ZEE JLF Conversations: Mallika Dua | Verve Magazine
India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
January 28, 2017

ZEE JLF Conversations: Mallika Dua

Text by Huzan Tata

“Every stand-up performance I watch, I wonder ‘why can’t I see the world like that and perform like that?'”

Life after fame
“The biggest change is that people recognise me. The first time I felt famous was when I was walking through Khan Market and people pointed at me excitedly and came up to me asking if I was the girl from the Sarojini Nagar¬†video!”

Childhood dreams
“There was a phase when I wanted to be an astronaut when I was five-years-old. Then I dropped that idea when I learnt you have to take up science for that – it’s not just about knowing your planets! At the back of my head, I always had an acting bug, but it was a distant dream. I wanted to try journalism too. I studied theatre in college as I loved acting.”

College capers
“I was at a liberal arts college for four years and at the end of the second year we had to declare our major. I automatically used to sign up for all the acting classes. It’s the subject I used to get straight A’s in!”

No funny business
“I hate when people come up to me and say ‘tell us a joke’ or ‘be funny’. I don’t improvise much. I can do it when I’m by myself, but I find it hard to do it when I am caught off guard. It’s not easy, but I don’t like it to seem very laboured either. I also won’t ask a hundred people whether they find my jokes funny while preparing. I go with my gut very often.”

On boundaries for humour
“I don’t think you should make fun of a person who’s completely down and out for no fault of their own. When people on the internet blow a serious incident up and make memes on them, I don’t think that’s very funny. That said, I think it’s okay to laugh at something privately, but not to put it out there. I also think many people really need to chill out about most subjects and grow a funny bone!”

Favourite comedians
“I love¬†Bushra Ansari, a Pakistani comedienne. Raju Shrivastav, Kristen Wiig, Catherine Ryan and all of AIB are great too! Zakir Khan has an amazing style of performing stand-up, and Sunil Grover is brilliant.”

Attempting stand-up
“Every stand-up performance I watch, I wonder ‘why can’t I see the world like that and perform like that?’ Stand-up comedians observe the world a certain way and express themselves uniquely. My self-expression is weird and twisted! All those who perform live are so confident; I’m quite awkward and shy so it’ll take me time to get over the fear of performing live.”

On your bucket list
“Being a movie star; owning properties in Delhi, Mumbai and London; getting physically fit for a role; getting a tattoo; learning how to drive.”

Looking forward to in 2017
“Earning money in any way that doesn’t require me to act in a saas-bahu serial.”

If you wrote your autobiography you’d call it…
Khaane Mein Kya Hai?!

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