Kalki Koechlin and Charlie Chaplin may not have anything in common, but the two do share a connection. The actor toured the UK with Rajat Kapoor’s production of Hamlet: The Clown Prince, performed at the prestigious Hackney Empire, where Chaplin, the English mime artist and actor, used to perform periodically.
"It was simply a brilliant tour. We got amazing response throughout the UK. But I was especially ecstatic to perform at Hackney Empire because Charlie Chaplin used to perform there," says an excited Kalki, about performing at the London theatre which was built in 1901.
"I had no idea about the Chaplin connection before I went on the stage. But when I got to know about it, I was delighted. I was like, ‘can I kiss the stage, please?’ I was really proud of that performance," smiles Kalki, adding "theatre will always be an important part of my life."
The actor has studied drama and theatre in Goldsmiths, University of London, where she also worked with a theatre company called Theatre of Relativity for two years. Back home, she has been involved with co-authoring a play, Skeleton Woman, along with playwright-actor Prashant Prakash.
Ever since her debut in husband Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D (2009), Kalki has been taking up offers, largely seen as ‘offbeat’. She explains, "It’s not a conscious decision. I have always been open to experiments. But I think different kind of filmmakers approach me thinking I can carry off ‘offbeat’ roles easily. And I am fine with it as long as I do good films."
Kalki, who came back to India last month after wrapping up her tour in the UK, is currently busy on a dubbing spree for three upcoming flicks— My Friend Pinto, Shaitan and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD). “It’s interesting to do a variety of films which are lighter than my other films till date,” says Kalki, In ZNMD, Kalki plays a glamorous south Mumbai girl who is always dressed to the nines. “In contrast, My Friend Pinto will see me as an innocent Catholic girl, who believes everybody is good. And in Shaitan, I play a girl who tries to fit in and be cool like others.
So, I am going to cover a very broad graph in all my films,” she says.