‘I WAS TOLD TO DYE MY HAIR BLACK’
Actor Kalki Koechlin says how far she has come in Bollywood in eight years
It would be difficult for me to play a rural, gaon-wali ladki, [though] playing a desi character is normal for me now KALKI KOECHLIN, ACTOR
Actor Kalki Koechlin has always been someone considered to be an outsider in Bollywood. And this after eight years in the industry, following a highoctane 2009 debut in Dev D, and roles in mainstream films, including Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013).
While many people have now accepted that she is “Indian enough”, it has been a long journey, says the 33-yearold, born to French parents in Pondicherry.
Talking about the advice she got when she entered Bollywood, Kalki says that although some of it was useful, the rest she chose to ignore. “I remember one woman telling me to dye my hair [black] and do an item number. But I didn’t really pay attention. Other than that, it has been sensible things that I’ve been told, like improving my Hindi. My dancing skills are also terrible and I worked on that,” she says.
Kalki, who will be seen next in actor Konkona Sen Sharma’s debut directorial venture, says that it’s still tough for her to essay some roles. “It would be difficult for me to play a rural, gaon-wali ladki,” she says, even though “playing a desi character is normal for me now”.
On the whole, she has crossed the barrier of her looks. “Most people have accepted the fact that I’ve been here and that I am Indian. I don’t think the physicality of it gets in the way,” says Kalki. “Of course, there are certain roles that wouldn’t be credible for me to play,” adds the actor.
Talking about the kind of roles she wants, Kalki says, “I want to do everything. I am greedy. I love independent dramas. At the same time, I love Cat Woman and Wonder Woman, too. It’s important to be versatile. I don’t think I am consciously looking to do something different. But... I like to play someone unique.”