'All my movies are meant for adults'
Mallika Sherawat is all set to make her foray into television with the dance show Chak Dhoom Dhoom -- Team Challenge, which premieres tonight on Colors.
The actress is one of the judges along with actor-comedian-dancer Javed Jaffery and contemporary dancer Terence Lewis.
Mallika talks to Rajul Hegde about her TV debut and much more.
Why a TV reality show?
All my movies are meant for adults only. With my TV debut, children and those living in smaller towns can see and enjoy my work.
Whenever I have gone on a talent show to promote my films, I have enjoyed watching them perform. So when I got this offer to judge the show, I thought why not? The reach of TV has become bigger and it will help me connect with my fans.
Image: Mallika Sherawat
'What I am looking for is the X-factor in the contestants'
What's interesting about this show?
I came from a small town so I know how difficult it is to get an opportunity to perform like this.
I got many TV show offers earlier but the format of this show appealed to me because people from small towns have taken part in it. They hardly get any opportunities like this. In Bollywood, people are only interested in promoting their family members and friends.
But once the reality show is over, the contestants hardly get any opportunities.
People who are genuine and have the talent will shine. There are so many people who are doing well in music and dance reality shows. You have to have it in you.
You are not so qualified in dance compared to your co-judges. So what will be your judging criteria?
Javed and Terence will take care of the technicalities. I will judge them for their attitude and appeal. My perception is of a common man. What I am looking for is the X-factor in the contestants.
Image: Terrence Lewis, Mallika Sherawat and Javed Jaffery
'I wish I could have danced like the kids of today'
As a child, what interested you on TV?
We would all wait for Friday for Chitrahar (a Bollywood music show on Doordarshan Network).
Do you watch any TV shows now?
Yes. I watch both Indian and international music and dance reality shows like last season's Chak Dhoom Dhoom, Dance India Dance, Indian Idol, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars etc.
At what age did you realise that you could dance?
I wish I could have danced like the kids of today. I started dancing from my childhood but without any formal training.
Did you take part in competitions?
There were hardly any competitions in Haryana. So I ran away from there and came to Mumbai to become a heroine [laughs].
Image: Mallika Sherawat and Terrence Lewis
'I will dress accordingly as Chak Dhoom Dhoom is a family show'
You are popular for your sense of style. Who is designing your costumes for this show?
Ashley Rebello is designing my costumes. Whatever controversy I have faced over my outfits it's because of him, since he designs them [laughs]. You always have to keep in mind that it's a family show and so I cannot offend anyone. So I will dress accordingly.
Do you see yourself pit against Madhuri Dixit?
She is a legend. Nobody should ask this question because she is on a completely different level.
Who do you think is the most graceful dancer in Bollywood?
Image: Mallika Sherawat dances with a contestant
'I am fine with whatever decision I have taken'
Why do you think your film Hisss didn't work?
It appealed to the youth but not the older generation. So what can I do? [smile]. I have Dhamaal 2 coming, and two more films that will be announced very soon.
As an actor, do you feel the pressure of the competition?
Competition keeps you on your toes. Otherwise actors are lazy, so there is a need for a flop or failing TRPs to keep one alert.
Do you regret not being part of Murder 2?
No regrets. I am fine with whatever decision I have taken.
Image: Mallika Sherawat
Photographs: Mohammed Dabbous/Reuters