A few weeks ago, Mallika Sherawat drew attention to herself like only she can, when she called BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, “the most eligible bachelor in India”. She then proceeded to sing him a birthday wish. Although the actor has spoken about the incident and its backlash publicly since, in this interview, she goes on to unapologetically ask, “What’s the big deal? Let people comment. How does that change my life? I thought wishing him happy birthday was a polite thing to do.”
‘I have not shifted base to Hollywood’
Controversy magnet Mallika Sherawat tells us what she has in common with Narendra Modi, why she will never move to Hollywood and how the audience, for the first time, will see her “real side” on her new TV show.
People called your birthday wish to Narendra Modi a publicity stunt. What do you have to say about that?
I respect him a lot. He is gutsy and courageous. He is also misunderstood like me. For instance, actors have kissed on screen and worn swimming costumes, and then they have been perceived to be characterless.
How do you see your career taking shape in Hollywood?
I don’t want to take my career to another level in Hollywood. I signed those films because they were good scripts. I have not shifted base (to Hollywood). If I get good offers from China, Spain, Bangladesh or any other part of the world, I’ll do them.
How close are you to finding the perfect date on your upcoming TV show, the Indian version of The Bachelorette?
The whole process of finding true love has eluded me so far. But let me tell you that I am close to finding the right man. The dates I’ve been on as part of the show have been genuine. Viewers will see a real side to Mallika Sherawat.
There is a lot of pressure on Bollywood actors to do television and be good at it. Salman Khan is one such star currently on TV (on Bigg Boss), who seems to have got it right. How are you expecting your show to do?
Salman is a big star. Healthy competition keeps you on your toes, but no comparisons should be made, because mine is not a game show. Presently, there are no other dating shows on Indian television. And since the concept of dating doesn’t really exist in India, this show is unique.