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'I have grown up watching DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,' quips Radhika Madan adding that she loves romantic films. But when it comes to her big screen moves, the actress goes a little hatke.
Radhika who shot to fame as Ishaani in Colors' popular soap, 'Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi', is all set to sashay into Bollywood with Vishal Bhardwaj's Pataakha which releases this week.
In an exclusive tête-à-tête with Filmibeat, Radhika gets candid about making her big screen debut, perception about TV actors, why she admires Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt and much more.
Over to the 'Pataakha' girl-
How did Pataakha happen to you?
I was shooting for Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota. In December, I got a call from the casting team saying, 'This is the script, come and meet us.' So, I just went for it and auditioned. They were like, " Something is very interesting about you and we'll get in touch with you in May." So, I wrapped up Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota Hain and went to Goa to celebrate. On the second day, the casting team got in touch with me saying Vishal Sir wanted to meet me. I was given four scenes and told that they're locking the cast in two day. I ended up rehearsing my scenes at the airport. People were actually making videos of it. They thought I had done something bizarre in Goa. But, I didn't care because I had to make myself used to the dialect. From there, I landed straight to this office, gave the audition and that's how I cracked it.
Radhika, you started your career as a dance instructor. After that acting happened to you with Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi because the makers wanted to cast someone who looked rich. Did you always aspired to be an actress or it had to do something with destiny?
I always wanted to star. I used to give autographs from the age of seven. I still remember back then, I used to autograph the last pages of my friends' notebooks and tell them that later they might have to queue up for the same (laughs). My show Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi was quite popular. One of my school friends sent me a picture of a back of his notebook with my autograph on it on Whatsapp saying, Thank God, he got it before.' At that time, I got so emotional. Acting was never a planned move for me. It was always destiny for me.
There is a certain perception about TV actors in the industry. People assume that they are just used to loud acting. Do you believe that's true?
Whenever I was doing television, I was always told that TV actors never make it to the movies and there is a preconceived notion about them. And I told them at that time, "No, look at actors like Sushant Singh Rajput and Shahrukh Khan." I never believed in those perceptions. At the end of the day, acting is acting. I doesn't matter where you come from. Thankfully, right now we are in an era where audience just wants to see acting; they don't care whether you come from theatre or TV.
People never looked down upon me when I worked on the small screen. The tag 'TV actor' might exist in their minds. But if in my heart, I am clear about what I am doing, then it doesn't matter. I feel the barriers are all in your head. For me, if I am a good actor, I am going to get it and if a bad one, then I won't get it.
People must have had a certain perception about you on the basis of your TV show. On the other hand, your character in Pataakha is miles away from it. Are you jittery about how they will react to your role?
I am not at all jittery. Instead, I am so excited. After our trailer was launched, I attended a movie party with my co-star Sanya Malhotra. She was introducing me to people there who were congratulating her and sort of side-lining me. By the time, the fourth person went way, I was pretty offended. Then someone told Sanya, 'Oh God! That new girl is so good. It doesn't feel like it's her first film.' When they came to know it was me, they looked at me for about five seconds and were like, "Noo, you can't be that girl'. They failed to recognize me as Badki. That was the biggest compliment that I ever received. (laughs)
Like you mentioned, you used to watch a lot of romantic films during your growing years, did you ever thought of making your debut with an out-and-out commercial film where she get to play the quintessential heroine?
I was always told that I have a commercial face and was told that I should take up commercial films. But these things just happened to me. I didn't chose it. Instead, it chose me. I had gone to audition for a commercial film but ended up bagging Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota. I am just thankful for it because it has changed me as a person. As an actor, I feel I want to do so much now.
Vasan Bala and Vishal Bhardwaj are two of the brightest talents in our country. How different is their approach towards films?
In a way, they are very similar. They are both are very open and easy to work with. They give you the kind of freedom and are open to suggestions. It's ironical but they are pretty similar in their approach towards films.
Do you have any inhibitions as an actor?
Nothing. As an actor, I feel you should do everything onscreen. You should translate into a different person altogether.
So, do you have a wishlist when it comes to actors?
I want to work with Ranveer Singh, for sure. No doubt about it.
Any celebrities whom you look upto in the industry
Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt. They are so good and inspiring. Radhika Apte is so good. Vicky Kaushal is such a nice actor.
Last but not the least, how do you see your career taking off post Pataakha?
I am just waiting for something to excite me. After doing two unconventional films, I don't have it in my head that now, I should do a commercial film. I am happy with what I am doing (laughs). I just want to act.