• Monday, September 26, 2022

Big Interview

The new school spirit

YOUNG TALENT: Radhika Madan

By: Manju Chandran



TALENTED actress Radhika Madan has
effortlessly made the move from television to films and in a short space of time delivered power-packed performances in dramatically different films.

She now follows up winning turns in acclaimed movies Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota and Pataakha with a starring role in Angrezi Medium opposite globally renowned actor Irrfan Khan. The heart-warming drama revolves around an Indian father who will do whatever it takes to raise money for his daughter to study in England and marks the return of Irrfan after his devastating cancer diagnosis.

Radhika plays the daughter in the entertaining comedy-drama, which also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Deepak Dobriyal.

With more interesting projects on the way, the rising star is one to watch and part of an exciting wave of young talent adding a new dimension to Hindi cinema. Eastern Eye caught up with award-winning star Radhika to talk about acting, Angrezi Medium, working with Irrfan and her hopes.

What first connected you to acting?
I think acting chose me. I was spotted on Facebook and called to Mumbai, where I auditioned, and within three days, I was shooting for my (TV) show. I always wanted to travel the world, but I think the universe had other plans and I believe acting chose me.

Is it a coincidence that your films have been so different to each other?
I think the first two films chose me, especially Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota. I went to audition for Laila Majnu and was spotted there for that film. I auditioned for Vishal sir’s (Bhardwaj) Pataakha. These two films laid my foundations well. From being the unconventional heroine to playing this villager, four shades darker, 12 kilos heavier, teeth stained, hair bleached, it just broke all my inhibitions and made me kind of fearless. So after that, I wanted to do something different to what I had done before and wanted to challenge myself.

What led you towards Angrezi Medium?
I auditioned for Angrezi Medium, which was so different to what I had done before, and my next film Shiddat is also unlike my other three films. So what I aim to do is offer my audience different flavours of me. I want to entertain them as much as possible. I don’t want them to guess what I am doing next or put me in a bracket. So this is what I am looking for, and I just want to surprise myself everyday.

How much did it mean to you landing a key role in Angrezi Medium?
It feels like a dream. When I saw the trailer and in the last 10 seconds credits started rolling – Irrfan Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Radhika Madan, Dimple Kapadia, Deepak Dobriyal – I couldn’t stop my tears because I realised I am living my dream. Then the song released and I was seeing snippets of all these people, and I couldn’t believe I am in the same frame as them. Everyday, I am soaked in gratitude and so overwhelmed that I can’t tell you.

Tell us about your character?
So Tarika is this girl from Udaipur who is fascinated by foreign culture and just wants to go abroad to study. That has been her main ambition from the very beginning, and how she does it and how the father supports the daughter’s dream is the story.

How was your experience of working with Irrfan?
He is an institution in himself. Just by observing him, one can learn a lot of things. He is still a student of life, which is so beautiful. I used to observe him all the time. I don’t know which number he is on film wise, but it is like he approaches each film as if it’s his first, which is inspiring. This is the first film release since Irrfan’s cancer diagnosis.

Did the fact he was so unwell affect the dynamic on set?
No, not at all, because he didn’t show us that he was unwell. He was giving his 200 per cent. He was so involved in every scene. There was so much of positivity on set and the credit goes to the whole team, including the producers, director, cast and crew. The love and respect they have shown to Irrfan sir, is commendable. It was so beautiful being on the set where there was so much love and positivity.

Does being in front of the camera with a great actor like Irrfan intimidate or force you to raise your game?
It was the easiest thing for me to do because I just had to react to him. He is so good that I can’t even tell you. He was so effortless. So, I had the easiest job of reacting to him. The good or a bad thing with me is, it doesn’t hit me straight away when I have cracked or bagged something; it hits me after a while. So while I was shooting, it didn’t hit me that I have landed a role among such amazing senior actors, which helped me not get intimidated by them. Then after a while, I saw the trailer and was crying.

What is your favourite moment in Angrezi Medium?
My favourite moment is the climax and the scene in the trailer where I am crying. It is a really beautiful scene between a father and a daughter. These two scenes are my favourite from the film.

Who are you hoping most connects with this film?
Everybody. It’s a story that will connect with everyone because it shows all the dynamics. It doesn’t just show a father-daughter relationship, but also shows a brother relationship or a person who just wants to dream big. It covers everything, so you will feel all the emotions. It will make you think of every relationship that is there in your life. It will make you think about your family and career. It is a very wholesome film.

What can we expect next from you?
I just wound up Shiddat. I play the role of a swimmer in that and it is a love story. That is all I can tell you right now. I can promise you, it is really different from what I have done before.

You seem to me making the right moves, have you made a master plan?
No, not at all. I was this kind of person who had a master plan. I just wanted to go to Broadway and travel the world. And then life happened. They say that life happens to you while you are busy making other plans, and it is so true for me because acting happened to me and all my plans just went down the drain, so I never plan anything now. I just want to have a blast every single day of my life. I want to play characters that make me want to jump out of bed. I love my work and that is what I want to do till the last year of my life.

What would be your dream role?
I think if they adapt Joker here that would be my dream role. And why? It’s Joker, hello, come on!

What inspires you?
I think people around me inspire me like, everybody from my house help and driver to my manager, friends and work colleagues. I just want to learn something or the other from every person and that is what keeps me going.

Why should we watch Angrezi Medium?
Angrezi Medium is a wholesome film. It is gonna touch every emotion and make you think about every aspect of your life. And it is gonna be super duper entertaining. So, please do go and watch it with friends and family.

Angrezi Medium is out now

Eastern Eye

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