Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin, who is known for speaking her mind, says one of the drawbacks of being a popular face is that people expect you to take a stand on various social and political issues. She says people should realise that celebrities can't be expected to be role models and should only be appreciated for their craft.
"The biggest drawback is the idea that people think that you always have an important comment on everything. For example, sometimes people will ask me about some new law that has been passed or on surrogacy. They don't understand that I need to do research on such topics to comment," Kalki told IANS in an interview here.
"The fact that we are supposed to comment on every political and historical moment that has happened is very unfair. We are actors and we are good in performing characters and imbibing them. We should be appreciated for that. Of course, as an artist, there are certain things that we might want to express more than others, but we cannot be the role models for every subject," she added.
The 33-year-old is known for portraying unconventional characters on screen. She ventured into filmdom with the 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", "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara", "My Friend Pinto", "Margarita with a Straw", "Waiting" and more.
It's not just on screen where she has portrayed some powerful roles, but off screen too, she is known for her strong opinions on women's rights and related issues.
Asked if she is not image conscious when she talks about such issues, Kalki said: "I guess not. There are certain subjects which I am confident to talk about because they are close to my heart... Things that I have grown up with and problems that I have faced; so I know how to tackle that.
"It comes from within and I feel confident talking about those issues. (On the other hand) there are other issues which are very important which I can't comment on just because I don't know enough about it," she said.
The actress was in the capital to launch Gillette Venus Breeze, a hair removal product for women along with celebrity make-up artist Namrata Soni and celebrity dermatologist Rashmi Shetty.
Kalki feels money is important for her while selecting brand endorsements, but she has to relate to the ethos too.
"Of course it is for money as it's part of our job. We are earning from this but that doesn't mean that you don't enjoy your job... I believe that I have to have a certain kind of enthusiasm even if I am getting money for something. I don't want to support anything just because of money. I have to know where it is coming from," she said.
So what's her biggest beauty worry?
"When I have to be in public I can't be in a bad mood. I think beauty shows exteriorly what you are feeling inside; so if you are not in a great mood, its shows on your face a lot. It's always about the kind of switch in your head saying ,'Okay, I have to meet people, look into their eyes and feel that I shouldn't be closed inside," said the actress.
She doesn't care about her looks while stepping out of her house too.
"I think they (fashion police) have gone very bored of me now because I go jogging on my roads and my sabzi waala (vegetable vendor) knows me in my kurta pyjama. I won't go in full make-up when I go to my sabziwaala. We are humans and we can't always look perfect.
"I do like to dress up and I love to go for red carpet events and look my best, but I have to be comfortable and I don't want to wear make-up when I am taking a flight. So I think each person has his comfort zone," she said.
Kalki will be next seen in "A Death in the Gunj" and she has also finished a web seried titled "Smoke".
(Nivedita can be contacted at Nivedita.firstname.lastname@example.org)
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