Kiran Karmarkar on his role in Darlings, extinction of stardom, Marathi industry not growing like Telugu industry

Kiran Karmarkar is back with his hit television show, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii. The actor also stars in another show and also has the film Darlings lined up for release. Headlined by Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah, Darlings also has Kiran Karmarkar in a pivotal role. With a huge body of work in Marathi industry and being a popular face on television, Kiran has a lot to tell us about how things work and don’t work in the Marathi industry and the glamour industry as a whole. Also read: Kiran Karmarkar says Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii changed his life

In a chat with Hindustan Times, Kiran opened up about his role in Darlings but added that despite the good response the trailer has been receiving, he only believes in karm karo, fal ki chinta mat karo (do your job and forget about it).

So what’s keeping you busy these days?

I have a small but different role in a show on Colors at present. I am also thinking of doing a Hindi play, the script of which is ready with me at present. I also star in Darlings.

Tell us more about your role in Darlings.

I play a man who has lived a very monotonous life and is frustrated. He vents out his frustration on another character, played by Vijay. He then goes out in search for him. (Darlings stars Shefali Shah and Alia Bhatt as a mother-daughter duo who kidnap Alia’s onscreen husband, played by Vijay, and lie about it).

You have worked in several Marathi films and plays during your 32 years in the industry. What do you think is needed to get big films like RRR and KGF from the Marathi industry?

Sairat turned out to be the biggest Marathi film with a business of 100 crore. The actual reason is that if you go even 20 kms away from Chennai, people do not know Hindi. I have travelled in Karnataka by road. People there are not concerned at all about the Hindi industry. They like their own language, culture, films, food and connect with those actors and characters who talk and conduct like them. So their films are massive hits in those areas.

What happens in Maharashtra is that almost everyone knows enough Hindi. Bollywood is here. People watch Hindi films more in Maharashtra then in Kolkata or Chennai. If I watch Salman Khan films, its budgeting matters. How much budget can you increase? There is also some lack of glamour in the Marathi industry. That’s why there is not that much success in Marathi industry as much there is in Tamil or Telugu industries. Here, even if an actor has done few Marathi films which were a hit as well, he or she doesn’t get any work for the next six months. Some do anchoring or other roles during that time, so that glamour goes missing. It just happens.

You have been a very popular face on television as Om Agarwal on the show, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii. There was no Instagram in those days. Do you think it made a difference to the concept of stardom in those days. Does social media really affect the chances of attaining stardom?

They (actors) have put their entire lives on Instagram. Stardom will obviously get affected. Due to this, hardly any shows go on for years, leaving some like Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, CID or Yeh Rishta Kya Kahlata Hai. In our days, the show did not go off air in just six months. Everything is so over the limit these days.

When we were young, we had no option but to visit a movie theatre to see an actor. We had to buy a ticket by standing in a queue out in the open for hours to see that star. Stars these days are seen everywhere. They do so many interviews these days, which are all over YouTube and social media. That glamour for us — like that in the era of Dharmendra, Jeetendra is not there anymore. Things were still a hit even without social media. There was word of mouth and the entire country would watch a film or a show.