Bollywood star Kalki Koechlin on playing bisexual, disabled and in love in “Margarita, with a Straw”

Kalki Koechlin is a Bollywood star, but we love her for her starring role in the Indian drama, Margarita, with a Straw. The movie, from out filmmaker Shonali Bose, has been praised for the love it portrays between two women with disabilities. Kalki plays Laila, a young woman with cerebral palsy who leaves India to study in New York where she falls for a blind woman named Khanum (Sayani Gupta).

Kalki Koechlin in MARGARITA WITH A STRAW - Courtesy of Wolfe Video (2)photos courtsey of Wolfe

We recently spoke with Kalki about some interesting rumors, how she prepared for the role of Laila, what she thinks of the sex scenes in the film and more.

Warning: Spoilers ahead Before we talk about the film, let’s get this out of the way. At the end of May, you tweeted out this hilarious tweet: “So if all reports are to be taken seriously I am currently moving in with two different men, dating one woman and my ex-husband stood me up.” I have to ask, where did this rumor of a lesbian relationship come from and what do you think of that one?

Kalki Koechlin: I don’t know where it came from, but the rumor was about me and my co-star, Sayani Gupta. I guess it came from the fact that we did a film together.


AE: And what film was that?

KK: Margarita.


AE: Oh, so it was Khanum. That would even further enflame the rumors, the fact that you played lovers in the film.

KK: Exactly. The thing is we’re really good friends. We do theater together as well. We live very close to each other in the same neighborhood. So we see a lot of each other. We get often spotted together.

 Kalki Koechlin (front) and Revathy (back) MARGARITA WITH A STRAW - Courtesy of Wolfe Video

AE: Onto the film, I wanted to ask you what attracted you to the character of Laila?

KK: I didn’t know Shonali’s earlier work when I read the script. One was the fact that in two minutes into the script, I wasn’t thinking about the disability of Laila. I was drawn into the person and into her story. And the second part is every time we talk about a film with disabilities, especially in India, usually, we glorify the person. Someone who’s achieved many, many things despite their disability. Margarita didn’t do that. [Shonali] made just an ordinary teenager with problems, who makes mistakes.