Bollywood is not for everyone.
Some realise it sooner and tread different paths to make different achievements in life, while others keep trying till the industry throws them off.
In this giant rigmarole of realisations and refusals, we have seen many of our beloved celebs fading out into oblivion, leaving us wondering, “where are they, how are they...?”
This “Missing Report” series digs deep into the untold stories of such missing stars, and today we are covering Mallika Sherawat.
Mallika entered the industry with 17 kisses. Now, this may sound like no big deal today, but was quite the eyebrow-raiser 17 years ago. She had starred opposite one of the three heroes of 2001’s musical hit Tum Bin, in the 2003 racy romantic Khwahish.
Though it was not the first time Mallika was cast as the leading lady in a movie, it was certainly not her first brush with the camera. The daring diva was seen playing Kareena Kapoor’s friend in Jeena Sirf Mere Liye, just a year ago.
Known as Mallika Sherawat, her real name is Reema Lamba. She adopted the screen name to be in the movies and replaced her surname with her mother’s maiden name because, in her own words, the ring of “Mallika Sherawat” was cool and also because her mother was the only rock she found support in.
She was a Delhi girl, who completed schooling from Delhi Public School and earned a degree in philosophy from Miranda House, Delhi University. Hailing from a conservative Jat family, she claims to have struggled a lot to follow her heart and enter showbiz. Strangely, this claim was rubbished by her family years later, and their narrative was, the actress just wanted to impress people with her “story of struggle”. Not many know, Mallika was married and divorced before her Bollywood career began and had a son from her former marriage.
After her 2003 debut, she saw real commercial success and popularity in 2004, when she started in Mukesh Bhatt’s remake of the French film, The Unfaithful Wife. Yep! We are talking about Murder where she was romanced and heated up the screen with Emraan Hashmi.
The image she created for herself with these movies was something no mainstream actress in those times enjoyed. The industry was still suffering from the 90s hangover and the leading ladies were supposed to be cute and naïve, regardless of the receding hems of their skirts. Bachke Rehna Re Baba, Pyaar Ke Side Effects, Shaadi Se Pehle were her subsequent films which were rather family-friendly if a comparison with her initial releases were to be drawn. But none of these gave her the kind of commercial success an actress aims for.
Rumours of moving to Hollywood were also afloat for some time. But nothing much materialised barring some Chinese films like The Myth in 2005, and Time Raiders after a long gap, in 2016. The English movies she worked on, Politics of Love or Hisss did nothing to secure her career in Hollywood. She tried her luck in South cinema, nothing substantial happened down south either. Barring one Dasavathaaram that released back in 2008, her screen time was limited to item numbers. In fact, she did a few item numbers in Bollywood as well; Maiya Maiya from the Aishwarya-Abhishek starer Guru was one of the most popular numbers that she frolicked on.
By mid-2010s, after working in a list of inconsequential films, it’s safe to say, her career had run its course. She created quite the noise with her 2015 controversial film Dirty Politics due to the amount of sexual content in it, but that too failed at pulling audiences. However, despite having no globally applauded movies or performances, she remains to be a regular at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s quite an intriguing case because no one knows what she goes there for, what does she represents there, why shutterbugs click her pictures and do they even know her.
Have you watched the web series, Booo Sabki Phategi? It was run in June 2019 on Alt Balaji. The horror-comedy also featured Tusshar Kapoor as the protagonist along with Sherawat.
Though long gone from the 70 mm, she managed to stay in headlines. Back in 2017, there was news of her having gone bankrupt, robbed, and not paying the rent in Paris, where she had settled after finding love in a Frenchman, Cyrille Auxenfans.
What is keeping her occupied these days is something we all are equally clueless on. Media keeps speculating about her from time to time, but very little of what gets written turns out to hold any truth. Scrolling through her Instagram, we collected that she travels a lot, does a lot of photo-shoots, and keeps herself in shape without fail.
We have also covered missing reports on Tulip Joshi, Uday Chopra, Amrita Rao, Mahima Chaudhury, Harman Baweja, Shamita Shetty, Gayatri Joshi, Tanisha Mukerjee, Gracy Singh, Asin, Rinke Khanna, Jugal Hansraj, Lucky Ali, Somi Ali, and Fardeen Khan.
Would you like us to feature a missing celebrity? Let us know in the comments below.