Mallika Sherawat claims she lost Welcome Back to director's girlfriend: 'That is the only reason'
Mallika Sherawat has claimed the ‘only reason’ she lost out on Welcome Back was that the director chose to cast his girlfriend instead of her. The actor had starred alongside Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Paresh Rawal, Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar in Welcome, which released in 2007.
The sequel, titled Welcome Back, again featured Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Paresh Rawal but this time, it was led by John Abraham and Shruti Haasan. It also starred Shiney Ahuja, Dimple Kapadia and Naseeruddin Shah. Welcome and Welcome Back were directed by Anees Bazmee.
Speaking with Pinkvilla, Mallika said, “Welcome ka sequel banega toh director apni girlfriend ko hi dalega na usmein. Welcome 2 bana toh usmein apni girlfriend ko daal diya batao, ab main kya karun (If a sequel of Welcome is made, then the director will only cast his girlfriend. When Welcome 2 was made, he cast his girlfriend in the film. What do I do now)?”
While she refused to drop names, she said, “But this is true. When they make a sequel they cast their girlfriend, the hero casts his girlfriend, what do I do then? I don’t have any boyfriend in Bollywood, I have never been with any actor, director or producer. With me like this is my work, if you think I am worthy of your project I would love to be a part of it. But if a director or a producer or an actor - if they want to cast their girlfriends then it's their choice,” before adding, “What should I do? That is the only reason I lost out (on Welcome Back).”
Mallika had made a similar claim in 2019. Speaking with PTI at the time, the actor said male actors replaced her with their girlfriends. “I lost film projects because they thought I was opinionated. I would hear from heroes 'don't cast her she speaks a lot and has a lot of opinions'. They would prefer their girlfriends instead of me in projects. I can list at least 20-30 movies that I've lost. But it didn't make me bitter. It was my gradual evolution. Now when I look back, they look like fools, all of them,” she said.