Kalki Koechlin: Panache of Bollywood

Kalki Koechlin

Fresh-faced and spontaneous, Kalki Koechlin is known for bringing a certain degree of élan to the roles she portrays, unconventional as they are.

Born to French parents, the Indian actress says the more successful you are the more criticism you face. The actress was in the city of joy Kolkata to launch Gillette Venus Breeze, a hair removal product for women. Sahana Ghosh interacted with Kalki Koechlin on the sidelines of the program. Edited excerpts:

Kalki you have attained both criticism and success in your small but beautiful journey in Bollywood. What you have to say on this?

The amount of criticism you get is directly proportional to how successful you are, especially as a woman.

What about the internet criticism you receive quite often?

Internet criticism… I don’t handle. I ignore it. I don’t read it. I don’t respond. If I am getting very highly criticized I go off social media for a while. What’s important for me is criticism from family and friends… they know that I have certain weaknesses or they recognize… that’s a very Kalki thing to do. They know you.

So what are those typical Kalki things one might spot?

The way I laugh…I have a very funny laugh that’s not a very natural laugh.

You have received rave reviews for your role in ‘A Death in The Gunj’. What kind of roles we can expect Kalki doing in her upcoming films?

I am happy that people loved my role and act in the ‘A Death in The Gunj.’ In my coming flicks, I would love to do a biopic on Scots-Irish social worker Sister Nivedita as well as go for an action hero film.

Any reason……….

There are many, many roles that I would love to do. I love reading Sister Nivedita and my mom has a lot of her books so I grew up reading her. I would love to do a historical film on that and I would love to do a biopic. I would also love to do an action hero kind of film. I just saw ‘Wonder Woman’… why don’t we have chicks who can do that here.

These days B-town beauties Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone have excelled well in Hollywood too. Your comments….

I think they should be very proud of themselves. They are doing incredible work. I have seen Deepika grow so much since she first came in the industry. Priyanka is killing it all over the world. They are confident enough to handle it sensibly.

Any Hollywood dreams for the ‘Margarita, With A Straw’ star?

(With somber laugh) If filmmaker Steven Spielberg calls me then I would not be checking my calendar. Jokes apart! On professional note, I am not going to drop everything to try and have a career there. I think it has to happen organically. So if a good opportunity came by, why not.

Kalki you are a force to reckon with both onscreen (films) and on stage (theatre). Do you think theatre helped you excel in films?

You can’t do the same thing for both. If you are a good theatre actor, it doesn’t mean you are a good film actor and vice versa. There are very different methods of acting. In theatre, you are reaching out to the last person in the audience, while film is much more real… the camera is right there (in front of you).

You are a writer for theatre drama too. Anything, which you would like to share with your theatre fans and colleagues?

We don’t experiment much because there is very little support and very little funding. Because we don’t have the infrastructure we can’t have larger than life plays like those by Cirque Du Soleil (world’s largest theatrical entertainment company). Our theatres can’t hold that kind of production, so then you experiment with the language, with the body. I feel there are lots of things I would still love to experiment with.