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Kalki Koechlin: ‘Always feel strange parallel between films I do and my life’

There’s always a “strange parallel” between her movies and her real life, says actor Kalki Koechlin, whose upcoming movie Goldfish touches on the themes of aging and identity.

In Goldfish, Koechlin plays a half-Indian half-English woman named Anamika, who returns to the UK to process the dementia of her estranged mother Sadhana (Deeti Naval) and reminisce about a difficult childhood.

The actor said she was able to connect directly with the world of the English-language feature film Goldfish, as she also has parents at home dealing with age-related health issues.

“I always feel like there’s a strange parallel between the films I make and what I experience in real life. My parents are getting a lot older. They have many more complaints.

“My father just had surgery and my mother has a memory problem. It makes you more aware, more aware of the time you have with them, which is limited,” Koechlin told PTI in a virtual interview.

Working on Goldfish, directed by Pushan Kriplani, was an emotional experience for the actor as it reminded her of the comparison she shared with her mother during her teenage years.

“All mother-daughter relationships have difficulties. I thought about my problems with my mother as a teenager. I rebelled against her a lot. She was a single mom, my dad left and all those things came back into my life,” she recalls.

Koechlin, who shares two-year-old daughter Sappho with partner, Israeli musician Guy Hershberg, said the film gave her the chance to see both aspects of her life as a new mother and a more mature daughter.

“At the same time, I was a new mother myself. I finished shooting for 12 hours and went back home, breastfed and put her to sleep. I got to see both sides and it was quite an overwhelming experience,” added the 38-year-old. Even Koechlin’s Franco-Indian connection came in handy for the film. She was born of French parents in a small village in puducherry.

“For my character, one of the things the director let me choose, I think, was the cultural complication that I have growing up with a dual culture, French and Indian, and not knowing where I belong.

“That is very true for Anamika. She calls herself Anna because she rejects her being Indian, she is very British. But as the story progresses, she identifies with her Indian side through her mother’s struggles. Anamika’s journey is about finding her own identity as a person of mixed culture.” The actor, who is versed in both indie and commercial cinema, said she is delighted to see filmmakers tackle more mature subjects these days.

“There’s realistic cinema, it’s all very exciting. But messes are still being made and you have to dig through them to find those gems out there. That will always be the case. It’s a good time to be here.” Known for outings like Dev D, Margarita with a Straw, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Gully Boy, Koechlin said it’s challenging to find the right offer from the many not-so-exciting roles that come along. . her way.

“In the past six months, I’ve said no to seven projects. It’s really rare to find something beyond stereotype and something that hasn’t been done before. It takes time to find those kinds of stories. I am happy to play different roles. I wait patiently for these kinds of roles. They often don’t come by and the waiting time is long. But it’s worth doing something that challenges you,” she added.

Goldfish, which received critical acclaim at the Busan Film Festival in 2022, will have its European premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London early next month.

Produced by Amit Saxena’s Splendid Films and executive produced by Pooja Chauhan, the film also features Gordon Warnecke and Bharti Patel.

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