Radhika Madan made her Bollywood debut with Vishal Bhardwaj’s film Patakhaa.
Bollywood actress Radhika Madan talks about how television gave her a comfortable life in a new city like Mumbai.
Radhika Madan began her acting career with the TV show Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi in 2014. Her portrayal of Ishaani on the show based on the iconic British novel, Wuthering Heights, catapulted her to instant fame and won him many awards. A year later, she took part in the celebrity dance reality show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 8. But soon, Radhika left the TV industry to carve out a place for herself in Bollywood.
But in a recent interview some time ago, Radhika’s comments about the grueling hours and lack of innovation on television sparked quite the controversy. The Shiddat (2021) and Kuttey (2023) actress revealed that she worked 48-50 hours for Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi and alleged that the show’s makers changed the script frequently. Following her statement, she was called out by the television fraternity, including actor Sayantani Ghosh and producer Ekta Kapoor, for scorning the medium that gave her career a boost.
And now, in an exclusive chat with News18, Radhika explains how television has given her a comfortable life in a new city like Mumbai. “I come from Delhi. I didn’t know how to play. I learned it on the job. Living in Bombay and understanding things was very difficult. But my show did pretty well and I quit TV when I was on top. While doing television, I led a comfortable life. I knew I was working hard and the money for the rent was coming in too. I felt like I could build myself a good life,” she says.
Thus, the transition from television to cinema forced her to step out of her comfort zone. Radhika, however, remained confident. “The transition from television to cinema was quite difficult for me. I left all that and started from scratch. [when I joined the movies]. But I loved auditioning. I am a student of life and I have continued. I had dreams and I wanted to make them come true. So, yeah, making that transition, I think, was a pretty tough move on my part,” she says.
In 2018, the 28-year-old made her big screen debut with filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj’s Patakhaa. Over the years, she’s been hailed for her focus on female-led storytelling, which has branded her a strong woman even when the camera stops rolling. Speaking of this, Radhika says, “I don’t like the idea that women have to be cared for and protected by men. The mindset they have to provide us with because we can’t is really dated. We are independent enough to support ourselves and we don’t need to depend on a man to lead a decent life.
Her second released film was filmmaker Vasan Bala’s quirky action drama Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (2019), which saw her perform stunts based on high-octane martial arts. It earned him wide acclaim and accolades. Interestingly, his next release, Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo, will mark his return to action. “In one scene, Homi (Adajania; director) told me to slide on a treadmill holding a gun. I was also excited to do it because I like action. But halfway through I got stuck on something and almost flew and to save myself I grabbed onto something. It hurt my right leg. I still have that scar. That said, if there’s a season two, I’m ready to do action in all episodes,” she shares. Hoping to see more female-centric actors in the future, Radhika remarks, “It depends on the writers, directors, and producers putting their money in. Hopefully, shows and movies like this bring about a change.
Saas Bahu aur Flamingo also stars Dimple Kapadia, Angira Dhar and Isha Talwar, and is directed by Homi, who also directed Radhika in Angrezi Medium (2020). The web series is set to premiere on May 5 on Disney+ Hotstar.
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