Mallika Sherawat

Mallika Sherawat is an Indian actress who appears mainly in Bollywood films. Known for her bold onscreen attitude, Sherawat has been frequently featured in the media as a sex symbol. She is one of the few Bollywood stars trying to crossover to Hollywood, with films like Hisss and Politics of Love.

Early life
Sherawat was born Reema Lamba in Rohtak, Haryana to a Jat family. Mallika was born in the family of Seth Chhaju Ram, a leading Jat philanthropist. She was born on October 24, though the year is unknown. She adopted the screen name of "Mallika", meaning "empress", to avoid confusion with other actresses named Reema. "Sherawat" is her mother's maiden name She has stated that she uses her mother's maiden name because of the support that her mother has provided her. Although relations with her family were strained when she entered the film industry, now Sherawat's family have accepted her career choice and reconciled their relations.

Sherawat went to school at Delhi Public School, Mathura Road. She has obtained a degree in philosophy from Miranda House, Delhi University. During the initial days of her career, she claimed to have come from a very conservative small town family, and that she faced many hurdles from her family in pursuing her career. However, Mallika's family has refuted this as a story created by her to give her an aura of a small town rustic girl who made it big in Bollywood. It has been reported that she was married for a short while to a Jet Airways pilot Captain Karan Singh Gill.

Career
Before entering films, Sherawat appeared in television commercials with Amitabh Bachchan for BPL and Shahrukh Khan for Santro. She also appeared in Nirmal Pandey's Maar Dala and Surjit Bindrakhia's Lak Tunoo music video. She debuted in films with a small role in Jeena Sirf Merre Liye where she was credited as Reema Lamba.

Sherawat attracted notice with her appearance in the 2003 film, Khwahish. In 2004, she starred in Murder, a film inspired by Hollywood's Unfaithful. She received a nomination for Best Actress at the Zee Cine Awards for her performance in Murder. The film went on to become one of the biggest hits of the year.

Since then, Sherawat has been known for expressing her opinions in public, as well for the reaction to some of her statements.

In 2005, Sherawat acted in The Myth, a Chinese film, co-starring with Jackie Chan. She played the role of an Indian princess who falls in love and is rescued by Jackie. The Myth was her first International film. Her appearance at the Cannes Film Festival to promote the film grabbed a lot of attention with Time Magazine's Richard Corliss calling her "the next big thing".

Her performance in the 2006 film Pyaar Ke Side Effects, co-starring Rahul Bose, won her praise from around the industry, and the film also did moderately well at the box office.

Her first release in 2007 was Mani Ratnam's Guru, in which she appeared in a special song, "Mayya Mayya". She also played a guest role in Himesh Reshammiya's Aap Ka Suroor - The Real Love Story and reportedly charged Rs. 15 million for a 10-minute appearance. Her last release of 2007 was Welcome, which also did well at the box office receiving blockbuster status.

Her 2008 releases were Ugly Aur Pagli and Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam. Both films were unsuccessful at the box office.

Hollywood
In 2009, Sherawat starred in a Hollywood film named Hisss, co-starring Irrfan Khan and directed by Jennifer Lynch. The film, based on the legend of Nāga, is an independent co-production between the United States and India. Endeavour Independent has bought the distribution rights of Hisss. Sherawat promoted the film with live snakes at the Cannes Film Festival 2010. Hisss was released in all major Indian languages on 22 October 2010.

Sherawat starred in another Hollywood film, Politics of Love, aka Love, Barack, directed by William Dear. She plays Aretha Gupta, a devoted local Obama volunteer coordinator. The film is a romantic comedy set during Barack Obama's campaign for the US Presidency. First look of Love, Barack was unveiled by Sherawat at Cannes 2010. It was released in 2011.

Sherawat won the 2008 Renaissance Artist Award at the 16th Annual Diversity Awards held in California. On 14 August 2009, Sherawat received a career recognition Honorary Citizenship of Los Angeles for her career achievements and charitable efforts.

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