Why would Mallika hide something as horrendous as casting couch from me, asks Mahesh Bhatt
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt was left shocked when he learned about actor Mallika Sherawat’s recent revelations that she was “thrown out of projects” for refusing to “get intimate with co-stars off screen”. In a tell-all interview, to news agency PTI, Mallika had alleged that “men took liberty” and “judged her character” for the roles she played on-screen.
While speaking to us, Bhatt, who has produced one of Mallika’s most commercially viable films, Murder (2004), says, “she never told me about this. I’m quite shocked. I think she was a very tough chick and could really hold her ground and stand up for herself. How dare anyone try to trample upon her and make her some kind of a victim because of his imaginary power?”
More than being shocked, Bhatt says he is “quite surprised” that Mallika didn’t share this with him. “She’d come and tell me about every little problem she would face, and she would seek advice from me. Why would she hide something as horrendous as this from me? Unless she felt that she just couldn’t possibly bring this to my knowledge. In my association of years with her, I never realised that this is what she was battling,” adds Bhatt, saying that he would “always stand up for her because she is one of my own”.
Recalling the time when he first met the actor during her initial days in Bollywood, Bhatt says he is and will always be proud of Mallika. “She was one girl who came to me during Murder when everybody was mocking and laughing at her. She had the fire in her, which reminded me of Marilyn Monroe — I am not the most talented, not so good-looking, but I want it the most. Even when I met Mallika earlier this month when she had come to my office, she had the same enthusiasm,” says the film-maker, adding that despite having drifted away to Los Angeles, USA, and now Paris, Mallika always stayed in touch with him.
“That’s because she feels an instinctive trust [with me]. It’s a relationship that endured. And this is planet Bollywood. Yahan par har weekend ke baad rishte toot jaate hain,” he says.
Asked about his views on why Mallika couldn’t make it to the top among Bollywood actors, Bhatt opines, “Well, I don’t think she did enough work to command that kind of respect from Bollywood. She had only one film to her credit which is a hit [Murder]. But now, she is doing something on the web and has got a world class product to remake. So, she is still hungry for more. I am happy that she is doing well for herself.”
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