Kalki Koechlin: Dibakar Banerjee made me cry during ‘Shanghai’ shoot

Kalki Koechlin comes from a non-film background, but the actor has managed to carve a niche for herself with her unconventional choice of scripts. She is now gearing up for her forthcoming flick Shanghai, directed by Dibakar Banerjee

Kalki however admits it is hard to keep up the good work in filmdom. “I feel lucky enough to have had a good start by working in alternate niche films like Dev D that have a different style. I have got an opportunity to work with some very good directors, but it is hard to keep up the good work,” said Kalki.“It is very important to choose the right kind of roles; and not rush into grabbing projects. It is important to be patient. You might work for eight-nine months and be out of work for the rest of the time,” she added. The 29-year-old is known for portraying unconventional characters. She ventured into filmdom with critically acclaimed Dev.D, where she played a young girl who ends up becoming a prostitute. Later she did films like Shaitan, That Girl In Yellow Boots and most recently Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and My Friend Pinto.

The actor is now gearing up for the release of political thriller Shanghai. Directed by Dibakar Banerjee, it takes a dig at the sad state of affairs in the country. The film has been inspired by a mid-1960s book “Z“, by Greek writer and diplomat Vassilis Vassilikos. Shanghai will have its world premiere at the 13th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards to be held in Singapore during June 7-9. It features Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol and Prosenjit Chatterjee. “I think youth are getting frustrated with the sad state of affairs of the country. And they are becoming more aware of the current situation. The Anna Hazare movement was the best example of it. It had such a strong impact on the youth of the country,” she said.

Shanghai talks about dreams and reality. People here talk about converting the country into Shanghai; they promise good infrastructure, good facilities, but reality is something different. There is no water, there are potholes on roads. There is a prevalent ‘chalta hai‘ attitude here. It’s high time something should be done,” added Kalki.

This is the first time that Kalki is working with Dibakar and the actor admits that the filmmaker is ‘a tough taskmaster’. “He is a perfectionist and knows what he wants. He almost made me cry during the shoot. It was a month- long shoot in a small town of Latur and Baramati, where there was no proper food, no hot water, no proper resting place too. We had nothing much to do there, but that helped us stay focussed on our work and enact our scenes properly,” she said. “He pushes people to such an extent that they are bound to give good performances,” she added.

The actor has now begun shooting for Vishal Bhardwaj’s supernatural thriller Ek Thi Daayan, which features Emraan and Konkona Sen Sharma.


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