Showing her true self and shutting down trolls in her quintessential style, actor Malaika Arora’s sharp dig on paparazzi and media in Moving in with Malaika is worth applauding. From taking a jibe at social media trolls who frequently address her as ‘aunty’ for dating a younger man, actor Arjun Kapoor, to her ‘duck walk’ as she calls it in the show, this diva knows how to give a befitting answer.
Created by Malaika Arora and Banijay Asia, the show is an exclusive and insightful look into her life. In a candid conversation, Malaika talks about why she is calling it her 2.0 version.
Excerpts from the interview:
Moving in with Malaika sees you taking up the role of a host like a pro. It seems you enjoy taking charge of the show and adding your personality to it...
I started my career as a host and I loved it. To be able to control the flow of a show and at the same time engage with the audience is difficult but also exhilarating for me. People have always known me as a performer and hosting is just an extension of that. Since this show is about me and life, I am getting a chance to do things my way. Everything on the show and behind the scenes reflects my personality.
We loved how you introduced the show by laughing off all the trolling you have received whether it is — age, body, or relationship. Seems you enjoyed that part completely, why do you think that was the perfect introduction?
First up, it’s not easy to look at those comments by the trolls and just go about your day as if nothing has happened. It has been a journey learning to react to trolls this way. To be honest, It used to bother me initially but you eventually learn to not waste time on them too much and learn to ignore or even laugh it off sometimes.
I genuinely believe that this was the best way to introduce the show because you take away their power when you let these trolls know that they are not affecting you anymore. That’s what I wanted to achieve by doing this. I believe I have achieved that to a large extent because I can see the shift in tone and ratio of the comments. I see more positive than negative comments on certain posts now.
Is the show going to deal with more such issues and concerns with the guests in the episodes to come?
The show is all about what I want to do. It’s about Malaika 2.0. Dealing with trolls is a part of it but not the whole of it. You will see more of me doing exciting stuff but I am not going to spill the beans too much. You’ll have to watch and find out what happens next.
Do you think being a celebrity, you are on the radar most of the time compared to a non-celebrity woman of your age?
Well yes, unfortunately, we are living in a world where women are still spoken about this way. Whether it’s their age, the way they dress, or the jobs they do. As professionals, we tend to develop a thick skin around us… The best thing you can do for yourself is to not let these things affect you beyond a point. People sometimes forget that we too are normal women, we feel things but for our peace of mind, we should not give these words too much power.
Having seen the pre-social media era too, what is the definition of stardom in the digital age?
Social media has grown so much in the last few years, it’s a career option for so many, which wasn’t the case before. And to be honest, I am loving it. That being said, I think people should remember that there is always a world outside of social media. One must learn to draw a line between the two.
What do you hope your legacy would be?
I hope my legacy is more than what people assume about me. I am more than my glamorous pictures. I am a mother, entrepreneur, sister, daughter, a friend you can depend on... I have different emotions... I am independent, fierce, vulnerable, scared, sad, and happy. And this show is an opportunity for me to show that side of mine to my fans.
Deepak Dhar, CEO & Founder, Banijay Asia, speaks about the show
How relevant is Malaika for this show and who are the target viewers?
Moving in with Malaika is a very important show because we are venturing into follow reality genre with this concept. The target viewers are everyone who wants to have a peek at what Malaika’s life revolves around, anyone who wants to see a force of nature, basically, owning her narrative for the first time on such a huge platform. We know that Malaika has been in the news since forever. She is always making headlines, people are perpetually interested in what she has to do, wear, say. It’s a show that gives the audience to, virtually, move in with her and get to know who she is beyond the paparazzi lenses.
Would you like to talk about the inputs that came from Malaika to make this show more relatable with the audience?
Malaika has been a great collaborator on this show. From talking about high points, to working towards getting her best authentic self out, she has been a champion. We believe that authenticity with respect to celebrities is something that strikes a chord with the audience. Malaika has been a part of this process from Day 1 and we are very happy with all her inputs. It’s a perfect collaboration of sorts.
Malaika's Christmas Delight Recipe: Apple salad with candied walnuts
1 red apple (thinly sliced)
1cup candied walnuts
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup cranberries
1-2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard (or as per taste)
1-2 tbsp sugar (or as per taste )
Salt to taste
¼ tsp pepper powder (or as per taste)
2 handful of leafy greens (mixed salad leaves)
1 medium sized onion (finely sliced)
2 tbsp Feta or goat cheese
Method: To make candied walnuts: Roast the walnuts for five minutes on the stove for crunchy toffee coated nuts in butter and brown sugar.
Plump cranberries: Soak in hot water, use fresh or canned. You can use any berry of your choice as well.
Finely slice the apple and drizzle with lemon to stop them from turning brown. Simple dressing made with vinegar, oil, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Keep it simple to let everything else shine!
Leafy greens, onion for a fresh bite and the teeniest crumble of feta or goat cheese mainly for garnish.
To assemble: Place the salad leaves in a large bowl with half the apple slices and onions. Drizzle half the dressing and toss. Top it with cranberries, walnuts, remaining apple slices and feta/goat cheese. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and serve immediately.
(As told to Anita Raheja)
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