Mallika Sherawat’s latest Hollywood outing, Politics Of Love, is ready and gearing up for release. And the upbeat actor who plays Aretha Gupta, an Indian-American Democratic volunteer, campaigning busily for Barack Obama, admits to discussing her film with the American President when she met him recently at the White House.
"We are planning a premiere in Washington DC and I’ve told the President that we’d like him to be present. He very graciously told me that he’d want to be there because Oscar-winner Ruby Dee, who plays my grandmother, is one of his favourite actors. He’s told me to make sure we send an invite across," claims the actor, who is presently back in India to promote this Friday’s release, Double Dhamaal.
She points out that the rom-com should make for an interesting watch for the President, not just because there is a lookalike of him in the film who plays a significant part in the on-screen happenings, but also because "it’s an American movie that’s an amalgamation of two races, Indian and African".
Mallika’s character, modelled on San Francisco attorney Kamala Harris, falls in love with an African-American Republican volunteer in the film. "Ever since his trip to India, the President is all for closer ties between our country and the West. I even got him to wave out and send a message to my Bollywood fans in a video that I uploaded," she says.
We could even see Mallika campaigning for Obama in the next elections. "I’ve spoken to Russel Simmons, one of rap and hip-hop’s leading producers and Def Jam Records’ co-founder, who’s been working closely with the President and his administration," she asserts. "Since I play a Democratic loyalist, it could tie in nicely with what we are doing in the movie."
Incidentally, the US president had apparently told the actress "Make sure you invite me to the premiere!"
Bollywood on a song
Back home, Mallika has been on the charts with item numbers in Thank You and Bin Bulaye Barati. "I did ‘Razia gundo mein phas gayi…’ for Thank You director Anees Bazmee and lead actor Akshay Kumar, both of whom called and requested me to make a special appearance. Sometimes, you do things for the sake of relationships," she reasons.
‘Shalu ke thumke…’ for Bin Bulaye Barati was purely for "monetary reasons" and Ganesh Acharya, her favourite choreographer: "I like the way he makes me move."
Right now, she’s grooving to ‘Jalebi bai…’ in Double Dhamaal, but she’s quick to point out that she’s the film’s leading lady, and the item number is an "added bonus".
"Double Dhamaal is fluff and glam, I love it. It’s great to be singing and dancing again, Bollywood ishtyle. Dhamaal is a brand and Indra Kumar is the maker behind many blockbusters. It’s an honour to do a ‘Jalebi bai…’ for the man who gave us ‘Dhak dhak...’"