Having been an actress, model, column writer, producer, and director, she began her acting career in the 1970’s on Marathi professional stage and Hindi experimental stage, along with fashion shows and modelling simultaneously.
Known popularly as Mrs. Iyer in Star Plus show Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, Neena Kulkarni was part of a French film which was presented at the International Film Festival. It recently was screened in Paris. Apart from some Bollywood film projects, she has also shot for a short film titled Maa.
Speaking about her projects, Neena expressed, “I have been doing some very good work. The short film titled Maa is an unconventional story about how a mother’s decision may not always be in the best interest of her child. Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films is the torchbearer of the project and will release on 10 January, 2018. The project has been shortlisted for the Jio Filmfare Short Film Awards. “
Talking about the distinguished motherly roles she is being offered, the actress averred, “I am not seen as a very kind hearted mother in my recent projects. And I thoroughly enjoy playing such roles. I am not saying I like playing negative roles but a tinge of grey in the role makes it more real. In fact, for my short film, I had to do a lot of soul searching as the film is very hard hitting.
Even in Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, my character is not only about playing a positive and supportive role. There are times when she is against her. At the same time there are elements of humour which makes the character more interesting.”
In terms of character growth and bonding with co-actors, Neena said, “My character is still growing and hence I am still around and not bored of the show. There are shows where the female protagonist’s family is not involved in too many tracks and the members are only a part of certain ritual based tracks. Also, the south Indian aspect that has been incorporated in the story has kept the show alive. So I really go by instinct when it is about quitting the character- but I am not bored of this character yet.
Just because, I am a theatre artist I tend to go a little deeper into the character and find logic of the character and I know Mrs. Iyer is not the same as she was earlier. She is more sophisticated. She speaks lesser with an accent which a lot of people might think we have missed or forgotten to incorporate but it is intentional to make the story look real.
Also, we have been given creative freedom which is great!”
Shedding some light about her equation with Karan Patel and Divyanka Tripathi, Neena stated, “I think Karan is a brilliant actor. Also, Divyanka and I share a good bond and we look good together. That is probably why we have so many mother-daughter scenes together. If you go to see, our entire cast is very like-minded. The entire unit is like family and I think that is the reason Yeh Hai Mohabbatein creates magic!”