Sonalee Kulkarni is known for her straight forwardness and not mincing words. She does not shy away from calling a spade a spade. Currently in midst of promoting Ti & Ti, directed by Mrinal Kulkarni, Sonalee shares how her look in the film is different and something she has never attempted before. “From the curls I sport, to the tequila shots I drink, everything is new. When Mrinal ma’am approached me with the script, she gave me the choice to pick. We both thought I suited the character of Priyanka. I was kicked and excited that we were on the same page,” says the Tula Kalnnaar Nahi (2017) actor.
Having experimented with her looks in all her films, Sonalee is upset about the fact that she is more often than not approached with stereotypical roles. “It is sad that, if you are a pretty face, then your acting skills are undermined. People tend to just think that you are a pretty face. And, it is very prevalent in the Marathi film industry. I have to work doubly hard to prove my mettle as an actor. On the other hand, a dusky girl, is applauded for her ‘natural’ acting. It is racist to some extent. I feel sad that being pretty is a problem.”
So, how often is she offered roles because of the way she looks? “Well, it does happen a lot. I have been stereotyped often. The funny part is, even after doing films such as Poshter Girl (2016) and Bakula Namdeo Ghotale (2007), nobody wants to yet consider me as a rural character.”
She adds that the physical attributes of a character add to the essence of the role. And, that’s why she works hard on getting the look right. “When I say looks, I mean the stance, the hair and the attire, not the skin colour or tone. Building a character is a great process and sometimes it is internal to external or vice versa.”