to express what I wanted to be but simply told my parents that I wanted to work in Mumbai. But when they first saw me on television for the first time they were very happy and proud of my achievement," tells the bubbly actor, who has endeared the audience with her charmingly funny portrayal of a desi wife in the popular legal web series, Criminal Justice. The third season of the series is out since last week and Khushboo's character Ratna is keeping the fun quotient alive in an otherwise serious courtroom drama.
"Ratna is very relatable to many a woman, especially the small-town women. In this season, Ratna adapts more to the urban lifestyle while retaining her core values. She also starts her own beauty parlour and gets a taste of independence," she tells us.
Apart from Criminal Justice, Khushboo has also been a part of such films as Shamitabh and Raazi. and web series like Naked and Illegal Justice of Order besides a few television shows. Now, she is ready with her debut short film, Kalakaar, which she has written and directed. Here's an excerpt of a chat with the budding pool of talent.
Tell us about Kalakaar?
Being an actor I have observed that there are some days in our lives, when it gets impossible for us to perform because of certain personal hardships. Kalakaar has taken a leaf from one such day when an actor is just not ready to perform. We have Aditya Raj Sharma and Akriti Singh in the cast and they have acted convincingly in their roles.
Tell us about the other short films that you have done?
One of the short films, Dar Ke Agey Jeetu Hai, is based in Rajasthan. It's a beautiful film about a young boy and his fears. It's a loving portrayal of a mother-son relationship. The other one -- Soft Kiss -- has a plot around coffee table conversation and is a fresh take on LGBTQI+ relationships and I've cowritten this one. There's another short film, Kalakaar, which I have written and directed. It will release this month besides The Artiste, produced by Satish Kaushik, where I am playing a dubbing artist.
How was it working with Pankaj Tripathi?
He is a very sensitive and witty co-actor. I remember in the previous season, while we were filming one of the episodes, someone came up to me and asked if I were actually from Bihar. When the person came to know I hail from Madhya Pradesh, he was surprised how I could speak Bihari so well. To that Pankaj said, "Arey ye Bihari nehi hai talented hai is liye bol leti hain" (She is not from Bihar but a talented actor and that's why she can speak so well).
I would never forget what he said. To get such assurance from an actor like him is a big thing for me and he did appreciate my work post the release as well.
How has your journey been so far and what are the lessons learnt?
It's been rocky and good as well, since I don't have any connection in the film industry I always have struggled to find more opportunities. You have to have a lot of connections but what you make out of the chance you get, decides your fate to a great extent. So, I keep working on myself and I don't take anything for granted. It's been 10 years that I'm actively working as an actor but not many people know me or have seen me in major projects. So, yes, it is difficult. But also, if you are honest with what you do and if have faith in yourself then nothing is impossible.
You have also finished shooting a film in the UK...
I can't reveal much about it, but it was a wonderful experience. It's an ensemble cast and a huge project helmed by the director Tinu Desai. I got the chance to work alongside actors Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra which is a great experience.
You do a lot of theatres. Tell us what about your upcoming plays?
I am doing two-three plays currently including Bade Miyaan Deewane and Jungle Book 2, both by Rangbaaz productions, Rangaai by Aranya theatre group. I play a small Sardar kid in Jungle Book and that's one of my favourite plays.