Kalki Koechlin ( (listen); born 10 January 1984) is an Indian-born French actress and writer, who lives and works in India. Known for her unconventional body of work in the Hindi film industry, she is the recipient of such accolades as a National Film Award, a Filmfare, and two Screen Awards. Koechlin was conferred with the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture for her contributions to cinema.
Born in Pondicherry, India, to French parents, Koechlin was drawn to theatre from a young age. She studied drama at Goldsmiths, University of London, and worked simultaneously with a local theatre company. After returning to India, she made her screen debut as Chanda in the drama Dev.D in 2009–and won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. Subsequently, she starred in two of the highest-grossing films of their respective release years–the comedy dramas Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), both of which garnered her Best Supporting Actress nominations at the Filmfare Awards. Koechlin expanded her career into screenwriting with the 2011 crime thriller That Girl in Yellow Boots, in which she also played the lead role.
Koechlins continued association with such commercial films as the political drama Shanghai (2012) and the supernatural thriller Ek Thi Daayan (2013) sustained her success, as she continued to draw praise for her performances in independent films, including the comedy drama Waiting (2015) and the thriller A Death in the Gunj (2016). She won a National Film Award – Special Jury Award for her performance as a young woman with cerebral palsy in the coming of age drama Margarita with a Straw (2014). Koechlin also uses YouTube as a platform or forum for issues for which she advocates, appearing in videos including AIBs Its Your Fault, Culture Machines Printing Machine and Noise and Y-Filmss web-series entitled Mans World.
Outside film, Koechlin has written, produced, and acted in several stage plays. She co-wrote the drama Skeleton Woman (2009), which won her The MetroPlus Playwright Award, and made her directorial debut on stage with the tragicomedy Living Room (2015). She hosted a travel show entitled Kalkis Great Escape, which premiered on Fox Life in September 2016. Koechlin is also an activist and promotes various causes ranging from health and education to women empowerment and gender equality.