After noteworthy performances in Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Ek Thi Daayan, Kalki Koechlin, the actress with a penchant for the unconventional, will be seen as a teenage girl, afflicted with cerebral palsy in director Shonali Bose’s Margarita With A Straw. The character, she says, is spunky, talented, romantic, and one who’s dying to experience love and sex and won’t let anything stop her, not even her wheelchair.
“When Shonali approached me with the script, I thought it was really a very beautiful story and the script later went on to win Best Script at the Sundance Writer’s lab. I had also watched her earlier film Amu which was very real and powerful,” said the actress who worked closely for several months with Bose’s cousin Malini Chib, who has cerebral palsy, to get the nuances of her character right.
Koechlin found her to be a gem of a person who was open and humorous and hung out a lot with her at parties, movies, events, dinner and at her work. The actress also worked with Chib’s physiotherapist and speech therapist to understand the physicality of cerebral palsy and then a theatre workshop with Adil Hussain to work more on the body language and speech. “The most challenging part was sitting on the wheelchair all the time. I made a decision before starting the shoot that I would remain on my wheelchair as much as possible during the shooting. This, however, took a toll on my body, particularly my back. Emotionally and psychologically it was hard for me. Then there was an intimate love scene which I found very difficult to shoot as I felt very vulnerable while filming it,” she stated.
The actress is also charged about her other film, Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K.’s Happy Ending in which she plays Vishaka, a girl who is crazy and obsessed about her boyfriend, played by Saif Ali Khan. It is a comical role she had fun playing.
In Jia Aur Jia, which is likely to release in the second half of the year, her character Jia Aggarwal is hiding a secret, but lives life to the fullest. The actress is also busy with theatre.
“Presently, I am doing Ajay Krishnan’s new play Trivial Disasters which is being directed by Atul Kumar with which we will be doing a one-month tour through the U.S. There’s Rajat Kapoor’s Hamlet The Clown Prince in June and then I have frequent shows of Mannav Kaul’s play on Tagore, Colourblind,” says the actress.
Sara Loren of Murder 3 fame plays a bar girl in Barkhaa
Pakistani actress Sara Loren, who made her debut in Hindi films with Pooja Bhatt’s Kajraare, and went on to play the sultry seductress in debutant director Vishesh Bhatt’s (producer Mukesh Bhatt’s son) Murder 3, will be seen playing a bar dancer in Barkhaa. The film is directed by Shadaab Mirza who had previously helmed a movie titled Mumbai which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
“The film is the journey and love story of a bar dancer. I was attracted to it because the content was interesting and realistic. I am paired opposite Tahaa Shah in the movie,” said Loren who had to work a lot on her body language and mannerisms to play Barkhaa. The film is slated to release later this year.