Kalki Koechlin has become a force to be reckoned with in the film industry. She was one of the first few actors to make being non-mainstream, cool. With performances in cult classics like Dev D, Shaitan, Margarita With a Straw, A Death in a Gunj, and many more, Kalki has carved an unconventional niche for herself, seemingly striking a perfect balance between mainstream and parallel cinema.
But of course, it wasn't always smooth sailing for her. It took her more than a couple of years to be taken seriously as an actor, and even more so as a celeb as she was outspoken and unapologetic. She recently opened up about her struggles as an actor, as an Indian, and the media attention she got after her divorce from Anurag Kashyap.
Read the full text here:
“My father hitchhiked from France to India and while he was living here, he met my mother. When they started a family, they were very much the locals of the city. My father taught hang gliding on the beach, while my mom taught French. I had an amazing childhood. For the most part, I was never aware that I was ‘white’.
I didn’t feel like an outsider until much later. As I grew up, the struggle started when I noticed the difference. When I was a teenager, my friends and I would go to Kovalam for trips to the beach and people would approach me to buy drugs. I also had this nagging fear that I was being hit on because people thought I didn’t have to keep up with the same Indian customs. So I’d try and be extra nice and pleasing with the aunties – making sure they knew that I was just like my friends. As the years went by I realised I wanted to be an actor, and went abroad to study. Over
there, I had to sustain myself. I worked as a waitress on weekends and taught in schools while trying to juggle plays. Once I knew I was ready – I moved back home.
I started going for auditions, I would even carry an extra pair of clothes wherever I went. But it was hard. I got many rejections, and was often typecast. After countless tries I finally got my first role in DevD! But even that wasn’t enough to guarantee more work. For 2 years I had no other offers. But I didn’t give up, I kept writing and acting in my own plays alongside. And in 2011 I had four movie releases!
The struggles never really do end though. When my ex-husband and I decided to separate, I had to deal with the rumors. Every time I stepped out with a man, the media thought we were dating. Journalists would ask me how has my life been post-divorce, how was I handling my career and balancing it? In fact, even concerned neighbours would ask such questions to my parents. But I chose to ignore it.
So through all of this, I’ve learned that the struggle is on-going. It can find you anywhere. But life goes on, I mean you think that it’s the end of the world just because something terrible happens, but then you know that you can deal with it. That it will pass, and tomorrow it will take care of itself! But it's amazing what you can get through! You sleep it off and just begin again.”
More power to you, girl!