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I am myself on a special journey and taking everything as it comes. Everyday is a surprise.

Interview with Kalki Koechlin – from Bollywood to ‘Trivial Disasters’ in Singapore

Kalki Koechlin, the French girl born of Caucasian French parents in Tamil Nadu, India and best remembered for her role in Karan Johar’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani last year, is now set to star in Trivial Disasters, that will play at Shine Auditorium on the 26th of September 2014.

Trivial Disasters is a vignette of stories and has been described as a “twisted take on the grave realities we live in today.”

kalki

Koechlin, whose recent film Margarita, With a Straw premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 8th, answered some questions about her identity and her role in the upcoming Trivial Disasters.

You are a white person with French parents, who was born and raised in Tamil Nadu in India; you’ve said “my skin is white, but my heart is brown” and you speak Tamil. What was it like being a white person growing up and living in India? Did you face any or a lot of racism?

When I was young, I never noticed it because as kids you don’t segregate or judge environment. I realized or felt it when I started going up. Men would find it easier to hit on me, they thought I was white so I was available or had lesser values. Maybe they thought this was what represented western thinking.

Why did you go into acting?

I always wanted to do it. I studied acting; I went to university of London at Goldsmith and finally did theatre there. Then I moved to Mumbai and continued theatre. Then I started looking for work that paid as as theatre doesn’t give you money, and then I finally landed my first film – DevD and well, rest is history.

You’re making some waves in Bollywood. How has your experience been so far? Is there anything about Bollywood that disappoints and/or angers you?

Not really, it has it’s situations and moments but nothing beyond that.

How did you get involved in Trivial Disasters?

I wanted to work with Atul Kumar, the director of this play. However, we had acted together in other plays and I had worked with his company, so we had been thinking of doing something together but either he was busy or I was. Then finally we could find time and Trivial Disasters happened.

Could you tell us what Trivial Disasters is about and the role you play?

It’s a very interesting style of theatre where 4 actors will be playing 9 stories, close to 19 roles, and it’s been an overwhelming journey.

Why should audiences watch Trivial Disasters? What can they expect?

Well it’s fun; it will make you laugh; it also makes you think about issues. It talks about many issues and realities of today’s society. Every story starts funny and in the end has an interesting dark twist. The cast is brilliant and the set is unconventional. It will stay with you for a long time.

What would you answer if someone asks you what is/are the most “Indian” thing(s) about you?

Without any thought, my name. I have such a hard core Indian name. It is the 10th avatar and well its my name; everything else is secondary.

You just turned 30 this year. What would you say to your 18 year old self if you could travel back in time?

Haha, this is a tough one. Well, I would say, don’t try too hard; it will just come. Be like everybody else.

What is the best thing so far about being 30? And what do you expect to achieve in the next 10 years?

Everything is great about being 30. I am myself on a special journey and taking everything as it comes. Everyday is a surprise. Like my next film – Margarita, with a Straw. The film received a standing ovation at the Toronto Fim Fest and is also scheduled to travel to Japan.

Well, I am doing my best and enjoying every bit of it.

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About Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam

Ex-professor, Ex-phd student, current freelance critic, writer and filmmaker.