Atul Kulkarni is a popular Marathi actor, who is also well known in Bollywood movies. He is the two time National Award winner. He is popular for his movies like ‘Valu’, ‘Natarang’, and ‘Rang De Basanti’. He has also worked in various South Indian movies.
Early Life & Background
Atul was born on 10th September 1965 in Belgaum, Karnataka. His father was a businessman and mother was a housewife. He completed his schooling from Haribhai Deokaran High School Solapur, Maharashtra. Later, he completed his college from Belgaum and opted for engineering at the College of Engineering, Pune. However, he left his engineering studies and joined D. A. V College in Solapur. He used to help his dad in business and also worked in an insurance company for a while. Atul also holds a post graduation diploma in dramatic arts from National School of Drama, Delhi.
First assignment/ First major break
Atul’s first appearance in a play was as a child artist during his school days at ‘Haribhai Devkaran High School’.
Journey in the industry
Atul started his acting career by a Marathi theatre. He first acted in the/a play during his school days, which he continued in college too. While studying he joined a drama group Natya Aradhana at Solapur, where he trained under the guidance of Dr.Waman Degaonkar. He use to work backstage for two years and then he finally got a chance to act. In 1992, he joined National School of Drama in Delhi. After completing course from NSD, he started working as a freelancer actor in Mumbai Theatre & televisions.
Later, Atul started working in commercials plays like ‘Udhvasta Sharmashala’, ‘Chapha’, ‘Manoos Navacha Bet’. He played the role of Mahatma Gandhi in his first professional play ‘Gandhi Viruddha Gandhi’. The play was staged in Marathi, Hindi & Gujarati languages. Later, Atul directed his first play ‘Aapan Sarech Ghodegaonkar’ and he won his first award in direction. Atul got several awards for all these plays. Since 1999, he was associated with Ranga Vardhan. He had also acted in the plays like ‘Samudra’, ‘Natak’ and ‘Zale Mokale Aabhal’.
Atul later started acting in the Marathi movies. In 2000, he played the role of Jadhav a teacher in the movie ‘Kairee’. His movie ‘Maati Maay’ was premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. In 2008, he worked in the super-hit Marathi film ‘Valu’ in a role of Swanand Gaddamwar.
In 2009, he played the role of Guna Kagalkar the Nachya in the Marathi movie ‘Natarang’. The movie was a major hit at the box office and was appreciated by critics and audience. Atul was nominated for an Asia Pacific Screen Best Award in the ‘Best Performance by an Actor’ category.
In 2013, he acted in the Satish Rajwade’s romantic movie ‘Premachi Gosht’, opposite Chak De girl Sagarika Ghatge. In 2013, he was also seen in Satish Rajwade’s movie ‘Popat’. He had also worked in the movies like ‘Dahavi Fa’, ‘Vaastu Purush’, ‘Devrai’, ‘Chakwa’, ‘Sukhaant’.
Atul had also acted in various Hindi movies. He received his first National Film Award in a Best Supporting Role for his role of Shriram Abhyankar from the movie ‘Hey Ram’. The film was directed by Kamal Hassan. In 2001, he acted in the Madhur Bhandarkar’s movie ‘Chandni Bar’, for which he received another National Film Award for the Best Supporting Actor. In 2003, he played a vital role of Encounter Shankar in the movie ‘Dum’.
In 2005, Atul played a role of crime reporter Vinayak Mane in the Madhur Bandharkar’s movie ‘Page 3’, along with Konkona Sen Sharma. In 2006, he played a vital role of Laxman Pandey & Ramprasad Bismil in the blockbuster movie ‘Rang De Basanti’, along with Aamir Khan, Siddharth, Sharman Joshi & Sohan Ali Khan. In 2013, he portrayed the character of Inspector Shinde in the RVG’s movie ‘The Attacks of 26/11’. The movie was based on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. He had also acted in the movies like ’88 Antop Hill’, ‘Satta’, ‘Delhi 6’, ‘Yeh Mera India’, ‘4084’ and more.
In 2013, Atul acted in the remake of Amitabh Bachchan’s popular movie ‘Zanjeer’, starring Priyanka Chopra and Ram Charan. He portrayed the character of reporter named J.D in the movie. The character was based on the mid-day reporter J.Dey who was shot dead by the underworld gangsters. He was critically acclaimed for his roles in the movies ‘Page 3’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’. He has worked in more than 60 films in 7 languages.
In 1997, Atul debuted in Kannada film ‘Bhoomi Geetha’. Later he acted in various Tamil & Telugu movies. In 2000, he debuted in the Telugu movie ‘Jayam Manade Raa’. After ‘Hey Ram’ which was released in Hindi and Tamil, ‘Run’ was Atul’s second Tamil movie. In 2004, he debuted in Malayalam movie ‘Vajram’. He had acted in various Tamil & Telugu films like ‘Chanti’, ‘Gowri’, ‘Manmadhan’, ‘Kedi’, ‘Raam’, ‘Vandae Maatharam’, ‘Panjaa’ and more.
Atul’s first English movie was ‘Mango Souffle’, where he played a role of Edwin ‘Ed’ Prakash. Atul made his television debut as a host of the crime show ‘Savdhaan India- Mumbai Fights Back’, aired on Life Ok.
He is all set to make his debut in international film ‘Singularity’, directed by Roland Joffe. The film will also feature Bipasha Basu. He will also be seen in the Tamil movie ‘Vallinam’ as a role of a basketball coach. He will also be seen in the upcoming movie ‘Dirty Politics’ along with Sushant Singh, Om Puri, Naseerudin Shah, Anupam Kher & Mallika Sherawat.
Atul is married to Geetanjali Kulkarni whom he met at the National School of Drama. Geetanjali is the theatre actress.
Name of films
|2000||Jayam Manade Raa||Telugu|
|2000||Hey Ram||Hindi / Tamil||Shriram Abhyankar|
|2001||Chandni Bar||Hindi||Potya Sawant|
|2002||Dahavi Fa||Marathi||Ganesh Deshmukh (teacher)|
|2003||Mango Soufflé||English||Edwin ‘Ed’ Prakash|
|2003||88 Antop Hill||Hindi||Pratyush Shelar|
|2004||Andhrawala||Telugu||Bade Mia’s sidekick|
|2004||Khakee||Hindi||Dr. Iqbal Ansari|
|2005||Page 3||Hindi||Vinayak Mane|
|2006||Rang De Basanti||Hindi||Laxman Pandey|
|2007||Aa Dinagalu||Kannada||Agni Shridhar|
|2007||Gauri: The Unborn||Hindi||Sandeep|
|2009||Yeh Mera India||Hindi||Raj|
|2009||Vandae Maatharam||Malayalam / Tamil|
|2010||Allah Ke Banday||Hindi||School Teacher|
|2010||Bumm Bumm Bole||Hindi|
|2013||The Attacks of 26/11||Hindi||Inspector Shinde|
|2015||Dirty Politics||Hindi||Police Insceptor|
|2015||Rajwade and Sons||Marathi||Shubhankar Rajwade|
|National Film Awards (2000)
National Film Awards (2002)
|Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actor