Debutante actress, Kalki Koechlin plays the new age Chandramukhi aka Chanda in Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D, a modern take on the classic Devdas. Her Chanda defies all conventions in her revamped avatar.
“She is not the quintessential Bollywood nautch girl but a young girl from Delhi who gets into prostitution. I must confess it was very challenging and interesting for me to play such a character and get into her emotions. The film shows what influences such young girls to take the wrong plunge,” Kalki reveals.
Kalki had been dabbling in theatre earlier and is now very excited for her big screen debut. “I’m glad to have grabbed such a role. Considering from where I come from, it was difficult for me to get a conventional role. Firstly, my looks are not very Indian, even my Hindi is not good.” admits Kalki.
So that is why alternate cinema was a good option for me to get a break in films. I have seen Anurag’s previous films. I feel acting is an art that is very well explored in his films,” admits the debutant actor.
And the portrayal has not been accomplished without some solid research, as she recalls, “Anurag gave me a lot of films based on prostitution, sex trade and on women facing challenges. I saw a Spanish film called My Treasure, quite a few times. He also bought me a book called A Woman Who Runs with the Wolves. All these references helped me get a better perspective on my character.”
Talking about the film, Kalki informs, “Dev D is completely devoid of the grandness. This film is very real and has its own charm. One can call it a mature film catering to urban society. It deals with a lot of social taboos like drugs, sex and clash of cultures. I am sure comparisons with the previous Devdas are obvious, but both the films are very different from each other. Dev D is a very contemporary take on the same concept. Infact, Anurag very specifically instructed me not to pick up Madhuri’s nuances as Chandramukhi.”