Kalki Koechlin is an Indian actress and writer of French descent. She is an acclaimed actress in Indian cinema, receiving a National Film Award, a Filmfare Award and two Screen Awards, along with numerous other nominations, within the first 10 years of her film career. Apart from acting in films, Koechlin is also a regular presence in theatre productions in India.
Drawn to theatre at a young age, Koechlin studied drama at Goldsmiths, University of London, and worked simultaneously with a local theatre company. 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), both of which garnered her Best Supporting Actress nominations at Filmfare. Koechlin then co-wrote the screenplay for the crime thriller That Girl in Yellow Boots (2011), in which she also played the lead role.
While she has worked mainly in independent films, including the drama Margarita with a Straw (2014), which won her the National Film Award – Special Jury Award, and the comedy drama Waiting (2015), Koechlin also appeared in commercially successful films, including the political drama Shanghai (2012) and the supernatural thriller Ek Thi Daayan (2013). She also uses YouTube as a platform or forum for issues for which she advocates, appearing in videos including AIB‘s It’s Your Fault, Culture Machine’s Printing Machine and Y-Films‘s web-series entitled Man’s World.
In addition to her film career, Koechlin has written, produced, and acted in several stage plays in India. She co-wrote the dramas Skeleton Woman (2009), which won her The MetroPlus Playwright Award, and Colour Blind (2014), and made her directorial debut on stage with the tragicomedy Living Room (2015). Koechlin hosted a travel show entitled Kalki’s Great Escape, which premiered on Fox Life in September 2016. She is also an activist and promotes various causes ranging from health and education to women’s empowerment and gender equality.