After hibernating like some Arctic Amazon for a year-and-a-half, Venus is rising out of a self-imposed media exile. While she’s been yawning, the junta’s been yearning – for a ‘fix’ of Mallika’s quotable quotes and leggy doublespreads. On the occasion of her forthcoming film‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’ that the Monroe-esque beauty decided to talk. It was ‘classique’ Mallika all over again – just more vintage.
It’s been a while. But ask me why I’ve been off media?
“I’d love to say this on record, ‘every actor is expected to butter up columnists and journos, say nice things to them, put on a happy face, give bytes about your life – you’re expected to play along with this template that would help you sell tickets, help the movie. I did just that. When I joined the industry I was very honest and forthright to all reporters. But then what happened? They started putting words in my mouth, started focusing on controversy; so I completely stopped doing that.
I grew sick and tired of these irrelevant questions that had nothing to do with my profession, my acting. To top it, my answers were distorted all the time. That’s when I decided ‘halt’! I went off Press.”
Maybe somewhere, her image of being this great ‘Quote Queen’ contributed to that? Everyone wanted the better quote, notwithstanding the mood?
“Yes I guess some come from a culture where they sensationalize all and sell all. Money is all that matters; and they stopped taking into consideration all other things. They became extremely insensitive.”
That makes you sensitive?
“Yes, it hurt me a lot. Embarrassed my family. They were so embarrassed by me that they even questioned ‘Mallika what is this we’re reading now?’ There was a time when I’d do anything and everything to get attention and now I spend all day hiding. Just look at the contrast?”
Still, doesn’t that affect your movie promotions?
We hear Subhash Ghai was upset because you didn’t promote his ‘Shaadi Se Pehle’ enough?
“Now what can I say? I did whatever I was asked to do. I stand by all my movies. But there are always ‘side effects’. Which incidentally is the name of my new film, ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’ I’m looking forward to.”
Well, with a hero half her height, Rahul Bose, she should?
“I know. I had a wonderful time working with him. Whenever there was an intimate scene they’d give him a five-inch high stool on which he’d stand for that scene. Rahul is very intelligent. He uses big big words. He’s very intellectual.”
What about John Abraham? There was plenty of steamy talk about the two of you during your shows abroad enough to make Bipasha insecure?
“Look, I never mix business with pleasure. I’ve come to Bollywood to work. There never was an affair, is an affair and there never will be an affair with anyone here. The possibility doesn’t exist of me having a relationship with anyone from Bollywood. The rumours about me dating an Italian might be true but the possibility of me dating anyone from Bollywood doesn’t exist. There was no problem during the shows either. It was great fun. If you have personal issues where you’re working it would be harmful to me. It’s not good business sense. You harm yourself in the long run”