Mallika Sherawat was born October 24, 1976, in a small village in Hisar district of Haryana to a Jat family. She studied in Delhi Public School and has a degree in philosophy from Delhi University. Do you know Mallika Sherawat is not her real name? Click on the next picture to find out her birth name! (All pictures courtesy: Mallika Sherawat's Instagram account)
Mallika Sherawat's birth name is Reema Lamba! Sherawat adopted the screen name 'Mallika' (which means empress) to avoid confusion with other actresses named Reema.
Mallika Sherawat has featured in Hindi films such as Khwahish, Murder, Pyaar Ke Side Effects, Welcome and Ugly Aur Pagli as well as in foreign films like The Myth, Hisss and Politics of Love.
Mallika Sherawat has not only worked in Bollywood but has some Hollywood and Chinese films to her credit as well.
Mallika comes from Haryana, which once had the lowest female child ratio. She entered the film industry much to the dismay of her family members. She says it was running away from home that gave her the courage to pursue her dreams.
"Stifled in a patriarchal family, I neither had freedom nor choice. I faced innumerable hardships because I dared to question and challenge the status quo. When I got a chance, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me and I survived. Today I stand on my own two feet and I decide how I live my life," said the actress, recently to IANS.
The journey hasn't been easy as she was called "enough names and treated in myriad ways." Women across the world are buried under societal pressure, scared of the consequences, subjugated and constantly violated, and are wanting to be free. For Mallika, it's a changed story today.
In picture: Mallika Sherawat shared this wonderful throwback picture with her mother.
Mallika Sherawat said in an interview that she wants to help end women's subjugation. "Every young girl, every woman has dreams. Every woman who is empowered can empower another... I want to free every girl from fear... Let us fight to create a society where women live with pride and not with worry. Let us battle the odds to build a world where girls and women live unshackled," said Mallika.
In picture: Mallika Sherawat in a picture from her childhood.
Mallika Sherawat is bold, fearless and outspoken. The actress, who works closely with an organisation that fights against human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children, says she wants to be the voice of women who don't have one and that activism is important for her.
In picture: Mallika Sherawat with her family in a rare photo from childhood.
Very few know that Mallika Sherawat was teargassed and beaten up in her Paris apartment in 2016. She also had to deal with a "crazy terrible stalker". But she doesn't fear for her life. "I can't stop living my life. What's good if I don't get to use my voice for the cause that I believe in? I believe in women empowerment and to be the voice for women who don't have a voice."
In picture: Mallika Sherawat looks adorable in this childhood photo with her brother.
"I get emails from Haryana... from women saying, 'Show us the way'. They want to make something of their life. My activism is very important to me," Mallika told IANS.
In picture: Mallika Sherawat with her sister and mother in a picture from their holiday. Don't they make a terrific trio?
Mallika Sherawat spoke her mind, saying, "In India, a lot of people think that the life of a famous person is very simple... but actually, it's not. We all have our own challenges and problems. I had this crazy, terrible stalker. This took place a few years ago in Mumbai. This crazy guy was against the idea of me wearing short skirts. He said 'You are going against your culture. Women like you should be put behind bars'."
In picture: Mallika Sherawat with her family in a picture from her vacation diaries.
"My clothes were an obsession for him. He just couldn't believe that a girl from Haryana could wear short skirts and that too on screen. I know that the regressive mentality towards women exists, but I didn't know that it could go this far. I think, for him, it was like, 'I am going to set her right. I am going to teach her the value of wearing a sari'. He even had a gun with him. I talk about women's rights. He just didn't want me to speak. He hated what I stood for - independent, modern Indian women. That guy was put behind bars," she continued.
In picture: Mallika Sherawat with her nephew.
Mallika Sherawat has got the rights to adapt The Good Wife, an American legal and political drama TV series, for Indian audiences.
In picture: Mallika Sherawat with her nephew and sister.
"Again, it is a women's empowerment show. By the end of this year, we will start shooting for it. I will play the central character. It will be shot in India in Hindi. I am really excited to share it with the Indian audience. I think the time is right," revealed Mallika, who featured in the American show Hawaii Five-0.
In picture: Mallika Sherawat with her ex-boyfriend Cyrille Auxenfans.
Talking about her love life, Mallika Sherawat dated Cyrille Auxenfans, who is a French businessman. However, the couple broke up a couple of years ago. Amid rumours of Sherawat getting hitched to Cyrille, she said, "I am not married to Cyrille Auxenfans."
There were reports in 2016 that Mallika and Auxenfans were attacked with tear gas, beaten and robbed by three masked intruders outside a Paris apartment block. According to a report by AFP, a French court ordered on December 14 that Mallika and her "French husband" Cyrille Auxenfans must pay 78,787 euros in rent owed and expenses, giving the green light for their furniture to be seized. When asked if she was living in a Paris apartment then, she said, "I was visiting Paris on a holiday at the time the unfortunate incident happened. Cyrille Auxenfans is a big businessman in Europe and I have nothing to do with his real estate business dealings. Why should my name be dragged with what's happening in Paris?"
In picture: Mallika Sherawat and Yo Yo Honey Singh.
Currently, Mallika Sherawat is busy with Free a Girl India, of which she is a brand ambassador. It works at rehabilitating victims of child prostitution.
In picture: Mallika Sherawat and Barack Obama.
Mallika Sherawat says she believes in spreading the message of the health benefits of a plant-based diet. She also extended support to the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) to promote veganism in India, urging fans to try a vegan diet for 21 days.
In picture: Mallika Sherawat and Scarlett Johansson.
We take a look at some more candid pictures of Mallika Sherawat!
Mallika Sherawat with the Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling.
Mallika Sherawat and Jackie Chan. She had collaborated with legendary martial arts movie star Jackie Chan in the 2005 film The Myth.
Mallika Sherawat with Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Mallika Sherawat and singer Bruno Mars. She shot with him for the song Whatta Man.
Mallika has made frequent appearances on the Cannes Film Festival's red carpet. She feels proud that the audience abroad "absolutely loves Bollywood".
"Bollywood is really making its presence felt abroad. A lot of Indian actors are working abroad. They love musicals of Bollywood as they are so unique. Now, realistic cinema is also coming from Bollywood. They help to form a good image for Bollywood," said Mallika Sherawat.
Mallika Sherawat has been a regular fixture in the Cannes Film Festival circuit. The actress makes sure she makes a splash every time she steps on the red carpet at the film event, and make a bold style statement.
As of now, all eyes are now on Mallika Sherawat's latest Cannes red carpet appearance!
Actress Mallika Sherawat created a sensation with bold films like 'Khwahish' and 'Murder' when she started out in Bollywood. We showcase her unseen childhood and family pictures and her life's story!