Category Archives: Interviews

“I am waiting to play non glamorized roles- Smita Gondkar

She can be termed as one of the glamorous heroines of Marathi movie industry. Smita Gondkar, is probably the fittest heroines in recent times. She had been around for a while, but one music video did wonders and brought her into limelight.

“I am thrilled with the response ‘Pappi de Paru la’ music video received. It brought me closer to the audience.”  Smita was reminiscing and continued, “I was working in USA with Disney Cruise Line alongside people from 55 nations. On one of my yearly India visits, I decided to travel and explore India with backpack and hitch-hiking. In the meantime, I did some modelling and was offered a marathi film, which was supposed to be completed in 3 months. But, the film got delayed and I was offered few other films, which extended my stay here. And since my acting hobby turned into passion, I said Good bye to USA.”

Actress, Smita Gondkar

Smita debuted through ‘Mumbaicha Dabewala’ with Bharat Jadhav and later did a film with Ajinkya Deo, titled ‘Vasudev Balwant Phadke’. She was lucky enough to have started her film career with two big names in Marathi.

She has acted in films like ‘Vijay Dinanath Chouhan’, ‘Hip Hip Hurray’, ‘Ashi Fasli Nanachi Taang’,  ‘Premacha Jholjhal’, to name a few. “It’s a coincidence that most of my films have been comedies. I do like doing comedy roles, but I sincerely crave for other roles too . Recently, I refused a couple of films, because of the very reason” confessed Smita.
Smita Gondkar idolises exceptionally talented actress, late Smita Patil. “I am, at present, doing a very interesting role in a film on a social issue of family planning. And interestingly enough, I am doing an item song in ‘Wanted Baiko No.1’, despite playing the lead role”. She said.

Being glamorous all her career, costumes do play pivotal part. Smita admits and says “I am very particular about what I wear on screen and to be on the safer side, as a standby, I always carry a few of my personal costumes, according to the scheduled scenes. I do not want to stall the shoot, just for the sake of clothes’. “And most of the time I end up wearing my own stuff”she added with a smile.

Speaking about her slim figure, she said, “Neither I exercise, nor do I follow any diet plan. I belong to a ‘sporty’ family. I used to train very hard, during my school and college days, for 8 to 10 hours daily as I was into swimming, Kayaking & judo in a big way. And thankfully, it’s helping me now.” Incidentally Smita has represented State in Kayaking (she was the captain of the team), Swimming and Judo. She is also an avid biker and indulges in ‘style and adventure biking’ and adventure sports like sky-diving, in her spare time. As per Smita, ‘These activities satisfy my soul.’

Smita Gondkar can be seen in forthcoming movies, ‘Gappa Bais Ani Aiik’, ‘Janavhi’, ‘Full To Dhamaal’,  ‘Wanted Baiko No.1′,  ‘Ek Aadat’ (Hindi), ‘Just Gammat’, to mention a few. “My films ‘Gadbad Gondhal’ with Santosh Juvekar and ‘Chi. Sau. Ka. Mary Fernandes’ with Bharat Jadhav are ready and I am waiting for the promotions to start” Smita informed.

This glamorous actress, has also done Hindi and English movies (The Awakening) but enjoys doing marathi movies and is eagerly waiting for her dream to play ‘non-glamorised’ role.

“Playing Gayatri, is a dream role for me” – Madhura Deshpande

With the help of her sharp looks and charming smile, she bagged the role of Gayatri, in Zee Marathi’s new serial ‘Ase Hey kanyadaan’. Madhura Deshpande is from Pune and is well versed with Classical Dance, especially Bharat Natyam. The character of Gayatri in this serial, needed a dancing actress, as there is plenty of scope for dance, in this serial, besides acting.

Madhura DeshpandeMadhura is playing the daughter of versatile actor Sharad Ponkse, a disciplinarian Municipal officer. Gayatri  also has a younger brother and mother in this serial . But, the story of this serial shows the finest  relationship between father and daughter. Father begins his day, with a cup of coffee served by his beloved daughter. In short, there is solid bonding between two of them, as both of them take good care of each other.

Met Madhura recently, at a function and found her to be very modest, while talking about her college days in Pune. Madhura has studied from Garware College, Pune and did her specialization in Bharat Natyam at Padmashree Sucheta Bhide Chaphekar’s ‘Kalavardhini’. She began learning about stage and Drama at Maharashtra Cultural Centre.  Madhura has performed in Purushottam shield, representing college. In short, she has developed herself in the field of acting, with right training.

Talking about her first big assignment through Zee Marathi’s serial ‘Ase Hey kanyadaan’, that too in lead role, she said, “Playing Gayatri is a dream role for me. I am glad that in my first big assignment, I had an opportunity to work with multitalented actor like Mr. Sharad Ponkshe. There is lot to learn from him. He is not only a good actor; but, a wonderful person too. I enjoy every moment, while working on the sets of this film.”

But, was she nervous, facing her first scene opposite Mr. Ponkshe ? And, Madhura said, “I am basically a stage actress and therefore was well prepared with my character. In fact, I took it as a challenge. And, it worked.”

When asked, whether She would also opt for Marathi films? She politely said, “It is too early for me to think about it. Let me first establish myself as a good TV actress.” By the way, Madhura is becoming popular among young TV audience, as the serial offers the subject targeted at youngsters. The serial also offers a social message, which is more important. And, above all, talented Madhura is playing the young matured collegian, who knows, how to judge people.

Is Siddharth Chandekar emerging as the most promising actor?

Though Ankush Choudhari plays the lead actor of the ‘Classmates’ team, the actor who has been inviting the attention of audience is Siddharth Chandekar. Siddharth began his acting career in films through a Milind Ukey’s film ‘Hamne Jeena Seekh Liya’. But then, he was a teenager. Siddharth’s actual journey as an actor began with the serial ‘Agnihotra’ and Avadhoot Gupte’s film ‘Zenda’. Then , we saw him in Atul Sarpotdar’s film ‘Satarangee Re’ based on young collegians.

Siddharth Chandekar
Later, films like ‘Balgandharva ‘ and ‘Doosari Goshta’ offered him limited scope. Last year, his film ‘Bavare Prem He’ was released, presenting him as a solo hero opposite Urmila Kanetkar-Kothare. In spite of good performance, his talent went noticed, as the film didn’t do well, at ticket window. But, after release of ‘Classmates’, everybody is talking about his performance. Though there are other popular Marathi actors in this film, Siddharth stands out, with his all round performance. He has displayed emotions and humour simultaneously, clearly indicating that he is there to stay in Marathi film industry, for a long long time.
Having seen the promo of his forthcoming film ‘Sata Lota Pan Sagala Khota’, there is plenty of scope for his character, to create instant comedy. And, we have seen the glimpse of it in ‘Classmates’. In short, Siddharth is all set to rock, during the beginning of this new year . It will not be surprising to see him as the Number one hero of Marathi films, in years to come..

“I sacrificed my acting career, for writing songs” – Guru Thakur

guru-thakur-pictureHe started his career as a newspaper columnist. He also is termed as a cartoonist, caricaturist, voice-over artist, script writer but he rose to enormous fame with his song writing skills as a lyricist. He is Guru Thakur. This multi faceted personality was a writer, for the popular television serial Shriyut Gangadhar Tipre. He has also scripted a popular marathi drama Bhaiyya Haat Paay Pasari. Marathi film Natrang became a sort of landmark film in the industry gaining loads of popularity. with Ajay-Atul’s music, Guru Thakur’s lyrics set a new trend, as he was also responsible for the movie’s screenplay too. One of the few personalities who have tasted success in entire marathi entertainment medium and winner of more than a dozen of awards, was talking exclusively to MarathiMovieWorld.

MMW: You are undoubtedly one of the leading lyricists of marathi films. Where do you think, the song writing is heading ?
GT : It feels good, when your work is appreciated and that induces you to work harder. Sadly enough, the senior writers have stopped writing, which makes this job still more difficult.

MMW: But a lot of new writers are thronging the field. Who do you think is good in the new lot ?
GT: It’s a mixed reaction. Quite a few new lyricists are good. They have done a good job and are appreciated. But I think, majority of them lack consistency. After initial spark, they seem to fizzle out. May be, they succumb to catering to the demand of young generation, who presumably are not inclined towards pure, unadulterated marathi. One should not bog down to the temptations. There should be more effort to sustain quality. And importantly, anything written with passion is invariably appreciated by even young generation.

MMW: Are you averse to non-marathi singers ?
GT : No. I have no issues and all of them have proved their talent. In fact, in my upcoming movie Shalee, there’s only one song and that too is sung by Roop Kumar Rathod.

MMW: But don’t they have problems with pronunciations? Because late Kishore Kumar used to be scared of pronouncing certain marathi words .
GT: Well, sometimes it’s difficult for them.

MMW: In that case, do you attend all recordings ?
GT: Earlier I was not very particular about attending recordings, but couple of incidents of non-suitable words, used at the last moment due to time pressure, made me realise that if I am around, and if required, alternate word can be provided by me, on the spot.

MMW: What do you prefer, writing before hand or writing on a tune?
GT: When you are just writing, then there are no boundaries. I can write as per the requirement of the script. And while writing on a tune, you have to fit in the words, as per the ‘meter’. But, I relish both.

MMW: You have done more than 50 films. Any favourite music director?
GT: I have worked with almost every music director and all of them are good and am happy with everybody.

MMW: Your next projects….
GT: About 10-12 films. Upcoming EkTara has thrown a challenge to me. It’s a musical and has 11 songs out of which I have written 9.

MMW: That’s great. Your personality must be giving complex to quite a few heroes in the industry. And we have has seen you on screen too. Any chances of changing the profession?
GT: Actually I am an actor and have done a few assignments. I used to like writing too. The producers, directors imbibed on me that since there is dearth of good writers, I should concentrate on writing, because according to them I was good at it. They say, there are plenty of actors available for a single project, but same can’t be said about Writers. So,I sacrificed my acting career, for writing songs.

‘Whatever you do, try to give your best’ – Suruchi Adarkar

suruchi adarkar, actressSuruchi Adarkar has now-a-days become very popular as ‘Aditi Dabholkar’ in the Zee Tv serial ‘Ka re Durava’. Born and brought up in Thane, Suruchi did her schooling from Saraswati Vidyalaya, Kalwa, and completed her Master of Arts with English Literature from Vaze Kelkar College. She would complete her PhD shortly. During her school days Suruchi actively participated in dramas, singing and dancing competitions in the annual gatherings. She also participated in other extracurricular activities. However, during college days, this couldn’t happen. Her father is the Principal in a Law college and mother is a House wife, while younger brother is doing his engineering.
Suruchi began her acting career in 2007, through a commercial play ‘Avagha Rang Ekchi Zhala’ produced by Prabhakar Panshikar.

Marathi Movie World spoke to this talented actress. The excerpts from the interview are as below:

Q: When did you begin your acting career?
A: Actually, I had never thought about doing career in acting, but wanted to do something creative. After completing my college, I got a call for audition for Prabhakar Panshikar’s Production ‘Avagha Rang Ekchi Zhala’ a commercial play, for doing the sister’s role. That was the beginning of my acting career. After that first performance, I acted on small screen in various TV serials, like DD Metro channel’s and Purva Gokhale produced serial ‘Pehchhan’ as Vidya, Star Pravah serial ‘Olakh’ ‘Aapala buwa asa ahe’ on ETv, ‘Kunku’ and ‘Janmagath’. During 2013, I acted in a Marathi film ‘Maat’ as a Sameer Dharmadhikari’s friend. Presently, I am doing the role of Aditi Dabholkar in the serial ‘Ka Re Durava’ on Zee Tv. The ‘jodi’ of Ja i- Aditi from this serial has become very popular, now a days.

Q: How much support you receive from your family? Do they encourage you?
A: Yes, without the support of my parents, I would not have opted for this acting career. My parents said ‘Do whatever you like, we are always with you. Even if failure happens, don’t get upset.’ This is the reason I am never afraid of failures. Most important thing is when I decided to choose acting as my career, my father fully supported me, my mother was worried about me, like any typical mother, but did not oppose.

Q: Have you also done any Hindi film?
A: Yes, I did a small role in ‘Tathastu'; Sanjay Dutt was the hero of this film.

Q: Tell us something about your current serial ‘Ka Re Durava’?
Actually I had gone for some other audition and I got a call for audition of this serial. When I went for audition I went through the script and I liked it. After ‘look test’ I got selected for the main role of ‘Aditi’. Working with Serial Director/writer Jalindar Kumbhar, is a very nice experience, as he is a very good human being too. I am very comfortable on sets, with all my co-artists; we work as a family.

Q: Besides this ongoing Serial, are there any other projects in pipeline?
A: No, currently I want to concentrate on this serial only, as it has a very hectic schedule for me.

Q: Tell us about your experience after joining this field? Whether it was a good decision?
A.: It is a great experience. One may experience good or bad things in every field. But by the Grace of God, so far, I never had any bad experience. Yes, I had to struggle a lot and everyone has to, for achieving success.

Q: Where would you prefer to work, on stage, TV or big screen?
Acting is my passion; I am comfortable while performing in all the three mediums. ‘Wherever and whatever you do, try to give your best’ , is the motto of my life.

Q What are your hobbies, favorite color, favorite food?
A: Singing and dancing; I learnt Kathak from Seema Parchure. My favorite color is blue and I am very fond of non-veg food. I love sea food, especially Goan fish curry. I always hunt for good restaurants for fine non-veg food.

Q .Who is your ideal? Who is your favorite actor or actress?
A: Not any particular, there are different personalities with different qualities, I try to adopt good qualities and learn something new from them. My favorite actor is Shahrukh Khan and actress Madhuri Dixit, because of her dance and acting. I always try to follow her, in my every character.

Marathi movie world wishes Suruchi all the best for her future career.

“People know you on the basis of your work, not name” – Pallavi Patil

Runji, pallavi Patil

More than her real name, people know her as ‘Runji’. So much has been the popularity of Pallavi Patil, ever since her Marathi serial was aired on Star Pravah Channel. Her smartness, her lovely natural smile and above all her confident looking body language makes her something special. Pallavi did show signs of her ability to become a lead actress, when she appeared in a small role in ongoing TV serial ‘Julun Yeti Reshimgathi’. Pallavi appeared in just few episodes as visiting cousin of Meghana during her marriage, but, invited all the attention, through her brilliant performance.
A graduate in Sanskrit from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Pallavi has participated in various one act plays, since her college days and has won prizes as best actress. Her best performance was in an experimental play ‘Meter Down’ for which she won the best actress award from Zee TV.

Before appearing in ‘Runji’, she has performed in commercial Marathi plays like Chandralekha’s ‘Prem Gandh’, Suyog’s Mangesh kadam directed ‘Prema Tuza Rang Kasaa’, in which Ashok Saraf played the lead. Very recently she played the lead role opposite Nikhil Ratnaparakhi in popular Marathi play ‘Tom Aani Jerry’. Best thing about Pallavi is that besides acting, she does find time for social work. She is associated with one NGO, taking care of hearing and speech impaired people. Perhaps, Pallavi’s parents being hearing and speech impaired, must have driven her to this work, for a social cause. Hats off to her.

Marathi Movie world spoke to Pallavi recently. Excerpts from an interview:

Q: Have you taken any specific trainer for acting ?
A: Actually, I was working with ‘Mithak’ & Adwait Dadarkar’s group, where I have learned a lot about acting.

Q: How did you bag this role of ‘Runji’ ?
A: I have done many auditions for the same. I would like to thank my director and the production house, who have shown faith in me and given me an opportunity.

Q : Are you like ‘Runji’ in real life ?
A: To certain extent ‘yes’, but not cent percent. Actually, I am not so bold and dashing like Runji . But, I can talk for hours, can crack jokes.

Q: Now a days, there are lots of social issue related to problems faced by women. What is your reaction?
A: Yes, there is endless list of women’s issue, from toilet to transportation, from home to work. But, somewhere we should start facingthem. Unless we suffer and raise our voice, we can’t get the solution. Most of females still keep quite. They are scared to come forward and raise their voice, against injustice. They should come forward and be bold to raise their issues. Basically, such people should change their mentality. And, it should start from our home.

Q: Tell us something about your film assignments.
A: I have completed couple of Marathi films, which are due to release. One of them, is ‘ Kadhi Ambat Kadhi Goad'(KAKG) a comedy film and another is Sameer Aathlye’s directorial debut film ‘Dhangarwada’ . In both these films, I have done major roles. I’m looking forward to hear audience feedback on my performance.

Q: Tell us something about your role in ‘Kadhi Ambat Kadhi Goad’.
A: I’m playing a lead character of a ‘full of life bubbly girl’. My co stars in this film are Ashok Mama (Ashok Saraf) and Madhav Deochakke. It’s a full entertaining rom-com film.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Since my Mom and Dad hearing and speech impaired, I know sign language very well. In free time, I visit the NGO and work for them. Sometimes, I act as an interpreter for them. I also love cycling.

Q : There was Sonali kulkarni Sr. Then came Sonalee Jr. There are two Swapnil Joshi and now we have seen two Pallavi Patil. Isn’t it? Don’t you think, this may confuse the fans? Do you have plans to change your name?
A: Yes, this is confusing. But, I don’t think one need to change her or his name. After all, people know you on the basis of your work.

“Proud to be a Marathi Mulgi” – Manasi Moghe

Upon introduction, a warm endearing smile greets you. Feet firmly on ground and without any airs Miss India 2013 chats with Marathi Movie World. This 23 years old (young) beauty is utterly focused and knows exactly what she wants from life.
Manasi Moghe,It’s every other girl’s dream to either become Miss India or a famous ‘Bollywood’ star like Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi, or Kareena Kapoor. Very few know that grinding hard work is required in the process. Manasi knew about it and was prepared for arduous hard work. She realised her dream in 2013, when she was announced Femina Miss India Universe, changing her life drastically in a positive way.

“I always wanted to become Miss India since my childhood.”confessed Manasi. Her journey started from Indore, where she was born and where she went to school and college, moving to Nagpur for her higher studies to become an Engineer ( in electronics and IT ) and finally to Mumbai, city of opportunities. “My studies and present profession do not match. Since my mother and father are Doctors, I always wanted to do academically well. As I am very good in mathematics I chose engineering,” Manasi was reminiscing. In the final year of her engineering degree, after winning quite a few titles locally, she decided to go after her dream and applied for Femina Miss India contest in 2013. Rest is history, as she won the coveted Miss India Universe title.

Like any other beauty pageant winner, next stop being ‘Bollywood’, she did not get lured by mediocre projects. She was offered Marathi film, which she readily accepted after reading the script. She is debuting in ‘Bugadi Mazi Sandli Ga‘ based on Marathi folk culture, Laavni. “I loved the role offered wherein invigorating emotions are to be expressed and it’s a musical with lots of dancing involved, as I have to perform different types of Laavnis.” expressed Manasi, when asked about why she chose Marathi regional film as a debut film. “Also I am a ‘Marathi mulgi’ so why not?‘. Though not a trained dancer, she went through a rigorous training, for dancing and humorously said that she did not get any scolding from her dance director, who apparently is a task master, during rehearsals or shooting.

This tall ( 5’9″) beauty with brains, who also happens to be extremely able Basketball player, has been amongst the top 7 contestants, at Miss Universe contest 2013. She was declared ‘Miss Diva’ 2013, in the same pageant. She has been associated with ‘Muktangan’, NGO which is involved in uplifting underprivileged children. “I love kids, and I enjoy being surrounded with these kids.” said Manasi.

Marathi movie world wishes, our own ‘Marathi mulgi’, Miss India, Manasi Moghe a grand success in the coming years.

“Mhalsa has brought some change within myself” – Surabhi Hande

Surabhi Hande, Jay malhar

Surabhi Hande, ‘Mhalsa’ of the popular serial ‘Jay Malhar’ has done her schooling from Jalgaon, joined M.J College and did her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from L.A.D. College, Nagpur. When she was in the 1st year, she participated in a play ‘Swami’ and did stage shows all over India. She was also an artist in All India Radio’s Marathi Sugam Sangeet Programe. Her father Sanjay Hande is an Asst Music Director in Akashwani and mother Anjali Hande is a professor, HOD of music

Surabhi began her acting career at the age of 16-17. She first acted in a Hindi film ‘Standby’ and then went on to act in the Marathi serial ‘Ambat Goad’ (Star Pravah), in a negative role.

Marathi Movie World spoke to this talented actress about her ongoing mythological serial ‘Jai Malhar’. The excerpts from the interview are as below:

Q: When did you actually begin your acting career ?
A: I did my first performance on stage when I was in the 1st year of my bachelors degree. I took part in Rajya Natak competition, played role in Viveka Nanda’s play “Swami” and did stage shows all over India . Also worked in All India Radio as an artist in “Marathi Sugam Sangeet programme”

Q: Have you also done any Hindi film?
A: Yes, I have started my acting career from Hindi Film ‘Standby’, directed by Sanjay Surkar and was introduced by my father’s friend Mr. Prakash Choube, when I was in college. I played the role of Adinath Kothare’s sister and daughter of Sachin Khedekar. I also did a Marathi serial “Ambat Goad on Star Pravah, in which I played a negative role.

Surabhi Hande in Jai Malhar, Q: In ‘Jai Malhar’, you are playing the main character of Mhalsa; are you enjoying the attention? What do you want to say about this role , How do you feel in this role?
A: Yes, I consider myself lucky that I was selected to perform Mhalsa’s role in this serial. When I came to know, the auditions were going on for Jai Malhar, I went for it and when I received a call and was told about my selection for this role; I just couldn’t say ‘no’ for this offer. It was a golden opportunity which came my way. Jay Malhar is a mythological serial and my character of Mhalsa has given me an opportunity to play something different. I am learning and enjoying a lot while doing this character. Different look, different attitude, even I am feeling some change within myself; I have changed a lot.

Q: Besides this ongoing Serial, are there any other projects in pipeline?
A: No, currently I want to concentrate on this serial only, as it has a very hectic schedule for me.

Q: Tell us about your experience while shooting?
A.: It is a great experience. There is a lot to learn from all those around. The most important thing I learned, is about ‘timing’. All the artists guide and understand each other. I am quickly learning the technique of delivering the dialogues, as well as body language for this role as this is a mythological story. I am really enjoying every moment of this serial with all artists and my co-artist Mr. Nage .

Q: After performing in lead role , will you be taking up character or other roles on small screen ? Are you choosy about the roles?
A : I haven’t decided anything about it so far. Actually, I want to do different types of roles. The story should have a lot of strength. I would love to do ‘bindhast’ type, thrilling character or political personality or even uncommon character like one in Hindi film ‘Paa’ or Rani Mukharji’s ‘Mardani’. Personally, I would prefer variety of roles. I did negative role in the serial ‘Ambat Goad’, but in future , I won’t be interested in doing negative or comedy roles.

Q: Where are you more comfortable? On stage, TV or big screen?
A: I am comfortable while performing in all the three mediums. I have a passion for working in films; but I also enjoy working on stage.

Q: Any particular Director or production house, you would like to work with in future?
A: No, I am ready to work with everyone, not particular about anybody so far.

Q What is your hobby ?
A: Singing , I like to participate in singing programmes too.

Q .Who is your ideal?
A: In Marathi, Mukta Barve, Mrunal Kulkarni, Aishwarya Narkar and In Hindi Madhuri Dixit and Kajol.

Working with Shahrukh, was a memorable experience – Atul Todankar

For the past 15 years, Atul Todankar has been entertaining the audience on stage and television; but he received the recognition of an actor like a rubber stamp, with Zee Marathi’s reality show ‘Fu Bai Fu’. Atul himself admits that Zee is like his aunty, to offer him all that he aspired for, i.e. Name, fame and right kind of roles. His latest achievement is an ad film that too for Dish TV, along with none other than Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan. In fact, Atul received his first break on Television, through Sachin Pilgaonkar’s ‘Tu Tu Main Main’. Knowing his ability, Sachin offered him a chance in his dance show ‘Ekapeksha Ek’, offering him a partner like Vishakha. Thereafter, it was ‘Fu Bai Fu’ with Anshuman Vichare and since then Atul’s progress has been noteworthy.

Atul Todankar
The beginning of 2012 has been most memorable for him, having done an ad with Shahrukh Khan and getting two good offers from Marathi Dramas, namely Rajesh Deshpande’s ‘Aaho Rahoo Dhyana Ghari’ which will be staged on the auspicious Gudhi Padwa day and Shekhar Dhavlikar’s ‘A Aaicha B Baicha’ which will be staged in April 2012. Atul is all excited about these two projects, as he plays both the roles opposite his favorite actress Nirmiti Sawant, with whom he had performed in the past at the beginning of his acting career on stage. It may be recalled that Atul has worked with many known people like Santosh Pawar and Kedar Shinde. He played as replacement for Shreyas Talpade in the play ‘Tur Tur’ in the past.

A student of Mumbai’s Shardashram School, known for cricket, Atul has seen all those cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli creating records for his school. Sachin is two years senior to him and he did inspire Atul to take up cricket. But, Atul had other plans. After his 12th, Atul joined Engineering in Mumbai’s VJTI college and even passed with a good percentage. He even got his placement in a good company through Campus recruitment. But, suddenly he developed interest for stage, when he saw his friends like Paddy and Vikas perform during a drama rehearsal. Atul thought that there was a lot of creativity in this field. He decided to pursue this new hobby and hence joined BEST as an Engineer, as he very well knew that BEST encouraged artistes like Prashant Damle, Sharad Ponkshe and others.

Atul went on to win many awards while in the service of BEST and received good support from his employers and superiors, whenever he was required to perform. At present, Atul is on special leave, having been associated with many projects; but his employers have told him to return to his job, within next two years, if he so desires. With the available time with him, Atul wants to make the best use of it by focusing his attention on good roles. The two big stage assignments he has in hand, would certainly open the doors for him on television and films. He is already doing a serial ‘Puneri Misal’ and ‘Fu Bai Fu’ has already brought him name and fame.

Recalling his most memorable moment in life, Atul remembers the day, when he was selected to play a friend of Shahrukh Khan for the Dish TV advertisement, released recently. “It so happened that I was busy shooting for ‘Puneri Misal’, when I received a call from a coordinator to report for audition of this advertisement. But, I could not report, as my shooting got over late in the evening. Next day, I received a call again and they asked me to report. So, I managed to report that day and they took my audition for all eight different characters. When I received the call again to inform me that I was short listed and was required to report for dress rehearsal, still I was not that serious; as on that day too, I was on my way to Pune. But, they agreed for the next day. When I went there, I was told that I was doing the ad along with Shahrukh Khan. It was a great moment for me, when on the actual shooting day, I met him. He released my tension by himself introducing to me and gave me a hug, when I told him that I couldn’t believe my eyes that I was working with him,” says Atul, while narrating the incident.

“For me, Shahrukh was a great inspiration, as I found him a perfect professional actor, who comes prepared for all his scenes. He takes his own time to rehearse the scene and is very systematic in his work. There are many good qualities of him that I learned during my association with him for about 7 hours on the sets. I closely observed him. It was an experience to remember, ” he concludes.

“Transition into a scene after a break, is the most important phase for an artist”- Ashwini Ekbote

She has been part of Marathi stage, TV and films for quite some time now. But, as an actress she has maintained a low profile in this entertainment world. Ashwini Ekbote is an actress par excellence, when it comes to quickly re entering into a character, after a break or cut. Marathi Movie World spoke to Ashwini, during the rehearsal of her new play ‘Eka kshanaat’. When asked to comment on requirement of a button artist in acting field, she said, “It is very easy to break a scene, after the director calls ‘cut’. Sometimes, you are disappointed. But, the transition into a scene after a break, is the most important phase for an artist and I pay more attention on this aspect.”Ashwini EkboteWe have seen Ashwini’s performance in the past. She has worked very hard; but hasn’t received the kind of success. In short, her real potential was not exploited. There was one film ‘Kshan Ha Mohacha’ directed by Sanjeev konate, which was also made in Hindi “Ek Pal Pyar ka’, where Ashwini’s real capacity as an actress was clearly noticed, to some extent. This movie talked about a married couple , not having a child and the wife played by Ashwini desperately in urge to have a child. She imagines a doll as her child and turns hysteric on many occasions. Sharad Ponkshe played her husband in this film.

In fact, Ashwini’s chemistry with Sharad Ponkshe as her co star, has worked very well so far. Both have also acted together on stage as well as in serials, besides movies. No wonder Sharad opted for her as his co star in the new Marathi play ‘Eka kshanaat’, which is directed by him. In this play, Ashwini has wider scope to display her talent, as the entire play revolves around her character.

Ashwini was seen in full command over her character during the rehearsal scenes, as she played Prerna, the wife of Sharad Ponkshe and in the subsequent scene she was found in the character of Sapna, where she gave an impression that she had turned hysterical. Very intensely she performed these scenes and the truth behind those important scenes was revealed only after watching this play during the inaugural show, few days ago.

When Ashwini was asked to comment on this role, she said, ” I liked this role, as the script of this play itself is full of twists and turns, with a wonderful plot that makes the life of a couple miserable. We have heard the stories about the victims of terrorist attacks and Bomb blasts taking place; but, this play presents the actual psychological effect of such a shocking moment on the lives of relatives of the victims.” She was very sure that the Marathi drama lovers would welcome this play, for its timely presentation which related to the tensions in the lives of the people living in busy towns and cities .

Ashwini has already proved her acting skills through whatever came to her share in some of her recently released films like ‘Debu‘, ‘High Command’ and serials like ‘Tu Bhetashi Navyane’ & ‘Kashyala Udyachi Baat'; but, her role in ‘Eka kshanaat’ gives her recognition as a complete actress. Now, she glows like a real star in Marathi Entertainment industry. Thanks to producer of this play Uday Dhurat, writer Sandeep Jangam and Director Sharad Ponkshe.