The Hindi film industry is undergoing a massive transformation in the kind of stories it is telling, and the kinds of actors who are playing parts. It is no more a superstar age as the focus has shifted from stardom to talent.
Many highly regarded actors in the industry are also theatre artists or started out as theatre artists. From Naseeruddin Shah to Kalki Koechlin, they are actors who dabble in both. But is theatre at risk of becoming just a route to make it to Bollywood? Kalki thinks that the danger is always there, but if someone is talented in one, it doesn't mean they are talented in the other.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Kalki said, "There's always this danger that the theatre scene will be a sort of stepping stone to Bollywood. So, you have a lot of people who are doing something that I call "drawing room theatre", which is done better on film than in theatre. But there has to be some interpretation which makes it different from what you do in films. Just because you're talented in one doesn't mean you'll be talented in the other."
When asked if an artist can survive on theatre alone, she said that she doesn't see herself being able to do that. But changing that requires a change from the audience; a willingness to support theatre.
Kalki was last seen in Zoya Akhtar's critically acclaimed film Gully Boy. The film, also starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in the lead, drew inspiration from India's underground hip hop culture and went on to become a huge hit.