K3G’s young Poo Malvika Raaj: I didn’t want to be one of those school dropout child actors
Malvika Raaj had a dream start to her acting career at the age of 11 when she starred in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001) with the role of younger version of Pooja, aka Poo, a character played by Kareena Kapoor Khan. And asshe readies for her second innings in the film industry, she reveals why she stayed away from Bollywood for so long.
“There were offers, but I was a very notorious child. My family really wanted me to concentrate on my education and focus on that. Acting would have really distracted me in my schooling days. I didn’t want to be one of those child actors who drops out of school. If I was a brilliant student, then probably my parents would have allowed me to act,” she explains her decision behind this hiatus.
Raaj admits that it’s only now that she realises how wise a decision her parents had taken about prioritising her education.
“I’m glad they didn’t let me do more films. But my training in dance, diction and everything went on in the side,” she tells us.
The actor may have been away from films, but she stayed in touch with her director, Karan Johar. “Every time we meet each other, it’s a very cute and sweet emotion we share,” she gushes.
Raaj, the daughter filmmaker Bobby Raaj and granddaughter of actor Jagdish Raj, says she may have grown up in a film family and with social connection with filmmakers, but she hasn’t used it to get work.
“I used to visit my dad’s film set when I was a kid. So, I was exposed to the behind the scenes culture but not in terms of getting work. I’ve given auditions for films, and ads. I’m here on my own, I’ll make it on my own,” she asserts confidently.
The 30-year-old is set to make her Bollywood debut with actor Rinzing Denzongpa, son of veteran actor Danny Denzongpa. In 2017, she also starred in a Telugu film, and has also been a popular model since the age of 17.
Asked if having a background in films help and Raaj is quick to say it can play in both ways.
She elaborates, “It wasn’t easy because people always compare me to that character (Pooja) even today. That’s something I’ve to deal with. The good part is that you’re a known personality and wherever you go people recognise you.”