Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar

Radhika Apte is different. Her roles, looks, and how she puts her point across – all of that is a testament to that. But it’s this uniqueness which makes her shine, setting her apart from the rest. While she’s travelling for a promotional campaign as a part of Asian Paints, we have a quick phone conversation with her about how this year has been for her so far, with three different kind of releases!

“My dream is to do the films that I like”

‘Kabaali’, ‘Phobia’ and ‘Parched’ – you had three distinctive films this year. You must be happy!
I think both the years – last year and this year, have been really good. ‘Kabaali’ got incredible box-office success. Making about Rs. 600 crores is ridiculous. The part in it was also really different. It had a cultural aspect and history attached to the story. I also had to play a range when it came to age, and it was a great experience to work with Rajini sir. ‘Phobia’ is very close to my heart because I was in the process of it, right from the beginning. I knew every step of the film, and it was hard to shoot it because it didn’t have a lot of money invested. It was a very small film and it got such amazing critical appreciation though it didn’t do that well on the box-office. But the reviews were really good. People who saw it, loved it. Same goes for ‘Parched’ – it had a different kind of success. It was so successful all over the world. It went to so many festivals, so many countries. In Spain, France and all, it was running for weeks and apparently, it broke some records, in comparison with big Hollywood films. The funny part is, for an Asian Paints campaign, I’ve been travelling to small parts like Nagpur, Kolhapur, Wardha and I expected people to say something about ‘Kabaali’ but rather, they speak about ‘Parched’. Some people have seen it while some know about it. I feel that despite being such a small film, if it’s had this sort of reach, then it’s really something. The year hasn’t finished yet so I hope some more magic happens (smiles).

Does that mean there’s a shift in the mindset of the audience, when they’re aware about a film like ‘Parched’?
The shift has been happening since a long time, but I still find it very slow. I feel we have a long way to go, so I hope there are more opportunities for people to do different kind of cinema.

You mean, the situation still looks tricky?
Film business is one of the most risky businesses. You can make a really wonderful film and sometimes it just doesn’t work. And sometimes, absolutely atrocious films make a lot of money. It’s really got to do with what is going to sell at that point of time. It’s a really risky business but at the end of the day, I believe, you have to make an attempt to make a good film. The less you compromise, and the more honest you are, it works. Honesty is very important in any kind of art. The more honest you are, it’s better for the film for the longer run. For example, a film like ‘Andaaz Apna Apna’ which tanked at the box-office at that time, is now a cult. So, whether you are making a commercial film or an off-beat, you need to do it with belief and honesty.

“It’s a really risky business but, I believe, you have to make an attempt to make a good film. The less you compromise, and the more honest you are, it works. Honesty is very important in any kind of art”

But does the success of ‘Kabaali’ or critical appreciation for ‘Badlapur’ or ‘Parched’ further give you confidence?
Appreciation or criticism, basically just people taking notice of your work gives you more confidence. It gives you a big boost but my growth has just started. I’m really greedy for good work and that’s the only reason why I’m here.

Are you now being able to choose the work that you like for yourself?
You do not always choose work that you like, sometimes you choose work, that you know will give you a bit of commercial viability in order to do the work that you like; which people will then go watch. So many things come into picture when you choose to do a film. But my dream is to do the films that I like.

Which is that film or role which has given you utmost satisfaction?
Many have given me a lot of satisfaction. ‘Parched’ gave me a lot of satisfaction. ‘Madly’ with Anurag was quite satisfying in a way. Satisfaction is very subjective. When you are performing on set, you feel satisfied but when you see it on-screen you feel you could have done this and that, it’s an endless process. But I got a lot of joy while doing these films.

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