What we play in Jia and Jia are not us: Kalki Koechlin-Richa Chadda
Trans World Features (TWF) | 14 Oct 2017
What we play in Jia and Jia are not us: Kalki Koechlin-Richa Chadda
Bollywood film Jia and Jia promises a rare story line, centred on a road trip by two young girls. Lead actors of the film, Kalki Koechlin and Richa Chadda speak exclusively to IBNS-TWF correspondent Souvik Ghosh.

Is their any similarity between the characters you two have played in the film and your real life personalities?

Kalki: I don't have the kind of energy in real life what Jia (Kalki's character) has. She is really excited all the time. In every other minute, something new would excite her. I wish I had that kind of energy for life but definitely do like her philosophy that one has to live life in a moment. One has to keep finding happiness. I do not believe to have the kind of madness in me that Jiya has. My character is much more daring than me. Unlike Jia, I do not steal things from shops, cafes and run away without paying bills (smiles). I haven't done that. But sometimes, I like to tease people. When I am really bore in a situation, I do certain things like pulling someone's hair and all such stuffs. I have goofy elements.
Richa: None of our characters are relatable. Neither she is the girl from Margarita with a Straw (Kalki's film) nor I am the bossy girl from Fukrey or the angry old house wive of Gangs of Wasseypur (Richa's films), which we have played on-screen so far. We just play roles and have to keep playing different parts to explore our own range of acting. Sometimes, I become surprised to see how the roles have turned out so well. It is important to keep experimenting.
Both of you have so far played some unique roles in the films. In that sense, what drifts you to a film, your own character or the script?
Kalki: We are eager to make good films that everybody wants to watch. As an audience member, I want to watch every kind of films, but that doesn't mean those will be bad. I want to see all kinds of films but not mediocre ones with mediocre acting, though. The beginning of a film is the script. A quality film requires good directors, actors, cameramen and musicians but the beginning is always a good script. If there is no script (good script), one (the film) has nothing. 
Richa: I wish films should not be called as content-oriented, rather just good or bad or mediocre ones. Hopefully we will start investing more in writers and directors who actually make the film on paper. I feel now all are so much caught up in numbers, weekend businesses and the box office collections, that they are trying to make just projects, turning the films into products.
This is may be for the first time, a film is centred on two women undertaking road trips. Do you think it is path breaking in Bollywood?
Kalki: In India, for sure. At least in Hindi cinema, we can't think of a film that is centred on road trip undertaken by a girl. We (Kalki, Richa) couldn't find one. So, I think it has been a USP for the film which haven't been done before. 
What is the biggest take away from the film?
Kalki: I have begun traveling a lot more after this film because in the beginning of my career, I was very focused on my works. This film has opened me up to writing, travelling, learning new skills like surfing. After Jia aur Jia, I have started doing lot of things instead of just one.
(Images by Avishek Mitra)