Sultry Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat, considered by many to be India’s leading sex symbol, was presented with the Renaissance Artist Award during the 16th annual Diversity Awards held Nov. 23 at the Globe Theater here.
Having previously been voted one of Asia’s 100 most beautiful people by “Cover,” the Hong Kong-based fashion and beauty magazine, Sherawat seemed a bit taken aback by the fact that she had been presented with an award from the Multicultural Motion Picture Association, which hosted the awards night.
“Miracles do happen,” she told India-West during her walk down the red carpet. “I’m told that I’m the first Indian actress to be getting this award, but I’ve always considered myself a citizen of the world, so I don’t want to pigeon-hole myself. The more ingredients in a dish, the more interesting it is.”
Though born Reema Lamba, Sherawat, who went on to earn a degree in philosophy from Miranda House at Delhi University, adopted the screen name “Mal lika” (which means “empress”) to avoid confusion with other actresses named Reema.
The concept of the Diversity Awards, created by the MMPA, was founded on the ideal that a wide variety of talents should be honored for the roles they have played and continue to play and bestow appreciation upon their commitment to the pursuit of excellence in their craft.
Sherawat has just finished shooting “The Hiss,” directed by Jennifer Lynch, the daughter of famed director David Lynch, which also co-stars Irfaan Khan “It’s my first American movie with an American director,” she told India-West.
The film is about “the ancient legend of the shape-shifting snake, which is very popular in the Far East and the eastern countries,” she explained, adding that “I definitely want to work here (in Hollywood), and a lot of interesting opportunities are coming my way, and I want to make the most of it.”