Kalki Koechlin is a famous film actress, model and screenwriter, known for working in Hindi films. She was born on January 10, 1984, in Ooty, Tamil Nadu in India to Joel Koechlin and Francoise Armandie. Her father came to the country from Angers, France many years ago and met Francoise in Auroville, Puducherry. They are both followers of Sri Aurobindo.
Later, they lived in the village of Kallaty near Ooty and started their own business. Initially, Kalki went to Hebron School in Ooty during her kindergarten and later moved to a school in Mysore for a short time, before going back to Hebron to finish her studies. Just like what her brother did, she went to Goldsmiths, University of London and took drama and theatre while working in Theatre of Relativity for the span of two years. She acted in several plays including the prose comedy, The Dispute by Pierre de Marivaux, The Blue Room by David Hare and The Rise of the Wild Hunt.
Subsequently, she moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in the Hindi film industry. At first, she did some modeling jobs for some commercials until she was shortlisted for a role in the romantic black comedy drama film, Dev.D. However, she is a trilingual and only knows Tamil, English and French languages, so she had to undergo some preparations for her role as Chandramukhi.
Her performance as Leni, the modern Chandramukhi, to Chanda, a bubbly prostitute, was acclaimed critically, and she earned her first Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress in the year 2010. In 2011, she acted in the Hindi thriller film, Shaitan and was later starred in the coming-of-age comedy-drama film, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which was helmed by Zoya Akhtar.
The director wanted to work with her after seeing her in Dev.D, and she felt that she would suit the character of Natasha. The critics declared their positive comments about her performance in the film, and she earned a nomination at the Filmfare. In 2011, she played the lead role and co-wrote
’s thriller film, That Girl in Yellow Boots, alongside Naseeruddin Shah.
Once again, her performance as a British girl, who’s working in a massage parlor, was acclaimed critically. In the same year, Kalki was starred in the Bollywood film,
My Friend Pinto
, together with
. The film turned out to be a box-office flop, and it was panned by the critics. In 2012, she acted in the political thriller film, Shanghai, which stars
in the lead roles. This film received moderate success at the box office.
By the year 2013, Kalki made appearances in Kannan Iyer’s
Ek Thi Daayan
and Ayan Mukerji’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani with
Aditya Roy Kapur
in the lead roles. This film turned out to be the 7th highest-grossing Bollywood film worldwide. She received her third nomination at the Filmfare for her outstanding performance in the film.
Also from 2013, she was seen in an anti-rape campaign video entitled It’s Your Fault, together with VJ Juhi Pandey. It went viral in the online world and garnered a total of 150,000 views in just two days. She played as a girl with cerebral palsy in Shonali Bose’s Margarita with a Straw in 2014. Her character as Laila, who is seeking for love and acceptance, earned her the Best Actress award at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia.
Besides acting, she turned writer and producer in several stage plays in the country including Color Blind, Skeleton Woman (where she bagged the MetroPlus Playwright Award in the year 2009), Trivial Disasters and many more. She believes that theatre is a playground for an actor, and she gets sharpened there as an actor. She established her very own theatre company called, Little Productions and started directing plays.
She got married to actor-director, Anurag Kashyap in 2011, but they filed a divorce on May 19, 2015. She got involved in several awareness campaigns, and she is very open in the equality of women and gender issues. Right now, she is doing the films Mantra and Love Affair.