Kalki Koechlin is an Indian actress and writer of French descent. She was born in Pondicherry, India, on 10 January 1984 to French parents Joel Koechlin and Françoise Armandie, who came to India from Anger, France. Drawn to theatre at a young age, Koechlin studied drama at Goldsmiths, University of London, and worked simultaneously with a local theatre company.
When Kalki Koechlin returned to India, she settled in Mumbai to pursue her career in acting and soon, she was seen taking up a few modelling projects and some Ad commercials. She was married to the filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and got divorced in the year 2015. She is currently dating an Israeli classical pianist, Guy Hershberg. In early September of 2019, she announced that she was five months pregnant with Guy’s baby.
After returning to India, she made her screen debut with a supporting role in the drama Dev.D in 2009–and won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. Subsequently, she starred in two of the highest-grossing films of their respective release years–the comedy-dramas Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara(2011) and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013). Koechlin then co-wrote the screenplay for the crime thriller That Girl in Yellow Boots (2011), in which she also played the lead role.
Kalki then appeared in many critically acclaimed films like political drama Shanghai (2012), supernatural thriller Ek Thi Daayan (2013), comedy-drama Waiting (2015), thriller A Death in the Gunj (2016). In addition to her film career, Koechlin has written, produced, and acted in several stages plays in India. She is also an activist and promotes various causes ranging from health and education to women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Kalki Koechlin starred alongside Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhat in the movie Gully Boy (2019). She also won National Film Awards for the movie Margarita with a Straw (2014). She gained special attention for her roles in the web series Made in Heaven (2019) and Sacred Games (2019).
Coca-Cola, Olay, Vogue, Micromax, Titan, Grey Goose’s Style du jour, and AOC International, including the cosmetic giant Oriflame.
Controversies & Interesting Facts
Her grandfather, Maurice Koechlin, was a French structural engineer who played an important role in the design and construction of the Eiffel Tower.
She is multi-linguistic and speaks English, Hindi, French and Tamil.
Koechlin won The Hindu’s 2009 MetroPlus Playwright Award and Prashant Prakash for the play Skeleton Woman, which they co-wrote.
Koechlin began writing poetry during her childhood and has variously performed and recorded self-written poems.
Koechlin was a member of the jury at the 2016 National Youth Poetry Slam, held in Bangalore.
Koechlin identifies herself as a feminist and campaigns heavily for the cause of gender equality.
She appeared in Puma’s “Do You?” advertisement campaign, which encouraged women to “find their best self”.
Koechlin advocates for LGBT rights and has featured in such video campaigns as Jagatjit Industries’s IICE Vodka advertisement “Kinki Chilli”.
Koechlin adopted a rescue cat named Dosa.
Koechlin is described as a style icon by the Indian media and has been dubbed the “queen of experimental fashion”.
She was the brand ambassador of the “Cinema For Care” section.
Koechlin appeared in two documentaries in 2016, one was Freedom Matters which was on human trafficking and the other named Living Shakespeare, a BBC production that drew parallels between Ophelia and the Indian women.
2009: MetroPlus Playwright Best English Theatre Script Award for Skelton Woman
2010: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress for Dev D
2012: Screen Best Ensemble Cast Award for Zindagi Na Milegi Doabara
2012: Global Indian Film and Television Honours: Best Supporting Actress for Shaitan
2015: Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Best Actress for Margarita with a Straw
2016: Screen Best Actress (Jury) Award for Margarita with a Straw
2016: Times of India Film Awards: Best Actress (Critics) for Margarita with a Straw
2016: National Film Special Jury Awards for Margarita with a Straw