When Karan Johar asked Rakhi Sawant if she can become a mainstream heroine with her ‘image’, and she said, ‘Boss, I am’

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Love her or hate her, Rakhi Sawant has managed to do what many in the entertainment industry can’t. She has remained relevant for decades. Having first got her start as a dancer in Bollywood films going as far back as the early 2000s, she gained further prominence after appearing on the reality show Bigg Boss.

Reality TV is where she eventually felt most comfortable, and Rakhi has remained a fixture on the small screen for years. She most recently appeared as a contestant on the 14th and 15th seasons of Bigg Boss. But back in the mid-2000s, it was felt that Rakhi was on the cusp of greater success. She received maybe the greatest form of validation in Bollywood in 2007, when she appeared as a solo guest on the chat show Koffee with Karan.

On the show, host Karan Johar admitted that he, too, was guilty of having made fun of her. But after watching her on Bigg Boss, he recognised her ‘vulnerable’ side. Rakhi was grateful for being invited on the show, and said that felt like she had arrived.

But, Karan asked towards the end of the episode, does Rakhi feel she can break out in mainstream movies? Or does she feel that she will always be restricted to smaller roles because of her public persona, her past, and her looks. When Rakhi said that the show had transformed her from an ‘item girl’ to a ‘heroine’, he asked in Hindi, “But do you ever think that you might never be able to do mainstream roles, because of your image?”

Rakhi replied in trademark fashion, “Boss, I am. I’m doing Rahul Rawail’s movie, Buddha Mar Gaya. It’s the main lead. I’m doing Srinivas’ movie, with Randeep Hooda. The main lead.” She continued, “Earlier, people used to hire me for item numbers, or for roles where you had to ‘reveal’ a lot. But now, it’s not like that. My life has changed.”

The film that Rakhi was talking about was probably the 2009 release Love Khichdi, directed by Srinivas Bhasyam. She eventually wasn’t a part of the film, which featured Sadha, Rituparna Sengupta, Divya Dutta, Riya Sen and others.