Malaika Arora: Television is my first love – Malaika Arora didn’t take the traditional route that supermodels in the ’90s resorted to. She admits to us, “I never wanted to act in films. For me, movies weren’t a choice at all. I loved dancing, hence I loved doing the songs.” The former VJ continues to be a popular face on television. She can be been seen judging several talent-based reality shows and is currently juggling between two — India’s Next Top Model (INTM) and India’s Got Talent (IGT). We met her at the launch of one of the shows, where she discussed her role as a judge and explained why she’s content with what she’s doing.
You have always been known for your beauty and glamour. Do you think times have changed for models today?
Of course, the opportunities are better now. Somebody just asked me, ‘Where’s the culture of supermodels now?’ Back then, we had so many and now, we don’t see any. We were all part of that entire clan where everyone was distinct and none of them were clones of each other. Now if you see models walking, honestly, I can’t tell one from the other. They all look just the same and that’s probably what made the entire bunch back then so good at their jobs. But, yes, the industry has changed. Earlier, the modelling business was haphazard and very disorganised. Now, it’s literally an industry and things are far more streamlined. It’s gone down the corporate way and everyone’s woken up to that reality. Everything today has become very chaka chak.
How do you plan to make sure the girls on India’s Next Top Model are different from the crowd?
Honestly, I’m just looking for that girl who stands out. I don’t like carbon copies; I want someone who’s got that X-factor. She has to look different and stand out.
Usually, you see supermodels making a move to films. You never did that. Was it a conscious call?
No, it wasn’t. I just loved singing and dancing. That was more my calling and I enjoyed doing it, so I went down that path. It wasn’t planned; it just happened and I got paid for it (laughs). I was really young and at that age, if I was getting money for something I loved, then why not?
You have been a regular on TV shows in the last few years. How difficult is it to balance the shows?
Television is my first love. Majority of the reality shows I have done have been dance-based, which is directly connected to me. INTM is completely different — it’s related to the fashion world where I belong to. That’s probably why whatever I say comes out instinctively. I’ve been part of the business for quite long, so it’s easy. The only other show is IGT, which is again a unique space for me because that’s got talent from all over. So, these shows give me that space to tackle and play around, as opposed to doing the same run-of-the-mill things. I’m glad I have a bouquet of shows.