Gulki Joshi has been quite active on stage but she took a two-year break to concentrate on her television show. The actress is back playing a powerful role in Zee Theatre’s teleplay Purush, which is now available on Zee5.
Gulki says her character Ambika Bhagwat was such a difficult role to play because while she is quite strong and not scared of speaking the truth, many a time, her courage puts her in danger. “I think there’s a thin line between courage and stupidity. Sometimes, we do not understand the difference between the two,” says the actress who plays a rape survivor.
She adds that she could connect with Ambika’s courage, raising her voice against wrongdoings, her clarity of thought, moral beliefs and her family values. “There was so much I could relate to,” she quips.
Purush is an adaptation of Jaywant Dalvi’s critically acclaimed Marathi play and also stars Ashutosh Rana, who plays the antagonist – Gulab Singh. Set in Meerut, UP, in a middle-class Brahmin home, the story creates a layered narrative as the plot explores a number of glaring ideologies that plague men as well as women in Indian society. She says, “I had already read about it. It’s an emotionally draining project and initially, I was scared. No matter how much method acting we do, one cannot imagine what it is to be a rape victim. You can never understand what the person really goes through. Expressing those emotions was very difficult for me. The one month of rehearsals was very tough for me.”
Gulki says that at one point she broke down because she got into the character and didn’t know where to stop. “I could not get out of the scene even after the final shot was okayed,” she adds.
Talking about her co-star Ashutosh Rana, she says that it took her weeks to feel comfortable around him. “Not that he had done anything to make me uncomfortable. The aura around him can make anyone nervous. Finally, our director had to intervene and then Ashutosh sir took extra effort, he sat me down and spoke to me. We spoke about random stuff. I kept asking him so many questions, something I haven’t done with any other actor. He was very helpful,” she says. The actress adds that she has imagined him to be arrogant, which he wasn’t at all.
Gulki, who is playing the protagonist in Sab TV’s Madam Sir, is back on stage after a hiatus of two years. “I try to balance it out between TV, films, theatre and ads so that I keep reworking on my craft and can also take care of my family financially. The last play I did was Sakharam Binder and after that I took a little break because I was being offered good work from TV, which was also paying. But after one-and-a-half years, I feel like going back to my roots and brushing up my skills,” she says.
The actress is excited about getting a positive response for her TV show. “The channel, the entire cast and crew are happy. People are noticing minute details in the dialogues and scenes. I get teary eyed a couple of times,” she says.
She adds that 2020 has been extremely special for her with Madam Sir, her web series releasing and then Purush.