The feisty Kalki Koechlin known for her unconventional professional and personal choices speaks to Subhash K Jha about her impending motherhood and why unconventional is the conventional for her.
Firstly, my congratulations. So happy that you have embraced motherhood. What prompted you to take this vital decision?
Thank you. The pregnancy happened unexpectedly and we just felt we were ready to bring up a child together
I believe there has been a lot of unwanted comment on social media about your decision to become a mother. Were you prepared for the backlash? How have you handled the negative vibes?
When and how did you meet your baby's father? And at what point of time did you decide he was the one?
I am not willing to share our personal story too much as we enjoy our privacy. But we've been together for two years. He's a pianist and works with children a lot and is very patient so he always seemed to me like a natural father
Workwise I am sure you will take maternity leave. How long would you be absent from work? And do you think you will miss working?
I'm off for about five months. I'm sure I'll miss the creative streak of working on new material but then, this is kind of… the biggest role of my life, motherhood. So I'm enjoying this process and I'm sure I will learn a lot more in the coming months.
Of late you have been very busy with films and the OTT platform. Do you see the two media to be mutually inclusive?
I think they can help each other by creating a healthy competition, where the quality of work, especially of script writing explores new territory and technique and the alternative platform will create more jobs for the ones on the fringes.
We saw you in the wonderful Made In Heaven and now Bhram which revolves around your character. How comfortable were you shooting this eerie yarn and does the horror genre interest you greatly?
I see this as a psychological thriller more than an outright horror, and the psyche interests me, what goes on in a mind after trauma. I got to say I'm a real fattu when it comes to watching horror, I jump at every scare.
Tell me about your plans while you are on maternity leave?
I think I'll read a lot more, that's something I haven't found time to do with my career so much. I'm sure though I'll look at all the classics again for movies and would love to catch up on animation especially Japanese animation with my child.
There has been a lot of talk of MeToo and a change in the work ethics of the film industry. Do you notice this change and how far do you think the male gaze and attitude has changed in the film industry?
Not much. In certain production teams I see an effort to put in awareness, like working on intimacy scenes and ensuring the actors are comfortable, or having a code of conduct workshop when working in the creative field. But overall perhaps it has translated more in wariness and caution than awareness and genuine change.
One more thing, what prompted you to do an 'item song' in Nerkonda Paarvai?
I liked Pink. They said they're doing a remake with an opening song that has a strong female performer.
Looking back on your journey so far, personal and professional, is there anything you would like to change, if given a second chance?
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