Bollywood actress visits La Trobe

Bollywood actress visits La Trobe

18 May 2011

Bollywood actress Malaika Arora Khan visits La Trobe University as part of the Indian film festival.

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Transcript

Reporter:

One of the most popular style icons in India, Malaika Arora Khan recently brought a touch of Bollywood to La Trobe University's Melbourne campus. Malaika became a household name as one of the most prominent hosts on MTV. Nowadays she is renowned as one of Bollywood's most accomplished dancers, and she's married to Arbaaz Khan, one of Bollywood's leading actors.

Malaika was in Melbourne as a special guest for the Indian Film Festival, "Bollywood and Beyond" sponsored by La Trobe University. Around 60 students and staff gathered to admire her wit and charm, and clamour for a picture with the famous Bollywood megastar.

And it's clear she has a soft spot for her younger fans too.

Malaika took questions on a range of issues from hair and skin care, to living away from home, and there was no surprise when asked what she would teach if she were a lecturer at La Trobe – 'We could start with dance for sure. I'd teach you a step here or a step there.'

Malaika's reputation as one of India's premier dancers was only enhanced with her special appearance in the singing and dancing number Munni Badnaam Hui, from the highest grossing Bollywood film of 2010, Dabangg.

The film also marked her transition from onscreen performer to cheque signing producer.

Malaika:

'I've been in the business for a really long time and this is my first foray into actually producing a film. It was pretty different for me and I didn't know I could actually sign so many cheques in one lifetime.'

Reporter:

The crowd was even more pleased to hear that filming will begin on a sequel later this year, with husband Arbaaz Khan taking on a new role.

Malaika:

'The good thing is we produced the first film but this time round my husband will be directing the film as well so it's a completely new ball game for both of us.'

Reporter:

Asked if she would again be starring in the film, the dancer quipped:

Malaika:

'Well that only my husband can answer. I keep asking "would you fit me in somewhere, would you give me Munni reloaded or something."'

Reporter:

While for the most part the questions were jovial in nature, when asked about what thoughts she had for the thousands of Indian students studying in Australia, Malaika spoke about her respect for them.

Malaika:

'I think hats off to each one of you. I tried doing that when I worked with MTV. I had a job opportunity where they asked me I could move to either Singapore or New York because we have our main offices there. I went for a week and I ran back home because I missed home so much and I was miserable without friends and family but hats off to you guys. You really do a fantastic job being away from home and making your country proud.'

Rajiv Khosla:

Hi I'm Rajiv and this is Matilda.

Malaika:

Hi Matilda! Waw, she's heavy.

Reporter:

In a planned surprise for the Bollywood star, she was introduced to Matilda - a robot with 'emotional intelligence - developed by La Trobe University's Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovations, directed by Dr Rajiv Khosla.

Matilda's moves obviously made quite an impression on the dancing icon.

At the end of the question and answer session, Malaika received her official gifts from La Trobe University's Chief Financial Officer Pranay Lodhiya.

And one final gift…

Pranay Lodhiya:
'We have a t-shirt but you have to promise me something.'
Malaika:

'That I'll wear it the next time I come here.'

Pranay Lodhiya:

'No. That you'll wear it somewhere in India where you've got press.' Reporter: No doubt many at La Trobe will remember the day they got to meet such a charming Bollywood superstar

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