'We need a lot more green in this world'

'We need a lot more green in this world'

Multifaceted actor

'We need a lot more green in this world'

There are very few things that Kalki Koechlin is not good at. The Bollywood actor, theatre artiste and writer still manages to surprise audiences with her power-packed performances, despite having been in the spotlight for a long time.

Waiting to add another feather to her cap, she looks forward to the release of her latest film ‘Mantra’.

She speaks to Anila Kurian about her role in the film and how she balances both theatre and Bollywood.

Tell us about ‘Mantra’ and your role in it.

‘Mantra’ is a story about a dysfunctional family going through a lot of pressure. It is set in the backdrop of the 90s when globalisation started and international markets took over small businesses. Rajat Kapoor plays my father whose business is going bankrupt. My character works as a chef in a fancy restaurant. She wants to be her own person but her father does not want her to move out of the house. It’s a story about  gender politics and more.

Do you think women’s roles in the industry have changed? 

There is definitely an increasing awareness and the discussions have begun. People have started talking about it and questioning gender equality. However, there are very few women-oriented films even nowadays. So I would say that there has been a change but it is going to take a long time to reach where we want.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

The writing and content provided. I’m not saying that we have terrible writers but we don’t look for original content. We always look for something from the business module which will guarantee a box office hit.

One thing you’d like to adopt from stage to screen and vice versa.

From stage to screen, I’d like to incorporate the alertness and spontaneity. If anything goes wrong or the audience reacts badly to a scene, you have to be able to think on your feet. And from screen to stage, I’d like to adopt the intensity of a scene. On screen, it is so much more magnified.  An actor has to be still and show minimal movements. On stage, we use our whole body and lose out on the

What was it about your last project which inspired you to work harder?

I was working on a film called ‘Ribbon’ where I have a three-year-old daughter. She inspired me to work harder. As a child, she had a certain sense of innocence and spontaneity that she brought on screen. She would be busy playing the whole time but when the shot is ready, she gets completely engrossed in it. That amount of dedication  is amazing to watch.

If you were an addition to a crayon box, which colour would you be and why? 

I would be green as we need a lot more green in this world right now.

What are the three things that you can’t live without? 

Creativity, to do something that challenges me. Friends, they are very important to me. Finally, health and happiness — taking care of your body and mind are very important to me.

Something you look forward to doing when you come to the city.

Go to ‘Nagarjuna’ for the meals and spend time with my family.