Free Press Journal

I am not a threat to anyone in the industry: Kalki Koechlin


Kalki Koechlin has a penchant for telling it like it is – and emerging the better for it. Equally known for her brave acting choices, the half French-half Indian actress is totally her own person, minus filters. She has no qualms admitting that at the start of her career, she had to take on whatever jobs came her way as paying the monthly rent was a struggle. No, she couldn’t depend on her parents for monetary help either as she shrugs that they were hippies and they didn’t have the money either.

It led to her doing a lot of odd jobs such as part-time waitressing while studying in London and teaching drama to children. She sees this as a healthy struggle, as she reveals that she does not believe in becoming famous overnight. Even now that she is successful, the struggle has not ended; only changed, as she says that right now her struggle is to break stereotypes. Rebel with a cause, indeed!

Speaking about the social media revolution and the changes it has wrought, she believes that while not everything put out on social media is justifiable or great, the medium helps in making actors and stars more human and relatable. With the rise in social media, it has become easier to access people and make fun of them and celebrities too try and take it on the chin.

Never shy about giving credit where it’s due she points out that actresses like Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut are paving the way for successful women, which is an encouraging trend. In a scenario where women are generally paid less than their male counterparts, who are mostly the most important element, films like PIKU and QUEEN are akin to a breath of fresh air, she raves.

She is openly admiring of the talent and mindset of actors like Kangana, for her quality of being able to surprise and her film choices. Kangana’s ability to strike a great balance between entertaining films and content-heavy ones, is what she particularly appreciates. She sees actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Irrfan Khan, and Ranbir Kapoor – whom she “just loves!” – as currently challenging the way performances have been seen in the last few decades. She is very appreciative of the realistic quality they bring to their performances.

Part of the industry and yet separate from it, she admits that she is not a threat to anyone in the industry and is not on bad terms with anyone. It lies in her basic philosophy of not getting too competitive but doing her own thing. …A trait that many would do well to follow!