Stellar performances in Ram-Leela and The Family Man brought this actor recognition for versatility, making him one of the few who seamlessly transitioned from television to the big screen and OTT. Here’s Sharad Kelkar, opening his heart and world to HELLO!
HELLO!: After a successful career in movies like Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela and Tanhaji, how did you foray into the OTT space?
Sharad Kelkar: “As an actor, I believe it’s important to explore different mediums and keep up with the trends. OTT is a great space to explore more engaging stories, to challenge yourself as an actor and reach a wider audience. So when the opportunity came my way, I had to take it.”
H!: Do you find these mediums different from each other?
SK: “There’s no better feeling than seeing yourself on the big screen. Each time feels like the first. But when you compare the two, the people who come to watch movies in theatres are smaller in number in comparison to those who watch you on such accessible platforms. Even creatively, you really get to challenge yourself. You have to be confident in the role you pick. So it’s great that I’m able to explore this space.”
H!: How would you describe your early days of struggle?
SK: “Like for any actor, these were filled with auditions, rejections and more auditions. But all of this just shapes you. It makes you work harder for your next audition and forces you to review yourself. Then you get that one gig that makes you confident in your journey, and that’s what you need to keep going.”
H!: We’ll soon see you in Rohit Shetty’s Indian Police Force. Tell us a little about your experience working on the series.
SK: “I’m eagerly waiting for the release of Indian Police Force. Working on a Rohit Shetty film or series is amazing. He’s considered one of the top directors of the industry. We’ve known and connected with each other for years, and now, I finally got the chance to work with him. It felt regal on the set because of the excellent production value.”
H!: You’re also working on a biopic on Srikant Bholla, the renowned visually impaired industrialist. How do you choose these roles?
SK: “When selecting the characters I play, I look for ones that are challenging, have depth and offer me an opportunity to explore new areas of my craft. The story and the message it conveys also play a significant role in my decision. I want to give my audience a really good experience. I want them to thoroughly enjoy the roles I pick and come out saying, “Yes, he made an impact.””
H!: Not many are aware that you hold a degree in physical education and an MBA, too. How did acting come into the picture for you?
SK: “Acting came to me naturally. I’ve heard a lot of good actors say this. It wasn’t easy to decide to become an actor because I knew it came with a lot of hard work, consistency, dedication and practice, almost like any other career. But I knew where my passion lay. So I went with my intuition, shifted the course of my life and pursued what I thought would bring me success.”
H!: You’ve been married to Keerti Gaekwad for nearly two decades. What’s the secret to your happy marriage?
SK: “The secret to a long-standing marriage, in my opinion, lies in understanding, trust and respect. Keerti and I have a strong bond built on love and support. We’re very patient with each other, we keep the romance alive and just be there for each other. That’s all you need. And we know that once our daughter grows up, we’ll both be supportive of whatever she chooses to do with her life.”
H!: What have the highs and lows in life taught you?
SK: “Besides valuable lessons, they taught me to be patient, consistent and to enjoy and appreciate the little things in life. Like spending time with my family, giving my best at work, shaping a better future for our kids… There’s a lot that still needs to be done, and a lot more movies, experiences, highs and lows to come!
This has been adapted for the web from a story originally published in the July 2023 issue of HELLO! India. Get our copy of the latest issue right here!