Malishka Mendonsa, popularly known as RJ Malishka is soon going to make her debut in Suresh Triveni’s Tumhari Sulu. The most amazing thing is that she is making her debut as an RJ in the film too. Recently, we saw her in Tumhari Sulu’s song, Hawa Hawai 2.0 which is a recreated version of Sridevi’s iconic number, Hawa Hawai. We can imagine how she would have felt after dancing beside Vidya Balan and Neha Dhupia and stepping in the beautiful Sridevi’s shoes. In the film, Malishka essays the role of Albeli Anjali.
Recently, we caught up with the very loving and chirpy Malishka where she spoke about how she bagged the role, experience of working with Vidya Balan and her upcoming projects. After giving (rather talking) several interviews throughout the day, Malishka was full of zest and enthusiasm to talk! She could not stop gushing about her film and her role (And it is obvious, right?). Her positive energy just kept me alive after a tiring day!
Excerpts from the interview:
How does it feel to be on the other side of the table?
I was born to be on the other side (laughs). But I have always been a performer, very filmy nautanki. I have been on stage all the time…so I was that person. Even in the college, I was the same who participated in every event possible. I enjoyed the thrill of it like I can do everything, I want to do everything. It’s just that I didn’t pursue this as hard as I probably should have. Radio came at a time when you know you supposed to be practical about these things. I always knew that I wanted to do something entertaining in media. I interned with Prahlad Kakkar for a while and I was like, ‘Ye toh gadha majdoori hai. Mujhe toh kuch creative karna hai!’ And radio happened at a great time actually.
You said that you have this creative keeda in you. So did you never think of acting as a full-fledged career?
I may have! I am sure I did. It is just that I didn’t have the conviction to go through it. 10 years ago, you will be like that got to be someone…kya tum audition karti phirogi? I remember that I have done some Baba Sehgal video, even in the college I have done these sort of things. But I think at some level in my head I thought its not practical, practice is to get into media. And I also had an attraction towards media…so at the time, I thought karte karte kar lungi. And that’s exactly what is happening. I wanted to do but not by giving my current job. And through radio, I have got to do so much, just think about it- I have done Jhalak Dikhlaja, a travel show, I have done a connected Hum Tum…so that’s the only thing I didn’t push myself.
So, the radio will always be your first love?
I think it should be everybodys. It’s a great medium. When I joined the radio station, I just told them that don’t tie me down, don’t restrict me to do a particular thing. The more you let someone go, the better it is. All of these things only increase your creativity towards your primary job, you think better, you feel better. I always wanted to do everything and acting has been a huge passion of mine. It’s just that people didn’t know but now everyone will know about it (laughs). Abhi toh kabhi bhi dialogue bol sakti hu (laughs)!
How did Tumhari Sulu happen to you?
Tumhari Sulu happened through Atul, Suresh, and Tanuj. Atul Kasbekar I know him since Bling as his company used to handle me and he knew that I wanted to be an actress and I had this acting keeda in me. Now, both Suresh Triveni and Vidya Balan keep on telling me, ‘Lag gaya na tujhe acting ka keeda!’ So, they had loosely discussed with me. One day we had gone for an award show and there I was on stage with Atul and Sonam. So, during the end of my questions and answers round, he announced that now is Neerja and our next film is coming up Tumhari Sulu and there’s a character that I would like Malishka to play and he said that she’s going to play. At that time, even I said that yes, we will do it. Tanuj Garg, who also happens to be a huge fan of radio, he said, ‘would you like to do this? It will be great!’ I said, ‘of course!’ Because it’s a film where a radio station is involved. So obviously a radio person will be considered for it. Plus I had an acting keeda too. I trained Vidya for Lage Raho Munnabhai as RJ in the film. So all of us just came together and Suresh Triveni took my audition. I don’t think he was so thrilled by the first one. He told me to straighten my hair and comeback. Then in the middle of the audition, he was like, ‘that’s it! You are my Albeli Anjali.’ The character is not me, she is Albeli Anjali.
Were you nervous when you faced the camera?
Not at all! I wish. I was not nervous because again to me this is where I meant to be. The only nervousness came from how will the surrounding be! You are stepping out from your comfort zone and you are going in an industry where you are very new. But that was about it. I didn’t know how exactly this industry works, how will Vidya Balan and Neha Dhupia will be? So all these fears were there. Otherwise, it was very organic to do this role.
How was it debuting with Vidya Balan? Was it intimidating?
It is the only most thrilling experience because she is the most giving actor. We had first met in the college and she had helped me to fill a form then. So over the years, we kept meeting as we entered our professions. And then one day Rajkumar Hirani called me to say that they want me to train Vidya for Lage Raho Munnabhai. She is so warm, encouraging and giving the person. She used to sit and watch me. Even in Tumhari Sulu, there’s a scene where Sulu is looking at me and she is amazed to see me doing so many things. Tumhari Sulu is an ode to radio in a way.
From here on would you have any particular criteria to pick a film?
I really hope that you are saying comes true. I really hope that people realize that, ‘Hey! She is beyond this and we should give her stuff.’ Also, it is genuine, no one has to tell you to be excited about your film or another film also. So, criteria wise I would like to do stuff that would be exciting for me. I am just going to follow these role models. Nowadays, they are making good stuff and something great comes along…I would love to do a web series, TV toh ho hi raha hai, Marathi cinema would be great. But I would love to do more Hindi movies like playing sassy nice characters.
What is next on the platter?
I am doing a TV show for Colors called Entertainment Ki Raat. It will be aired on Saturday and Sunday. I have a 3-months deal for it.
Tumhari Sulu is all set to release on November 17, 2017.