Atul Kulkarni


Brief Intro

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.

Personal Life
Atul is married to Geetanjali Kulkarni whom he met at the National School of Drama. Geetanjali is the theatre actress.

Name of Films

Year Film Language Role
1997 Bhoomi Geetha Hindi
1997 Bhoomi Geetha Kannada
2000 Kairee Marathi Jadhav teacher
2000 Jayam Manade Raa Telugu
2000 Hey Ram Hindi / Tamil Shriram Abhyankar
2001 Chandni Bar Hindi Potya Sawant
2002 Run Tamil Bhaskar
2002 Bhet Marathi Satish
2002 Dahavi Fa Marathi Ganesh Deshmukh (teacher)
2003 Mango Soufflé English Edwin ‘Ed’ Prakash
2003 88 Antop Hill Hindi Pratyush Shelar
2003 Satta Hindi Yashwant Varde
2003 Dum Hindi ‘Encounter’ Shankar
2003 Vaastupurush Marathi Nishikant Dada
2004 Andhrawala Telugu Bade Mia’s sidekick
2004 Chanti Telugu
2004 Gowri Telugu Sarkar
2004 Mansarovar
2004 Vajram Malayalam
2004 Khakee Hindi Dr. Iqbal Ansari
2004 Devrai Marathi Shesh
2004 Manmadhan Tamil ACP Deva
2005 Page 3 Hindi Vinayak Mane
2005 Chakwa Marathi Tushar Khot
2006 Kedi Tamil Pughazhenthy
2006 Raam Telugu
2006 Rang De Basanti Hindi Laxman Pandey
2007 Aa Dinagalu Kannada Agni Shridhar
2007 Maati Maay Marathi Narsu
2007 Gauri: The Unborn Hindi Sandeep
2008 Valu Marathi Swanand Gaddamwar
2008 Talappavu Malayalam Krishnadeva Saivar
2008 Kurukshetra Malayalam
2009 Yeh Mera India Hindi Raj
2009 Delhi 6 Hindi Gobar
2009 Padikathavan Tamil Kasi Anandan
2009 Vandae Maatharam Malayalam / Tamil
2009 Jail Hindi Lawyer
2010 Yaksha Kannada
2010 Sukhaant Marathi
2010 Natarang Marathi Guna Kagalkar
2010 Allah Ke Banday Hindi School Teacher
2010 Bumm Bumm Bole Hindi
2011 Panjaa Telugu Kulkarni
2011 Chaalis Chauraasi Hindi Bobby
2012 Suzhal Tamil
2013 Aarambam Tamil JCP Milan
2012 Edegarike Kannada Agni Shridhar
2013 The Attacks of 26/11 Hindi Inspector Shinde
2013 Popat Marathi Janya
2013 Vallinam Tamil Basketball Coacher
2013 Premachi Goshta Marathi Ram
2013 Zanjeer Hindi
2013 The Lovers English Raoji
2014 Andheri Malayalam Rajan Pilla
2014 Ugramm Kannada
2014 Veeram Tamil Aadalarasu
2014 Abhinetri Kannada
2014 Burma Tamil Bothra Seth
2014 Happy Journey Marathi Niranjan
2015 Anegan Tamil Antagonist
2015 Dirty Politics Hindi Police Insceptor
2015 Mythri Kannada Raviprakash
2015 Jazbaa Hindi Lawyer
2015 Nellikka Malayalam Satheesh
2015 Kanal Malayalam Kuruvila Mathew
2015 Rajwade and Sons Marathi Shubhankar Rajwade



Award Ceremony Award Movie
National Film Awards (2000)

National Film Awards (2002)

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Hey Ram

Chandni Bar