Trigger warning – the pictures ahead are not for the faint of heart. Ahead of this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival, we’re looking back at the time Mallika Sherawat showed up at a photo call with snakes – a whole bunch of them including a boa constrictor. Mallika, who made her Cannes debut in 2005, promoted two films at the film festival in 2010 – one of these was Hisss, a horror-adventure starring Mallika as a shapeshifting snake-woman. In a rather extreme publicity stunt, she was pictured at a photo call for the movie in a yellow and black gown and a snake around her neck.
Full credit to Mallika Sherawat for commitment to duty – she managed to muster and maintain a megawatt showbiz smile as snake after snake was handed to her; we counted three in the photos, including the boa constrictor.
Mallika Sherawat at Cannes (Image credit: Getty)
Hisss, directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch, drew from Indian folklore with Mallika as an “ichhadhaari nagin” or a female cobra who is able to take human form at will. She is forced to do so after her mate, the male cobra, is kidnapped by a man dying of brain cancer. Turns out, the kidnapping is meant to lure the female snake out so to extract the “nagmani” of legend which supposedly gives the gift of immortality. The film stars Irrfan Khan, no less, and Divya Dutta.
Mallika Sherawat also promoted a second film at Cannes the same year as Hisss – a romantic comedy titled Love, Barack which was released in 2011 as Politics Of Love.