Actor Mallika Sherawat has said that she turned down over 20 films because she didn’t want to ‘give in’ to things that she didn’t believe in. Mallika arrived in Bollywood with films such as Khwahish (2003) and Murder (2004).
In a new interview, the actor, who also appeared in a handful of Hollywood movies, said that her characters are different from what she’s like in real life.
She told The Times of India, “I lost 20-30 movies because I didn’t give in to things that I didn’t believe in. What I do as a character on screen is different from who I am in real life. I had to make the demarcation very clear from the beginning, and that cost me those movies. But I am happy that I could still get work on my terms and get a string of great opportunities.”
She added that despite the fact that she came from an educated, ‘well-to-do family’, she was treated like a lesser person. “I grew up in a well-to-do, educated family, but I was treated like the lesser kid. Equal opportunity is so important. I had to go through the grind and work hard to get work, and today, it’s my profession that has given me everything that I have. We, as people, have to make that effort to ensure that no girl is ever seen as a liability in any family.”
Mallika recently made headlines after she responded to a Twitter troll who suggested that the kinds of roles that she plays on screen contribute to violence against women. Mallika had tweeted about the Hathras rape case, writing, “Unless india reforms it’s medieval mindset towards women nothing will change #HathrasHorror #NirbhayaCase.” Replying to her tweet, the Twitter user wrote, “But the kind of roles you have played in Bollywood movie contradict your statement. Don’t you thing the kind of message you deliver through your movies also play an important role. Improvement should start from the person who is making the statement first.” Mallika replied, “So the movies I act in are an invitation for rape!!! It’s mentality like yours that make Indian society regressive for women! If you hv a problem wt my movies then Don’t see them #nocountryforwomen.”
In the TOI interview, Mallika reasserted her belief that films cannot be held accountable for such acts. “The fact that we still blame movies, the internet, westernisation and a woman’s dressing sense for something as heinous as rape, instead of blaming the perpetrator and his dirty mindset, sadly reflects the mindset of the people,” she said.
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