'It's an actor's job to break stereotypes'

National Award winning actor Kalki Koechlin says she has been typecast several times in the Hindi film industry, but believes that only an actor can make the right script choice and go for an experimental performance to break a stereotype.

Asked about how she deals with how the film industry tends to put a tag or categorise actors, Kalki said,"I have been typecast every time. While after Dev D, I got offers for many roles of a prostitute, people offered me roles of a spoilt brat and a physically disabled (character) after the release of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Margarita with a Straw."

"Therefore, I think you are only as old as your last film. However, it is my job to break that stereotype and choose the right script to change your image." The actor will soon be seen in Nicholas Kharkongor's Mantra, featuring Rajat Kapoor, Shiv Pandit and Lushin Dubey. Giving a better insight into it, Kalki said, "I think all the characters in the film, including mine, go through quite a tumultuous journey where none of them talks about their problems with each other. Nevertheless, after a certain point of time, there is an emotional outburst. So, the story of this family is quite close to reality."

Starting her career in 2009 with the film Dev D, Kalki carved her niche with choices of films like Shaitan, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Margarita with a Straw. It is interesting to observe how the actor has managed to project characters that are vulnerable and opinionated at the same time.

Commenting on that, she said, "There is a famous quote by poet Maya Angelou that says the combination of strength and tenderness is an unbeatable one. I think that is true for all human beings. When I see a character is strong, but not hardened by strength and has a sensitive mind, that is more interesting and real to me," Kalki said with a smile.

As Indian cinema is changing and women-centric cinema is receiving appreciation from the audiences, when asked about how she looks at the amend, Kalki said,"In the last few years, the awareness, dialogue and talks have begun on gender equality, which is very encouraging."

"In films like Queen and Pink, women are leading the film. Having said that, these films come few and far between. We must not forget that it will take a few generations to bring the complete change. The first generation will become aware, second generation puts it into practice and perhaps from third generation it will continue."
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