Mumbai: There is always a "strange parallel" between her films and her real life, says actor Kalki Koechlin, whose upcoming movie "Goldfish" touches upon the themes of ageing and identity.
In "Goldfish", Koechlin plays a half-Indian half-English woman called Anamika, who comes back home to the UK to deal with her estranged mother Sadhana's (Deepti Naval) dementia and revisits memories of a troubled childhood.
The actor said she was able to instantly connect with the world of the English-language feature "Goldfish" as she also has parents at home who are dealing with age-related health issues.
"I always feel there is a strange parallel between the films that I do and what I am going through in real life. My parents are getting a lot older. They are having a lot more ailments.
"My father just had a surgery and my mother has a memory issue. It makes you more conscious, more aware of the time that 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 equation she shared with her mother during her teenage years.
"All mother-daughter relationships have difficulties. I was reminded of my difficulties with my mother as a teenager. I used to rebel a lot against her. She was a single mom, my father had left and all those things were coming back into my life," she recalled.
Koechlin, who shares two-year-old daughter Sappho with partner, Israeli musician Guy Hershberg, said the film offered her an opportunity 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 was finishing 12 hours of shoot and going back home, breastfeeding and putting her to sleep. I got to see both sides and it was quite an overwhelming experience," added the 38-year-old.
Even Koechlin's French-Indian connection came in handy for the film. She was born to French parents in a small village in Puducherry.
"For my character, one of the things I guess that made the director choose me was the cultural complication that I have while growing up with double culture, French and Indian, and not knowing where I belong.
"That is very true for Anamika. She calls herself Anna because she rejects her Indianness, she is very British. But as the story progresses, she identifies with her Indian side through her mother’s struggle. Anamika’s journey is about finding her own identity as a mixed culture person." The actor, who is at home with both indie and commercial cinema, said she is elated to see filmmakers tackling more mature subjects today.
"There is realistic cinema, it is all very exciting. But there is still rubbish being made and you have to sift through them to find those gems that are out there. That is always going to be the case. It is a good time to be here." Known for outings such as “Dev D”, “Margarita with a Straw”, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” and “Gully Boy”, Koechlin said it is a challenge to zero down on the right offer from the many not-so-exciting roles that come her way.
"In the last six months, I have said no to seven projects. It is really rare to find something that goes beyond stereotype and something that has not been done before. It requires time to find those kinds of stories.
"I am glad I get to play diverse roles. I wait patiently for these types of roles. There are many times when they don't come along and the waiting time is long. But, it is worth it to do something that challenges you," she added.
"Goldfish", which received rave reviews at the 2022 Busan Film Festival, is slated to have its European premiere early next month at Raindance Film Festival in London.
Produced by Amit Saxena's Splendid Films and executive produced by Pooja Chauhan, the film also features Gordon Warnecke and Bharti Patel.