‘As an ac­tor, you’re never sat­is­fied’

Rad­hika Apte says she would like to work more and take up chal­leng­ing roles

HT Cafe - - Front Page - Prashant Singh

She be­gan her act­ing ca­reer with a theatre group in Pune be­fore mak­ing her fea­ture film de­but with a small role in Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi! (2005). And ever since, Rad­hika Apte has proven her act­ing acu­men with con­sis­tent, pow­er­ful per­for­mances. Now, as the ac­tor read­ies for the re­lease of Pad Man, we chat with her about Ak­shay Ku­mar, her ca­reer, and the new film.

It has been 13 years since you made your film de­but…

I was in col­lege at that time and had just started col­lege, so I don’t think you can con­sider that as work. It was like a sum­mer project. But yes, I have been do­ing theatre for about 14 to 15 years now.

Over­all, what do you think of your act­ing ca­reer?

I never had a plan, so things are tak­ing their own course. I am mak­ing my own choices, so I don’t know. Let’s see. You learn dif­fer­ent things ev­ery time you choose some­thing, and then you make sim­i­lar as well as dif­fer­ent choices and also change what you want to do. So, it’s a con­stantly chang­ing process.

Talk­ing of Pad Man, what made you ac­cept the role?

For starters, it was the fact that Balki was mak­ing it. Plus, the sub­ject is great and the script is very funny and en­ter­tain­ing. I haven’t done some­thing like this be­fore. Also, I had never worked with Ak­shay be­fore and I grew up watch­ing his films. Most im­por­tantly, I play a char­ac­ter who is the po­lar op­po­site of who I am.

Could you iden­tify with the ‘taboo’ is­sue that the film ad­dresses: men­stru­a­tion and men­strual hy­giene?

I talk about it very openly. So, of course, I could re­late to it. I re­mem­ber, as a child, I was at my best friend’s house and her mother wouldn’t let me in the kitchen, be­cause I had my pe­riod. I used to feel very an­gry, be­cause we didn’t have such prac­tices at my house. Some­body asked me the other day if Pad Man’s sub­ject is a hard-hit­ting one, and I was like, ‘No, it’s like talk­ing about food or giv­ing birth to chil­dren’. It’s a fun­da­men­tal re­al­ity that you can’t live with­out, so what’s the prob­lem in talk­ing about that?

You said you have watched a lot of Ak­shay’s films while grow­ing up...

It’s true, but I don’t re­mem­ber all his films from the Khi­ladi se­ries (laughs). In the be­gin­ning, I re­mem­ber it all felt a bit sur­real — you have grown up watch­ing some­body, and sud­denly, you are work­ing with him. He is so funny and he’s a great per­son. Plus, we had re­hearsals and we gave our in­puts too, be­cause Ak­shay wants ev­ery­body’s in­puts. It has been great.

As an ac­tor, do you change gears de­pend­ing on what the char­ac­ter needs?

Not re­ally. If you want to do any­thing se­ri­ously, you put your heart into it. If you are ex­pected to do some­thing that you ac­tu­ally don’t be­lieve in but have to do it, then you just put your think­ing cap aside, and say, ‘Okay, what you need?’. So, it de­pends on what kind of com­pro­mises you are ready to make. Like, I will prob­a­bly not do a House­full, but Pad Man is equally com­mer­cial, so I don’t know how to tell the dif­fer­ence, as I think ev­ery films falls some­where in the mid­dle. So, it goes from zero com­pro­mises to full com­pro­mise.

We hear trav­el­ling and a break is on the cards?

Yes, I do want a break, but right now, I am go­ing to shoot a film. I’ll prob­a­bly take a break af­ter that.

Are you sat­is­fied with your ca­reer graph so far? As an ac­tor, hon­estly, you can never be sat­is­fied, so I won’t say I am com­pletely sat­is­fied. I would like to do more chal­leng­ing work and work more. There isn’t much work for women. I get very ir­ri­tated if I’m out for a shoot for two months and the male ac­tor is shoot­ing ev­ery day while you don’t shoot for most of the days. I am tired of that sched­ule. I want to shoot ev­ery day too. Rad­hika Apte

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