Mallika Sherawat’s movie, Politics Of Love, opens in the US on August 26. The Hollywood rom-com is set against the backdrop of the 2008 presidential elections that saw Barack Obama being voted into the White House.
Her character, Aretha Gupta, a Democratic volunteer who falls in love with her Republican counterpart Kyle Franklin (Brian White), is loosely based on Californian half-Indian, half-American attorney general Kamala Harris.
Mallika points out that her journey in the movies parallels Obama’s in politics. “Both of us were outsiders who gate-crashed the system,” she says.
Mallika shook hands with the President at the White House, hours after he signed the Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden’s death warrant. She looks surprised: "Really? I wasn’t aware of that." Has Osama’s killing been worked into the script? "No, there have been no changes based on recent developments," she says.
However, it’s no surprise that the film has a sizzling car wash sequence, with her all sudsy in a skimpy outfit. A part of the footage was leaked on to YouTube and has already received over 2,60,000 hits. "It’s a song-and-dance dream sequence that has Kyle fantasising about Aretha… An ode to Bollywood," says Mallika, remembering how cold she was while shooting it. "It was a chilly day, the soap and water was dirty and I wasn’t looking very glam. In between shots, they’d wrap me up in blankets so my teeth would stop clattering."
A car wash scene, she adds, was a first for her, but being a movie buff, she remembered Liv Tyler doing one in One Night At MacCool’s (2001). “There’s one in a Jessica Simpson video too,” she says.
Simpson appeared in The Dukes Of Hazzard (2005) and released a cover of the 1966 Nancy Sinatra track ‘These boots are made for walkin…’. The song was on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the video featured Simpson as Daisy Duke, singing in a bar and then washing the General Lee car in a pink bikini. In some countries, the video was banned for its sexual content and Simpson was criticised by a Christian group.
Mallika, who doesn’t expect any controversy, is confident the scene will look hot in theatres and will be a hit. She laughs, “My fans like to see me drenched.”