Here is Mallika in conversation as she sets foot on Indian Television for the first time...
This is your first long stint on television. What comes to your mind when I say the name TV?
'Chitrahaar'… It was the most talked about show of that time. I used to wait every Friday to watch it and know which of the songs featured. It was my favorite show.
What do you enjoy the most on TV now?
Lots of things; I watch lots of dance reality shows, music reality shows these days.
Which is the show that you enjoyed the most?
I enjoyed last season of Chak Dhoom Dhoom, Dance India Dance and also Entertainment ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega.
You are debuting on TV with COLORS' Chak Dhoom Dhoom. Why did you accept to be judge of the show?
The show has a unique format and contestants have been auditioned from the nook and corners of the country. There are people coming from the villages to be part of the show. I would say this is the perfect platform for people to showcase their talent. I was really amazed to see the kids participating in the show. I really wished I had got such an opportunity when I was a kid.
When did you dare to dance for the first time?
That was way back in my childhood. I used to love dancing, not the typical technical type though. I am basically from Haryana; I used to love Bhangda and Gida forms.
What do you expect to learn from the show?
I am learning a lot of dance forms from the show. The technical words for the dance forms are totally new to me. Kabhi meine naam bhi nahi suna hoga, aise words hai – B-Boying, Windmill and what not..
Madhuri Dixit is judging the show on another channel; do you think you have been pitched against her by purpose?
It would be very unfair if I answer this question. We look up to Madhuri always; we have grown watching her. Nobody should ask this question.
Whom do you idolize in India as well as on the International platform?
Madhuri Dixit, she is par excellence.
Tell us something about this show?
There have been so many stories going around about the contestants in the show. I would like to share an incident with you. There was this group for which the whole village has contributed so that they reach the audition stage of the show. And there was this middle class housewife who had come down from Gujarat leaving behind her belan and husband at home. They performed so sportingly well.
In a reality show most of the time we have seen Judges having difference of opinions which results in a tiff between them. What have you to say about this?
I have nothing to say on this. All that has happened in our show has been peaceful. But I must say, 'Javed bahut lecture deta hai'. Also, both Terrence and Javed are kanjus in appreciating people. I always ask them to be bit more generous with the contestants.
Do you feel today's kids are really smart?
Yes, of course!! See, when we were kids, we did not get such a big opportunity. They have such an attitude and they do their best to catch our attention. They also get into doing dangerous acts, which I am seriously against.
Do you feel let out at times, because the other two judges on the show are Mahagurus when it comes to dancing?
I speak whatever I feel like after seeing the performance. Maine aaj tak kisiki suni hai? On a serious note, I comment only after valuing the whole entertainment package of the group.
Have you ever taken part in any competition when you were a kid?
In Haryana, there was a lot of competition and that is why I ran away from my house to become an actress.
So does that mean that you are scared of competition?
Not at all, I take competition in a healthy way. Just because of active competition in the industry, actors like us are always on our toes.
Did you get any TV offer before Chak Dhoom Dhoom happened?
Yes, I got many offers. But I do not want to do any show for money. I am more keen on the format of the show, and only if it is interesting, I would want to take it.
You have always been known for your dressing sense from Red Carpet of Cannes to Hollywood; what type of dressing style are your planning to wear here?
Cannes is at an international level. This show is for family audience, and I will keep this in mind when I choose my dressing style. My dresses for the show will be designed by Ashley Rebello. He designs all my clothes, and whatever controversies I have been part of for my attire are all because of him (smiles).
You have a very good rapport with Hollywood actors like Jackie Chan, Jhonny Depp; will we see them in your show?
Those are International stars who appeal to a different set of audience. I can call Jackie Chan but he has to appeal to our audience, right? If a viewer is watching the show sitting in Bhatinda, will he know who Jhonny Depp is?
Reporter and Author: Ranjini Nair