Though Himesh isn't too fond of the actress, he felt her sex appeal would draw in the audiences. He recommended Mallika's name to the producers but she didn't agree. She quoted a sky-high price. TV18 had to say no." Mallika's friend adds that her refusal made Himesh furious. "Since then, Himesh has been telling people that TV18 threw her out of the film. But what was TV18 offering her? A weak script, an unknown director and a completely unbankable actor!
Himesh's last film Karzzzz was a super dud at the B-O. Don't they know that in B-Town quoting a high price is a polite way of telling the producer that the actor is not interested? Naturally, Mallika didn't want to do Ishq Unplugged.
No established actress wants to work with Himesh today that's why he's doing films only with newcomers! And Mallika doesn't want to take that kind of risk in her career as of now. Money was one of the reasons for opting out, but it wasn't the only one."
However, Himesh says, "Mallika's issue was with Studio 18 and not with me. Anyways it's good she not doing Ishq Unplugged. We wanted a simple, de-glam girl and Mallika didn't suit the role. Apart from being too old for the role, Mallika's image is hot and sexy!"
What was Masquerade?
Mallika was to do Kundan Shah's Masquerade, a TV18 production. In the film, she was to play a prostitute-turned-politician and use typical UP language laced with colorful epithets. In the course of her rehearsals though, she had serious problems with Kundan Shah over creative issues. The film finally got shelved.