Kalki Koechlin speaks out against gender disparity and patriarchy in Bollywood
The critically acclaimed actress is best known for her character roles that defy the stereotypical portrayal of women in Indian cinema, and has been credited for publicly expressing her opinions.
In 2014, she had presented an intense monologue on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8 in Delhi. This instantly went viral and talked about the effects of patriarchy on our societies.
The Margarita with a Straw actress said “Bollywood is as patriarchal as our society. I once met a producer who asked me about my age and I said, 30. To this, he replied, ‘Don’t worry, you still have five years left.’ Another producer showed me the exact spot on my face where I needed to get a botox.”
“There’s a lot of pressure on women in Bollywood. Objectification of women is very predominant, but I am happy that gradually things are changing. ‘Piku’ and ‘Queen’, both women-oriented films, brought a fresh change in Bollywood.”
“You only get paid more than a man if you are Priyanka Chopra,” she said when asked to remark on gender disparity in Bollywood.
When someone from the audience asked why she hated men so much, Kalki replied, “I don’t hate men. Ours is a patriarchal society. Had it been a matriarchal society, I would have supported men. I would have been a ‘meninist’. For me, it’s all about equality.”
When someone asked her why she had started talking about women empowerment only after her divorce, Kalki answered, “If you do some research on my work, you’ll know that I have always supported women, and not only after my divorce.”
Kalki who is of French descent actress had moved out of her house for studies when she was 18. “I knew I wanted to act, but I viewed success in a different way. Success for me is being the best version of myself. Staying away from home helped me discover myself, which helped me a lot in my career. Leaving home teaches you a lot. You become independent,”
She added that “I have faced a huge identity crisis and still face it. I was born in Puducherry to French parents, who came to India from Angers, France. I then settled in Tamil Nadu, went abroad, came to Bengaluru and then shifted to Mumbai. But I always say, my skin is white but my heart is brown.”