He introduced her to Bollywood, signed her on to play a prostitute in his film and then cupid struck. Kalki Koechlin, who was born to French parents and plays one of the leads in Dev D, admits she is in love with director Anurag Kashyap and says he is "very romantic".
"I am seeing Anurag Kashyap," said Kalki. "It happened after we shot for Dev D. He started calling me up a lot and then one day he asked me out. I told him it would be slightly vague because he was my director. But we share similar personalities and tastes and get along very well, so I gave in," she said.
The 25-year-old actress is very clear about the qualities she likes in Kashyap, who has made films like No Smoking and Black Friday in the past.
"Professionally, I like him for the fact that he is very open to ideas from his actors and allows them to add new dimensions to their characters in his films.
"And personally, I like him because he is so romantic. Sometime ago, when I was suffering from dengue and was hospitalised, he cancelled and delayed all his meetings to be with me. He sat on a couch for hours throughout the one week that I was there. It was really sweet of him," said Kalki.
Kalki, who is based in Bangalore, came to Mumbai two years ago after studying drama and theatre at London University. Though she continued doing a few advertisements and plays, her tryst with Bollywood began when she received an audition call from UTV Spotboy, which is producing Dev D.
A modern take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's classic novel Devdas, Kalki plays the character of Chandramukhi, a courtesan, and is called Chanda in the film.
She is quick to point out differences between her role in Dev D and the character played by seasoned actress Madhuri Dixit in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 2002 film Devdas.
"My character is much younger and there's much more to it than just being a prostitute. When she is not entertaining customers, she dresses up like any other girl in jeans and stuff and leads a normal life," she said.
Even if it wasn't a dream debut for her, Kalki didn't want to wait any longer to get "the ideal role".
"My role in the film has a controversial streak to it, but I still don't know what would have been an ideal role to debut with. I've got the chance to work with a good director in Dev D and I feel I'm lucky enough," Kalki said.
Asked if she was apprehensive about playing a prostitute in her first film, Kalki said: "On one hand I was apprehensive about how people will judge me after seeing me in this role because people here do have a knack for typecasting, but it was challenging and exciting for me as an actor."
Dev D also stars Abhay Deol and Punjabi actress Mahi Gill and is set to release on February 6.