Kalki Koechlin UNCOVERED
She’s got a career lined with critically- acclaimed films, a fastgrowing base of fans and a fairy tale romance all packed into a span of less than three years. But, as Cosmo found out, none of these are what really defines Kalki...
If you’ve based your opinion on her roles in movies, you should scrap that. Because it just takes a couple of minutes of chatting with Kalki to realise that there’s so much more to this pint- sized powerhouse of talent than meets the eye. Mrs Koechlin is an open book; a woman of varied interests, quirky misgivings, a heart of gold, and a terribly infectious laugh. Here, she talks about everything that makes her happy.
We hear you’ve been jet setting all over… What’s been keeping you busy these days?
“Lately, it’s just been one film after another. There’s a lot of promotion that goes into every film, almost 2- 3 weeks each. So yes, there has been lots of travel in India and for The Girl In Yellow Boots, we had to go to New York. I’ve also just started work on a new play titled The Real Inspector Hound.”
Travelling so much, what do you miss the most about your home in Pondicherry?
“I miss my mum’s cooking. But mostly, I miss the quiet life, where time stands still. The e- mail connection and phone network is really bad there and you are completely cut off from the world. I miss reading books; one never gets the time for things like that in our profession.”
When not shooting, what do you like to do in your free time?
“I like to get away from Mumbai. I switch off my phone and indulge in outdoorsy activities like trekking, skiing and swimming. I would love to get lost in the middle of nowhere. It’s a really introspective time for me and I always carry a lot of books.”
From being a student of theatre to becoming one of Tinseltown’s most wanted faces, how did it happen?
“I didn’t know I was going to be in Bollywood. I didn’t even speak Hindi, so it didn’t make sense for me to be
here. But theatre was something I followed passionately. I worked a hell of a lot and saved money to pay for my classes in London.
When I came back to India, I got a lot of stereotypical offers in the beginning, but I wasn’t like most of the other foreign girls who were in Bollywood. Dev. D came along because UTV had my portfolio and they called me in for an audition. I met Anurag and he told me he liked my audition a lot and asked if I would be willing to learn Hindi for the role. It was unexpected... I believe it was luck.”
Are you a romantic? Tell us about your relationship with Anurag...
“I’m a romantic, but I am also very realistic. It takes me a long time to trust people. But the moment I’m convinced, I’ll do anything for them.
I never expected Anurag to be interested in me. We got on well during the shoot for Dev. D, but there was nothing romantic. After the movie, I got a call from him asking me out to dinner. I kept saying no for two weeks. I didn’t know him and to me, he was a big Bollywood director, he was older and had a kid from a previous marriage and I didn’t want to get into that stereotype. But then he was so insistent that I finally said yes to that one dinner. It’s been the best decision of my life. What attracts me to Anurag is the fact that he doesn’t care about what other people think about him and he is completely honest with himself. I really like that about Anurag because I am similar.”
Has marriage changed you?
“I don’t think marriage has changed me at all. We’d already been living together before we got married and we were serious about each other. It’s the world’s perception that has changed. People were always cynical and thought we would break- up. Now they have a little more faith in our relationship since we’re married.”
In school, were you the popular girl or the geeky one?
“I was the painfully shy girl. I was very awkward looking growing up. I had braces and buck teeth. When I was about 16, I started becoming loud and clowning around. I never really thought of myself as hot or popular with the guys, and I settled
with being popular because I was funny.”
What inspires your style?
“Most of my inspiration comes from my upbringing. Being a mix of French and Indian, I knew I was always going to be mixing the two in fashion too. I went to a very artsy kind of university in London. People there wore tutus and black boots, and sported purple hair. Some of that has rubbed off on my quirky style and me. Gwen Stefani and Natalie Portman are style icons for me.”
Ambitious, laid- back or in between, which one are you?
“I’m definitely in between, because I do want to keep working and I want to keep improving myself. But at the same time, it’s not a make or break situation. Life is more than fame and you have to enjoy every aspect. You have to be ready for everything it throws at you.”
dress, Rohit Gandhi- Rahul
Sequinned top, Manish Arora; surface detail A- line skirt, Rimzim Dadu; two- toned stiletto, Steve Madden
Kalki’s eclectic style is
refreshing Hair & Make- Up by Melanie at Toabh Talents; Styled by Aradhana Baruah; Location: Les Pavillons Hotel, Le Morne Plage, Mauritius, www. naiaderesorts. com; Courtesy: Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority