Actor Kalki Koechlin on the three people from history who she’d love to invite for dinner. Plus, things that perk her up when she’s blue.
Birthday: January 10
Sun sign: Capricorn
Place of birth: Kottakuppam, Pondicherry
School/college: Hebron School, Ooty and Goldsmiths, University of London
First break: I’ve done some terrible teleshopping advertisements, but Dev D (2009) would be it
High point of your life: When I turned 30 two years ago. Life’s been amazing since
Low point of your life: When I moved to London for university. I was 18, clueless and felt very lonely
Currently I am...
Doing the look test for my next film, Death on the Ganj. It’s directed by Konkona Sen Sharma and I play a character from the 1970s
A favourite boarding school memory.
Bingeing on cheese toast, and going trekking to Madumali, on the Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu.
You made your directorial debut on the stage with The Living Room. Biggest takeaway from the experience?
It’s hard work. You oversee the set design, the actors, the music, and take spontaneous decisions. I have new-found respect for directors now.
Directors or playwrights who have influenced you/your work.
Woody Allen. I love Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Penelope Cruz in the latter is a dream role. Also, Oscar Wilde.
One book that made you see the world differently.
JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. I was in my teens when I read it, so the idea of philosophy — who had control of your life, is there a god – touched a chord.
How was it working with Naseeruddin Shah in Waiting, your upcoming film?
While he’s super prepared before a take, he also manages to infuse something random. No two takes are similar with him.
Looking back on marriage...
I think marriage is more of a social conduct. I’m not particularly fond of the institutional aspect. With Anurag and I, the emotional pressure is out now, so we’re great friends.
Karuna Nandy, Patricia Arquette, late Joan of Arc (French feminist) and Sister Nivedita.
Three people from history you’d love to invite to dinner.
Joan of Arc, Jim Morrison and Albert Einstein, an odd combination but I would love to hear them talk to one another.
The weirdest thing a fan has done.
One of them sent me some really intense meditation CDs and books on healing the soul. Very spiritual fan, I must say.
The most common remark you encountered growing up as a ‘white girl in India.’
There were too many. ‘Do you like India/spicy food?’, ‘Where are you from? America’. Because I’m white, people would be flirtatious and say ‘Hey cutie/ beauty’.
If you could time travel, what era/decade would you like to be in?
The ’20s, because it was that time after WWI when everyone was out on the streets and enjoying themselves. It was a great time for women’s liberation, with the flapper girls and Virginia Woolf. Also the ’60s, since I’m a huge fan of the music... you had Woodstock.
What perks you up when you’re blue?
Sex. If that’s not an option, then a bubble bath. I don’t have a bath tub at home so that’s the first thing I do when at a hotel.
The last line of your autobiography would read...
I told you I wasn’t feeling well.
Side of the bed: Left
Song of the moment: A Sorta Fairytale by Tori Amos
Thing to do when no one’s watching: Dance to really loud music
Best Part about winter: Your hair sits nice
Beauty trick: No make-up
From HT Brunch, January 24, 2016
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