By Hindustan Times
At 19, she featured in a Pepsi commercial with cricketing legends like Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar. But soon, Malika Haydon moved to Sydney, Australia for further studies and gradually ended up working in the accounts section of an Australian company. But seven years later, the 27-year-old is back home to explore a new territory.
Malika will make her Bollywood debut with an item number titled I’ll Do The Talking in Saif Ali Khan’s Agent Vinod. For the uninitiated, her younger sibling Lisa has already featured in a couple of films such as Aisha (2010) and Rascals (2011). But Agent Vinod makers say they haven’t roped in Malika because she is “someone’s sister.”
“For us, freshness was an important factor. And since no one has seen Malika around much, it worked for us. And let me clarify, we haven’t signed her just because she is Lisa’s sister. She simply fit the profile we were looking for. And she has done a fantastic job,” says the film’s co-producer and Saif’s business partner, Dinesh Vijan, adding that the song was shot at a club in Russia.
“The pre-requisites that an Agent Vinod girl should be stunning and absolutely gorgeous weren’t enough for the track. The idea was to have a mainstay who could really hold it together and drive the song. We searched, short-listed and it wasn’t really rocket science when we found Malika,” he says.
Besides the item number, Malika will also feature in the 2012 edition of the Kingfisher Calendar. In the past, the half-Indian, half-Australian model has worked with designers like Tarun Tahiliani and Rohit Bal, besides doing fashion shows for hairdressers Toni & Guy and Brazilian designer Jatali.
According to Vijan, there’s also a storyline attached to the song. “For the time being, let it be suspense. Agent Vinod has a lot of characters. And all of them have very unique looks. So, when it came to choosing a girl for the dance number, Malika impressed us due to the same factor – uniqueness. Her USP is that she has an international face but carries an Indian attitude too,” he says.
Agent Vinod’s franchise?
Agent Vinod is on its way to hit silver screens. But even before Saif Ali Khan’s spy flick releases in March, talks of it becoming a franchise have already started doing the rounds. But Saif is not in a hurry. “Certainly, it’s on my mind. But rather than getting ahead of ourselves, I would like to wait. A lot of people talk about the franchise before even considering the success of the first film. I feel that it should be born out of public demand,” says the actor, adding that a franchise would depend if “it goes down well and people like it.”
And to make sure audiences like his spy outing, Saif has followed, what he calls a “slightly more real approach” than the old Agent Vinod. “It’s substantially different. We have a lot of respect for the old one. In fact, we have done a little homage in a couple of sequences either by mentioning characters or having similar names. We have, for once, considered a similar plot but ultimately, we have followed a slightly more real approach with a more realistic global problem,” he says.