There are some extra-ordinary actors in the Indian film industry who cannot be compared to another. They don't want to run in the box-office money game or win louts of awards but they surely do win our hearts with each of their performances. Birthday girl Kalki Koechlin is one such brilliant actor established in Indian cinemas. Among the top actresses like Deepika, Alia, Anushka and Priyanka, Kallki has made her own mark in Bollywood with her impeccable acting skills, amazing choice of films or even the uber-cool person she is in her personal life. She keeps giving her fans reasons to sing praises for her. Today, making her 35th birthday, let's take an overview at her professional as well as personal life and what makes her the quick-witted strong woman she is.
Background and Early Life
Kalki Koechlin was born in Pondicherry, India, on January 10, 1984. Her parents Joel Koechlin and Françoise Armandie belong to French Nationality and were hippies who found love and life in Auroville as they were devotees of Sri Aurobindo. After spending her early childhood days in Pondy, Kalki's family settled in Ooty where Koechlin's father established a business designing hang-gliders and ultra light aircraft.
She completed her schooling from a boarding school in Ooty, The Hebron School where she involved herself into acting and writing at a very young age. Kalki aspired to become a criminal psychologist but at the age of 18 she moved to London for studying drama and theatre at Goldsmiths, University of London. After her graduation and well-trained as a theatre artist she returned back to her mother in India and in just a few months decided to shift to Mumbai where she started looking for projects in theatre as well as Bollywood. Kalki is a multi-linguist and can speak languages like English, French, Hindi and Tamil.
Debut and Early Roles
After moving to Mumbai and being able to do some noticeable theatre work in The Company Theatre, Kalki went on to audition for Anurag Kashyap's Dev D in the year 2009. Initially, she was rejected on the basis of her foreign looks but Anurag chose to kept her on board after watching her mind-blowing audition tape. She even won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film. The film critics were highly impressed with her talent to touch the fragility of the character in the very first film.
However, through-out 2010 she struggled delivering her best performance and was featured in a number of flops like Emotional Atyachar and I Am.
Rise to stardom
After survived her fair share through back-to-back flops, her image was re-established in the period between 2011-2014 when she was praised for her engaging roles in films such as Shaitan, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and That Girl In Yellow Boots. That Girl In Yellow Boots was indeed a special part of her career as she had co-written it with Anurag Kashyap. The film was a part of the parallel Indian cinema and is appreciated by the audience, till date. She went on to prove herself as a brilliant actor with films like My Friend Pinto, Shanghai, Ek Thi Daayan and Ye Jawani Hai Deewani.
Undoubtedly, Margarita with a Straw (2015) is till date the best performance of Kalki Koechlin till date. She represented a young woman suffering from cerebral palsy who leaves her home to study in the New York City, where she unexpectedly falls in love with another girl and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. She was also praised for featuring in an unusual web-series called Man's World and then in 2016 she was a part of two highly praised documentaries Freedom Matters and Living Shakespeare. In 2017, her films like Mantra and A death in the Gunj, Jia aur Jia and Ribbon released claiming that she is one of the most unpredictable and highly versatile actor in Bollywood. In 2019, she is all set show her fun and carefree side in Gully Boy.
She fell in love with filmmaker-producer Aurag Kashap during the making of her first film and married him in April 2011, at her maternal home in Ooty. However, in 2013 both addressed that they have been facing some issues in their paradise and finally decided to file a divorce in 2015.
Koechlin has been acknowledged in the media for her unconventional roles in films and her straightforward personality. Following her portrayal of such characters as those in Dev.D, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Shaitan, and Margarita With a Straw, Koechlin gained wider recognition and earned the tag of a nonconformist. She is a celebrity brand ambassador of brand such as Coca-Cola, Olay, Vogue, Micromax, Titan, Grey Goose's Style du jour, and Oriflame.
We wish her a very Happy Birthday and hope that she will continue to amaze us with each role she plays on-screen!