It’s easy for actors to get typecast in Bollywood, be it playing lover-boy roles or versions of the same character in film after film. But, Kalki Koechlin — an Indian-born actor with French parents — has avoided being pigeonholed.
In her next film - Margarita, With A Straw, Kalki plays a disabled girl. "I liked the script. When you talk about disabled people, one of the beliefs is that they don’t have fun, don’t drink or smoke. They are normal human beings, sitting in a wheelchair. If you take the disability out, it is a coming-of-age story," she says.
Explaining why she signed up for the film, Kalki adds, "I didn’t know Shonali Bose (director) or her past work. After I read the script, I saw Amu (2005), her last work, and liked it. I did the film as it talked about various other things besides disability — like wanting to be loved, and wanting to lose one’s virginity but not knowing how to do it. It is not about feeling sorry for the character. She is an incorrigible flirt in the film."
Kalki also says that she has consciously avoided taking up similar roles. "I could have easily become that white girl in Hindi films. I was offered many roles like that post my debut," says the actor who began her Bollywood journey in 2009 with Dev.D. "I consciously chose not to do firang roles. Like in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), Ayan (Mukerji, director) told me that he isn’t going to explain why I’m so white. I often call myself Indian-born, confused French," she adds.