The 24-year-old believes she defies the conventional "femme enfante, child woman, femme fatale and vamp" image and Indian films never portrayed a woman as a normal thinking beings who can have "her grey areas, who can feel passion towards somebody".
"(But), now the Bollywood is changing. Youngsters are coming in. They are less hypocritical and more realistic in their approach. And that's why my movie 'Murder' became a big hit," Mallika says in an interview to be telecast tomorrow in 'Talk Asia' programme of CNN news channel.
The actress, who shot into the limelight with 'Khwaish' and 'Murder' and got quite few cameras clicking at the Cannes Film Festival last year, says Bollywood cannot escape change as the world is changing fast with the increasing influence of Hollywood, internet revolution and cable TV.
"If Indians want... If we want other cultures to like us, we have to embrace other cultures. It has to be healthy mix and that's what is happening now," she says.
Mallika, who debuted in 'Jeena Sirf Mere Liye', plays an Indian princess in the Jackie Chan starrer 'Myth', says the struggle against tradition is not that difficult for her and shrugs off the "sexy" tag.
"Jackie Chan used his kung-fu skills, Schwarzenegger used his muscles to reach where he is. Every actor uses his or her own USP to establish herself and if I used my sex appeal, what is wrong with it?" she asks.For Mallika, Bollywood and Hollywood working styles are no different, but she feels that what makes the change is the budget involved in it. "'Myth' has an edge because its a very big budget film... its a 20-million dollar production, so they can afford better production values.
"Otherwise in terms of professionalism, its pretty much the same," she says.
The actress was excited to do a role opposite the "most famous Chinese man." She did not use a body double for stunt scenes in 'Myth' and practiced for a month with Jackie Chan.
"(In Bollywood), actresses do not get to do action at all. Here I was given a chance to play a character where I get to do a lot of action," she said about the movie.
But, on her home state Haryana, Mallika has no kind words, referring to it as a "very repressive" state. "Its really sad that I come from a state where female infanticide rate is the second highest in the country and women are really treated like cattle and I really wish things would change there," the actress laments.
Ask Mallika why she changed her name from Reema Lamba and she says: "I like the way Mallika sounds and it means an empress. And there are too many Reemas in the industry. So I wanted a distinct identity and Sherawat is my mother's name, who was always a silent supporter," she said.