Actor Kirti Kulhari describes her show Human as “complex” content with a “well-written script.” “The subject of the human drug trial is something that I don’t think has ever been done before. It’s a world I didn’t know much about until I got on board. I was like, ‘oh, I don’t know about this and people should know this,'” the actor says of her Disney Hotstar show that also stars Shefali Shah.
In the medical thriller, the actor plays one of the lead roles of Dr. Saira Sabharwal, who seems to be a complex character with some deep dark secrets. It’s a character Kirti enjoyed playing because “it was a complicated role and there was so much to do as an actor here,” but the show did take its toll on her. Describing the most fascinating aspect of Dr Saira, she said: “My character is well layered. She’s crazy in a way like most of us. As clear as she is on her professional front, she’s just as nervous on the personal front. All these aspects together make her an interesting character.”
Digging deep into the world of pharmaceuticals and human drug testing, Human is released at a time when the world is grappling with a pandemic. So, is this the right time to present such a thriller? Kirti thinks there’s no time to expose the truth.
“As a country, the kind of content we look at, we’re somehow behind a lot of countries when it comes to talking about things that we should be talking about. We like to turn a blind eye to what’s going on around us. We are happy with our ignorance. But the way I see it, I think we should tell stories that matter. Maybe if you look at it, it’s the best time to show it. Why not be aware of what else is happening? That’s what the show presents to you and that too with context. What you take back from it now is entirely up to you. Whether it makes you more careful, more human, more aware or more afraid, that is something none of us can control because everyone reacts differently to the same situation,” the actor replied.
Kirti plays alongside actor Shefali Shah playing Dr Gauri, a pioneer in the medical field, in Human. Both stars have shared the screen space for the first time and together they have had a “collaborative” experience. Speaking about her experience working on the directing of Vipul Amrutlal Shah, Kirti said: “It was a creatively stimulating experience because I had people around me who were creatively well versed. I don’t like non-collaborative workplaces at all.”
Kirtia has been playing some complex and compelling characters for quite some time. Be it the Falak of Pink, Indu or Indu Sarkar, Anjana from Four More Shots please or Anuradha Chandra or Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors. The actor has taken it upon himself to “tell more women-led stories and showcase women from different walks of life and communities.” She wants to ‘make a difference’ in her own way.
Ask her about the current shift in the representation of women in Hindi cinema, and she’ll say it’s all happened because of the audience that has accepted such characters and stories.
“It’s high time we started representing women realistically and authentically, as well as heroes. It’s time for them to lead the stories. As we find more such stories and accept these stories, it gives us a boost to keep doing this over and over again. It is a movement or transition that the industry is enjoying along with the public. This cannot be done without public acceptance. If it weren’t there, everyone would be demotivated. But now that everyone is growing up, there is a maturity that I see in the audience today. I would like to believe that this will only get better from here,” Kirti said.
Kirti made her big screen debut in 2010 with Khichdi: The Movie, a film adaptation of the hit television show. She was also a part of Bejoy Nambiar’s dystopian drama Shaitaan (2011), but it’s her role as Falak in Pink that got her much-deserved attention. But just as her career was thriving, Covid-19 brought the entertainment industry to a standstill. While she’s still thankful to the OTT platforms that her work reaches the right audiences through them, she agrees: “There’s nothing more experiential than watching something on the big screen and seeing yourself on the big screen is another level.” of a high level. That experience is incomparable.”
Human begins streaming on Disney+ Hotstar on January 14.