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...

Cosmopolitan (India) - - COSMO INTERVIEW - Text by Me­her Ba­jwa; Pho­tographs by Charudutt Chi­trak

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.”

Sheer se­quinned

dress, Ro­hit Gandhi- Rahul

Khanna

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

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