Kirti Kulhari will next be seen in Rise Of The Zombies

She hit the bull’s eye with Bejoy Nambiar’s Shaitaan two years ago and now Kirti Kulhari is seeking an encore. The actress is cast opposite Luke Kenny who turns producer-director with India’s first zombie film Rise Of The Zombie (ROTZ) which released this Friday. “Being the first zombie film of India, the biggest challenge we are facing is to make people aware of the concept behind ROTZ and then to popularise it. But I think the responsibility that comes with laying the foundation stone for a new genre is thrilling and we are excited. The success of our film will lay the path for the future,” says Kirti. Bollywood has a couple of other zombie films too such as Rock The Shaadi (starring Abhay Deol) which has reportedly got shelved and Saif Ali Khan-produced Go Goa Gone (starring Kunal Khemu and Vir Das).

ROTZ is the story of a wildlife photographer (Luke) who goes missing after one of his jungle outings. Kirti plays his live-in girlfriend who is trying to salvage a relationship that’s falling apart. “She is a practical person who is trying to explain to Luke the pitfalls of investing such little time in their relationship. But they break up and yet when she realises that he’s been away on work longer than usual she decides to go after him and figure out what’s wrong. Luke had seen me in Shaaitan and approached me for the role,” she says.

Will Indian horror ever come of age? “I am very wary of Indian horror. I like things in the realistic zone and I saw in Luke the sensibility of making a horror thriller that’s why I came on board.” Praising her director and co-star, Kirti says, “It’s all up to Luke now. He has this big responsibility of selling the concept to the audience and making them digest it. He knew that when he selected the zombie concept for his debut directorial project. Either a total fool or someone really sure of his subject could’ve done it and Luke has certainly shown that he is in command. Incidentally, whenever we promote the film in colleges, we get a ready audience. They are tuned to the idea of zombies and that’s our target audience,” she explains.

Would Kirti ever tread the commercial path; her choice of films have shown her clear preference for off-beat cinema? “If you consider Gangs Of Wasseypur commercial, the answer is yes. If it is Dabanng, the answer is yes too. But not something like Race or Housefull. My character has to be of some use to the film,” is her candid reply.

Kirti has three other films coming up including Jal with Pruab Kohli where she plays a Kutchi village girl, a family sitcom titled Sooper Se Ooper with Vir Das where she plays Gulabo, a girl from Rajasthan who loves dancing and a romantic comedy Single Chal Riyaa Hun where she plays a rich brat who falls in love with a Bhopali boy.