Girish Kulkarni

Girish Pandurang Kulkarni (born 25 November 1977) is an Indian actor, writer, and producer. He is a recipient of two National Film Awards namely, National Film Award for Best Actor in 2011 for his performance in Deool and National Film Award for Best Screenplay for the same film. He is well known for Marathi films such as Valu, Vihir, Deool, Gabhricha Paus and Jaundya Na Balasaheb.[1][2][3] He is known to Hindi audiences for his role in the Aamir Khan starrer Dangal and Anurag Kashyap's movie Ugly. He received acclaim for his portrayal of gangster 'Appa' in the 2017 Marathi crime thriller Faster Fene opposite Amey Wagh.[4] He also starred in India's first Netflix original series Sacred Games.

Girish Kulkarni
Girish Kulkarni (cropped).jpg
Kulkarni in 2012
Born (1977-11-25) 25 November 1977 (age 45)
Known forDangal
ParentLata Kulkarni (Mother)

Personal lifeEdit

Kulkarni was born on 25 November 1977 in the Paranda Taluka of Osmanabad district and grew up in Pune. He pursued his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Puranmal Lahoti Government Polytechnic Latur. He was involved in local stage plays. After Post Graduation, he worked for private IT companies for a while but soon enough he decided to pursue a career in writing. Kulkarni then joined the Marathi film industry.


Kulkarni began his career as a Cluster Programming Head for Radio Mirchi.[5]

Kulkarni presents Valu in Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2008

Valu, released in 2008, was a light, enjoyable movie portraying various stereotypical characters found in an Indian village through the simple story of a wild bull which needs to be captured. Inspired by his observations, and many of the characters he writes reflect authentic village people.

In 2009's Gabhricha Paus, he portrayed the tragic story of an Indian farmer from a small village in Vidarbha, who is suffering because of sparse rain, evil money lenders and the negligence of the Indian government towards farmers. His second release in 2009, Vihir, was an abstract movie which told the story of an adolescent boy who sets out to understand the meaning of life and death after his cousin and close friend dies. Vihir was screened at Berlin International Film Festival in 2010 and garnered praise and critical appreciation from all over the world.

His following movie Deool, released in 2011, which depicted how politicians manipulate the beliefs of innocent masses in the name of God. The film earned him two National Film Awards, for best actor and for best screenplay.

His next writing and acting venture in Marathi cinema, the movie Masala released in 2012 quickly became a family favourite, unveiling new aspects of his talents. In 2013, he made his acting debut in Bollywood with film-maker Anurag Kashyap's thriller Ugly, in which his performance as the inadvertently funny cop brought him the attention and praise of the industry as well as the masses.

Currently,[when?] work on his upcoming films is underway. His next is a Marathi movie titled Highway, starring Huma Qureshi and Tisca Chopra, which he has written, acted in, and co-produced. He is also working on a comedy film, with which he will mark his directorial debut, apart from acting in it.[6]

He has acted as the National coach for Geeta Phogat in the acclaimed movie Dangal (film). The character had shades of grey and is shown to have issues with on-screen Mahavir Phogat. This was his biggest role in Bollywood, with Dangal earning over $300 million to become the 5th highest grossing non-English film of all time.[7] He was also seen in Kaabil as Inspector Nalawade. Later in 2017, Kulkarni portrayed local gangster Appa in Faster Fene, based on the popular book series written by Bhaskar Ramachandra Bhagwat.

In 2018, Kulkarni portrayed politician Bipin Bhonsle in the Netflix original Sacred Games, based on the 2006 thriller by Vikram Chandra of the same name. With a star studded cast, including Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Radhika Apte, Sacred Games has been lauded by critics as one of the best web series to come out of India.[8][9][10]



Year Title Role Language Notes
2006 Badha Bevda Marathi
2008 Valu Jeevan Marathi
2009 Gabhricha Paus Kisna Marathi
Gandha Mangesh Marathi
Vihir Bhavasha Mama Marathi
2011 Deool Keshya Marathi
2012 Masala Revan Patil Marathi [11]
2013 Pune 52 Amar Aapte Marathi
Postcard Postman Marathi
2014 Ugly Vijay Jadhav Hindi
2015 Highway Shekhar Marathi
2016 Jaundya Na Balasaheb Balasaheb Marathi
Dangal Wrestling Coach Pramod Kadam Hindi
2017 Kaabil Inspector Nalawade Hindi
Faster Fene Appa Marathi
2018 Fanney Khan Karan Kakkad Hindi
Boyz 2 Marathi
Firebrand Marathi
2019 Dithee Govinda Marathi
2020 Bhaag Beanie Bhaag Hindi
2022 Bhirkit Tatya Marathi
Thankam Vijay Sakhalkar Malayalam [12] [13]

Web seriesEdit

Year Title Role Language Platform Notes
2018 Sacred Games Bipin Bhosle Hindi Netflix
2021 Sunflower Sub Inspector Chetan Tambe Hindi ZEE5
2022 Guilty Minds Hindi Amazon Prime Video
Writing and production credits
Year Film Notes
2008 Valu Story, screenplay, Dialogues and producer
2009 Vihir Story, screenplay, Dialogues
2011 Deool Story, screenplay, Dialogues
2012 Masala Story, screenplay, Dialogues
2016 Jaundya Na Balasaheb Story, screenplay, Dialogues, Direction
2018 Dhappa Writer, Co-producer



  1. ^ "Girish Kulkarni". Mumbai Cinemas. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  2. ^ Square on (12 March 2012). "Girish Kulkarni Latest Movies Videos Images Photos Wallpapers Songs Biography Trivia On". Archived from the original on 20 January 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Ugly IMDB". IMDb. 26 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Faster Fene review". Scroll.
  5. ^ "Ugly actor Girish Kulkarni". Marathi Sanmaan. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  6. ^ Sumedha Deo*. "Afraid of getting typecast: Ugly actor Girish Kulkarni". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Dangal Gross". Forbes. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Sacred Games: Best Netflix show you aren't watching". GQ. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Netflix strikes gold with Sacred Games". Metro. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Sacred Games is a brilliant thriller". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  11. ^ Shakti Salgaonkar (20 April 2012). "Review: Masala (Marathi)". DNA. Mumbai. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  12. ^ "'Dangal' fame Girish Kulkarni to make his Malayalam debut with Dileesh Pothan's 'Thankam' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Syam Pushkaran on casting Girish Kulkarni in Thankam: 'He is an actor like Jagathy and Thilakan, he has that range'". The Indian Express. 20 January 2023. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  14. ^ Vidya Balan, Girish Kulkarni big winners at National Film Awards

External linksEdit