Kalki Koechlin (/ˌkʌlkiˈkeɪklɑː/; born 10 January 1984) is an Indian actress and screenwriter of French ethnicity, who predominantly works in Bollywood. Apart from acting in films, she is also a regular presence in theatre productions in India. Koechlin is the recipient of a National Film Award, a Filmfare Award and two Screen Awards.
Drawn to theatre at a young age, Koechlin studied drama and theatre at University of London, and worked simultaneously with a local theatre company. After returning to India, she made her screen debut in the romantic drama Dev.D in 2009, and her performance as Chandramukhi earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. She then starred in the comedy-dramas Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013). These were top-grossing Bollywood productions, and both earned her Best Supporting Actress nominations at the Filmfare Awards. Koechlin co-wrote the screenplay for the crime thriller That Girl in Yellow Boots (2011), in which she also played the lead role. She won the National Film Award – Special Jury Award, among other accolades, for her role as a young, disabled girl in Shonali Bose's coming-of-age drama Margarita with a Straw (2014).
Koechlin has also garnered critical acclaim for her performances in the crime thriller Shaitan (2011), the political drama Shanghai (2012), and the comedy-drama Waiting (2015). She appeared in Freedom Matters (2016), a documentary aimed at spreading awareness on human trafficking, alongside Kailash Satyarthi. Koechlin has also used YouTube as a platform or forum for issues that she advocates for, appearing in videos including, AIB's It's Your Fault, Culture Machine's Printing Machine and Y-Films's web-series entitled Man's World.
Along with her film career, Koechlin has written, produced, and acted in several stage plays in India. In 2009 she won The MetroPlus Playwright Award for the play Skeleton Woman. She co-wrote Colour Blind (2014), which was presented at the Sir Mutha Venkata Subba Rao Hall in Chennai, and made her directorial debut on stage with the tragicomedy Living Room (2015). Koechlin is also an activist and promotes various causes ranging from health and education to women's empowerment and gender equality. Koechlin was married to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap from 2011 to 2015.