Kirti Kulhari

THE ACTOR, THE PHILOSOPHER, THE HUMAN BEING

INTERVIEWED BY EKAL DEEP KAUR
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DENZIL CHRISTIAN

Ever wondered how Kirti has managed to bring so much authenticity to every character she portrays? The answer lies in the question folks. It is her innate authenticity as a human being that seeps into every single character she takes on. For this month’s cover, we sat down with the beautiful and accomplished Kirti Kulhari to chat about acting, spirituality, and everything in between!

How Do You Select Your Roles?

There’s no denying that Kirti is one of the most diverse actresses to have essayed eclectic roles.

When asked about how she narrows in on the characters to play next, Kirti said, “The first rule I go by is that I don’t like repeating what I’ve done before unless it is refurbished in a way that allows for growth. Growth is what drives me, personally and professionally, and I have to grow with each role. I have a hunger for roles that challenge me as an actor. Give me something more complex, complicated, challenging, something that’s exciting that I haven’t done before… I don’t like being in my comfort zone.”

Another criteria for Kirti is that the roles must involve her ability to say something through the character and the stories she’s a part of. She says, “I take my job as an actor very seriously – each character is an opportunity for me to drive an important point home for myself and for audiences who watch it. It is pivotal for me to start a conversation, say something of consequence, and lay the seeds for improvement!”

Kirti also stressed the significance of not letting a well-written story pass you by, given how it isn’t very often one runs into it. She adds, “For me, it isn’t about the size of the role but for the potential of something good there!”

Your Evolution as a Person

While we’re aware of Kirti as an actor with a social media presence, we were quite intrigued by her emphasis on personal growth and yes, our nosy selves did dig deeper!

The actor reveals, “I’m a person who doesn’t want to spend my life being unconscious, just going through it, playing it by the so-called rules! I’m a human being, a living breathing being with a soul! I’m given a lot of power as a human and I believe in utilising and realising that power, then, finding ways to share it with the world and being an actor allows me to do just that! Actor Kirti is no different from the person Kirti; it’s all intertwined in the most beautiful way!”

What Got You Started on Your Journey to Personal Growth?

Kirti has been on the path of exploring the deeper meaning of life and expanding her consciousness for it for over a decade now. Was there a specific incident or series of incidents that led her towards this journey?

“Even as a child, I clearly remember being burdened with the question, ‘If we’re going to die one day, then, what’s the purpose of all of this?’ I was in the 3rd grade when this question haunted me for a day.” While Kirti’s dad did not have the answers she sought, he was able to put her mind to rest, at least for the time being. “I’ve always been interested in philosophy, had big ideas about life, and engaged in conversations that were actually deep!” she added.

As for a specific trigger, Kirti recalled how in 2009 she underwent a bout of depression. She didn’t know at the time that she was going through it and it wasn’t until three to four months after the bout that her sister, who’s a doctor diagnosed her condition.

“The period was low and I managed to get out of it but it put me on the path of wanting to know more about myself – what is happening with me, why is it happening with me and healing myself!”

Post her recovery, Kirti learned two levels of reiki, took to Pranic healing, reading portions of the Geeta among other books, meeting people who were also on a similar journey, and even enrolled in Art of Living.

“It’s a journey, not a destination! Things keep coming to you and the knowledge of self and world around you keeps deepening!”

How Does the Spiritualist Handle the Pandemic?

From the first day till today, I haven’t experienced fear about the situation – I choose not to be fearful about it. I’m careful but not fearful!” She added that experiencing fear is natural but it is important to not let it overpower oneself. “Do what you need to do to face it and move past it!”

On a deeper note, Kirti spoke about the ways of the universe, and how it strives towards balance. “I think Covid was a wake-up call in a way that not many of us have experienced before. We’ve really abused everything, including ourselves! Consciousness rarely exists anymore, we’re too busy going through lives as if that’s the whole point! Nature is balancing the damage caused to us and the world around us!”

As dire as the crisis is, it is giving us the opportunity to build character, and reprogram our lives, align ourselves better with the universe.

“My way of dealing with almost everything is faith and surrender! There is a way out!”

As for Kirti, she took the pandemic and ensuing lockdown to take a step back and go within. “Lockdown gave us a lot of time for going deeper, putting things in place, and realizing what isn’t in place. This too shall pass!” she added, peacefully.

Talking About Feminism

While a lot of Kirti’s roles, embody the spirit of an empowered woman, she likes to have a broader perspective about feminism. She believes everything has its place but for her, equality needs to exist on a wider scale.

She says, “One thing I believe in is equality but not just between genders but everybody – this is my ideal world! Everyone is human and everyone should be given the same thing! Let’s go beyond this idea of men and women – I’m a human being and I’ll reach out to whoever is open to me reaching out as a human being. Emotions are the same for everybody!”

A Word on Social Media

Kirti says, “I’m somebody who speaks the most through my work and that’s how I would like to speak. In today’s social media, everyone banks on excessive use of words but words are basically overrated. No one wants to listen. There is an importance in silence!”

“I’ve been anti-social media in the past. I was on Insta after Pink but I’m someone who can’t do things I don’t feel like doing!”, she informs. While one learns how to pretend, authenticity takes precedence above all else for the talented starlet.

Kirti went off social media for a while and returned in March last year. But this time, she was true to herself. She tells us, “I just started posting about things that I felt like, wrote what I wanted to write. I love skincare and makeup and everything. While I enjoy it in my work, it’s just easier to be myself. Looking like a diva is tiring and exhausting!”

Kirti believes this sincerity won the hearts of many of her followers. She believes, “People appreciate you being real and connect with you.” Her being just like them turned into her USP and yes, on the positive note, allowed her to post zero makeup pictures – let’s give her props for looking gorgeous in those too!

Did You Just Say “Zero Makeup?”

Yes, the gutsy actor went with a “zero make-up” look in her recent projects – not even a base!

She says, “Honesty towards my craft is of utmost importance. If I’m meant to look like a diva, I’ll do everything that’s needed but if I’m meant to look like a wreck, I’ll take every step towards achieving that goal too!”

She added that as scary as it is, it is liberating!

A Word on Future Projects

The list is long and exhaustive, so hold your horses!

One of Kirti’s upcoming projects, Criminal Justice Season 2 dropped the trailer on the 10th of December, 2020, the series will be streaming later this month, and no she wasn’t allowed to speak much about it. Sigh!

Kirti plays a British cop in the Indian rendition of Girl On The Train. In Shaadistan, she plays a singer traveling to Ajmer. The film is a simple, slice of life story with some important things to say. The actor also has a couple of shorts, coming out including Charu with Pawan Kriplani and Inside Out with Prayrit Seth. The next season of “Four More Shots” is due for filming. In addition to that, there are a few features and series that she’s a part of. Phew, that’s all for now!

And with this, we concluded our enriching chat with Kirti with so much food for thought and a dire urge to inspire like her! Thanks for the enlightenment Kirti and keep doing you!

Video By: Amon + Maanu | Editor-in-Chief/Photographer: Denzil Christian | Creative Director: Farrah Kader | Makeup Artist: Khushbu Soni | Hair Stylist: Ambika Upadhyay | Fashion Stylist: Hemlataa Pariwal  | Assistant Stylist: Drashti Jasani, Shikha Goel, Afsana Khan, Niral, Jhalak Jain | Interview by: Ekal Deep Kaur | Artist PR: Tree-Shul Media Solutions | Location: Black Frames Studios