Mallika Sherawat (Hindi: मल्लिका शेरावत, born October 24, 1981 as Reema Lamba in Karnal, Haryana, India) is a popular Indian actress and model. Known for her public openness, she is frequently featured in the Indian media as a sex symbol.
She worked as an air hostess prior to entering films and it was around this time that she married a pilot, Karan Singh Gill. They are now divorced.
Sherawat's birth name is Reema Lamba; she says that 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 all the support her mother has provided for her. There is also a controversy regarding her age. A news channel in India had alleged that she was already a graduate before starting to work as an airhostess and hence she can't be as young as she claims. She has also a degree in Indian philosophy from Miranda House, Delhi University.
Mallika's onscreen debut was in Lak Tunoo, a music video by Surjit Bindrakhia. She attracted wide notice with her appearance in the 2003 movie Khwahish. By Indian standards the movie was quite racy, however it was known for its naturalistic and realistic topic. In 2004, she starred in Murder, a film inspired by Hollywood's Unfaithful that again challenged Indian film standards. She received a nomination for Best Actress at the Zee Cine Awards ceremony 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 her courage to express her opinions in public, and went on to make headlines through her outfits and blunt statements.
She also made news when she won a small role in a Jackie Chan movie, The Myth, where she again appeared in revealing costumes. She made a widely publicized appearance at the Cannes Film Festival to promote The Myth.
Since her debut, Mallika was often accused of simply being a sexy woman without talent. However, 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 garnered decent collections at the box office becoming a moderate success. The movie stamped Mallika as an actress who started off as an item girl and joined the main stream later on.
She is now beginning to work in the Kollywood (Tamil) film industry as well. She plays the second fiddle in Dasavatharam starring Kamal Haasan, Asin and Jayapradha.
Her first 2007 release was Himesh Reshammiya's Aap Ka Suroor - The Real Love Story, where she played a "vampish role". Mallika herself has protested, saying that it is a negative role but not a vamp role. With Aap Ka Suroor she has become the most expensive "Item Girl",as she charged Rs. 1.5 crore for her Item number in the movie. Aap Ka Suroor did well at the box office becoming one of the year's biggest hits. Her last release of 2007 was Welcome which also did well at the box office receiving blockbuster status.
Sherawat has been voted as one of Asia's 100 most beautiful people by the Hong Kong based fashion and beauty magazine, Cover.