Sonalee Kulkarni lost 5 kilos for Hirkani a milkmaid

Sonalee Kulkarni took everyone by surprise when she revealed the first look of her character — Hirkani. Hirkani was a young courageous mother who overcame all odds to reach her child after the gates of Raigad fort were closed for the day. She was a milkmaid, who sold her products to the fort.

Sonalee Kulkarni is not a mother yet, so how did she go about getting the emotion of the role right? Sonalee explains,

“Motherhood is a universal emotion. I may not have experienced it yet but when I read the poem and the script, I could feel what it must have been to be there. Also, her basic strength is her innocence. Hirkani did not care for anything at that point. She just thought of her child and took the plunge to climb down the tough terrain. I had to stick to that approach throughout.”

Sonalee Kulkarni

Sonalee Kulkarni had to work really hard to get “several elements” right for this role. Right from the appearance and body language to the dialect, the Hampi (2017) actor went through various workshops to get it right.

“The basic information available through poems written about her and other content gave us a brief description about her.

On that basis, we drew some conclusions. For example, she would have to be tanned, considering her daily commute. Her overall personality and body structure would have to suit her lifestyle and work.”

Keeping this in consideration, the actor lost five kilos, adapted a simple lifestyle and stayed non-glam for over a year. “I did not thread my eyebrows or wax for a year.

I pierced my nose too, for the role and had to work around my costumes. I followed a strict regimen where I ate foods such as bhakri, buttermilk and vegetables.

I worked out to look like someone who climbed a fort with ease. I had to get the stance right. Also, being physically prepared helped me be in that zone mentally as well.”

Sonalee Kulkarni also visited Aarey Milk Colony, Goregaon, Mumbai, and learnt how to milk cows and make cow dung cakes.

“I attended workshops to learn how to milk cows, work around dung and basically get a hang of the job of a milkmaid. Prasad (Oak, director) wanted it to look authentic and real.”

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