Twenty years after appearing as a child actor in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Malvika Raaj is finally making her full-fledged Bollywood debut with Squad. The actress, who was seen playing the younger version of Poo (Kareena Kapoor) in Karan Johar’s K3G, is all grown up and ready to throw some punches in the ZEE5 actioner that’s out today.
Appearing opposite Rinzing Denzongpa, veteran actor Danny Denzongpa’s son, Malvika plays the role of a sniper in the film. She says her choice of film has surprised many who expected her to stick to the K3G genre for her Bollywood debut.
“After seeing my poster in Squad, everyone was taken aback. So many people from the industry have messaged me, saying, ‘you’re looking so different’. The last time they saw me was as a young, bubbly child, and people expected me do something in that zone. But that’s not what has happened. I have done the opposite of it, and people are surprised in a good way. I think I have achieved what I wanted,” she tells News18.
Unlike other child actors, Malvika did not pursue acting post Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. “Post K3G, my dad did not want me to be in the film industry. I was very young and it could leave a negative impact at that particular age. He wanted me to finish my education. I finished my graduation and started modeling,” she informs.
“I enjoyed myself in the fashion industry a lot. I would travel all over, I have walked the runway for all possible designers, from Sabyasachi to Manish Malhotra. But my training for acting never stopped. I did my acting courses, my dance rehearsals. I was always training for what I wanted, because acting has always been my passion. And now that I am actually living my dream, I’m very excited and want to give my 200%,” Malvika adds.
She is still in touch with filmmaker Karan Johar and some of the assistant directors on K3G, who have become directors now. “Karan sir and I are very much in touch. We message each other occasionally on birthdays or New Year. None of the stars of course, but Gibran, who played Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan’s son in the film, he is a good friend. I’m even friendly with the assistant directors on set who are directors today, like Punit Malhotra and Taran Mansukhani. They all saw my posters and said, ‘We’ve been watching you since then and seeing you like this, it seems so nice and we feel so proud’,” Malvika says.
How she landed the role in K3G back then, one of the biggest Dharma productions, is also an interesting anecdote. “Soham Shah, who is a director today, he was Karan sir’s assistant then. He came to my school to scout for the character of Pooja. He asked for my name and number and I auditioned for the part and got it. The funny part here is that I was a very notorious child at school. I was quite a brat. So when he asked my number, I asked him why. He said, the principal wants it.
“I was very scared, my mother had already told me if she had to go to school another time, that was it, I’d be thrown out of the house. All that drama would happen. But when the call actually came for a positive response, they were happy,” Malvika shares.
Malvika Raaj: People Expected Me to Do Something in Same Zone as K3G, I’ve Surprised Them with Squad