Radhika Apte all set to turn director with Sleepwalkers

Updated: 09 November, 2019 07:42 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

The sensational Radhika Apte, who has impressed one and all with her exemplary performances, is now donning the hat of the director with Sleepwalkers

Picture Courtesy: PR
Picture Courtesy: PR

Radhika Apte has become the forerunner in entertainment for various reasons; one of the major ones being that she is one of the most prominent actresses not only in mainstream movies but also on the OTT platforms. The actress is making path-breaking moves as she is now venturing into direction now.

The actress is marking her first directorial venture with the short film Sleepwalkers. This also marks her being the first mainstream actress from Bollywood to venture into the unexplored space of short films. The movie will have a thirty-minute duration and will be Radhika's first time in the directors' seat.

Radhika has become the face of OTT for all the masses. Her unique and bold choices bear the results in the form of getting nominated for Emmy after her films Andhadhun and Padman won national awards.

In the international space, the actress will be seen in a role where she will be essaying the role of a Spy. Based on real incidents from World War II, this film will see the Andhadhun star playing the role of Noor Inayat Khan aka Nora Baker who was the first female wireless operator to parachute into Nazi-occupied France to help the French resistance.

Radhika Apte will be next seen in the film Raat Akeli Hai alongside Nawazuddin Siddiqui for which the actress has already finished the first schedule shoot in Lucknow. Fans can't wait to see what she has to offer with these new exciting projects and roles.

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    Born on September 7, 1984, Radhika Apte grew up in Pune, Maharashtra. She is an Economics and Mathematics graduate from one of the famous colleges in the country - Fergusson College, Pune. Radhika, who is credited for breaking the stereotypical image of the Bollywood heroine, always wanted to become an actor. (All photos/Radhika Apte's official Instagram account)

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    After completing her college studies, Radhika moved to Mumbai to seek work as an actor. However, with no ties to the film industry, she worked in a small theatre company and auditioned for films. She said in an interview, that she couldn't cope with the pressure and not knowing where to go for work and eventually left for London for further studies.

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    Talking about how difficult it is to make a name in Bollywood, the actress said: "I think it's difficult for both the insider and the outsider to be successful. Success is not just about being born into a family. It is a complicated answer. I don't think it's easy to answer that."

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    Radhika Apte ventured into Bollywood in 2005 with Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi! and since then has explored genres like thriller, drama and adult comedy with films like Rakht Charitra, Shor in the City, Badlapur, Parched, Hunterrr, Padman, Lust Stories and AndhaDhun.

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    Starting her acting career with theatre, Radhika Apte has acted not only in Bollywood films but also in various regional language films ranging from those in Marathi, Bengali and Tamil to Telugu and Malayalam.

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    Radhika Apte has been appreciated by critics and audience for some of her fine performances in films such as Phobia, Manjhi - The Mountain Man and Ghoul.

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    Radhika Apte often portrays bold roles on screen, but her off-screen persona is just as sassy. Radhika has worked with directors - namely Sriram Raghavan, Prakash Raj, R Balki, Leena Yadav and Anurag Kashyap - whose world of cinema is sometimes polls apart.

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    In 2018, Radhika Apte starred in as good as four out-and-out Bollywood films - Padman, Lust Stories (Netflix web-film), AndhaDhun and Bazaar.

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    Lust Stories - Radhika's first outing on Netflix received rave reviews from the audience. Soon after the release of Lust Stories, Radhika came back with yet another OTT project titled Sacred Games. Within a week of its release, the actress garnered praises for her performance in the series. Her performance in her third Netflix outing Ghoul, India's first horror mini-series, was also lauded.

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    Off-screen, the actress is just like you and me. Radhika Apte, whose house is a reflection of her personality and a realisation of her husband Benedict Taylor's vision, said her memories are very dear to her. For the unversed, Radhika Apte got married in 2012 to British avant-garde violist, violinist and composer Benedict Taylor.

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    "My home is a realisation of my husband's vision for what our space would look like as well as a reflection of me through various elements. My memories mean a lot to me and I hold them close to my heart," Radhika said when she gave a sneak peek into her house to her fans through season two of Where The Heart Is, a web series.

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    As a person, Radhika Apte is quite upfront when it comes to conveying her opinions. While sexual abuse had been a topic of debate in Bollywood and Hollywood, prominent names from the entertainment industry were discussing how men in power take advantage of women in exchange for taking forward their dreams. Radhika begged to differ.

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    Radhika Apte felt that sexual abuse does not only exist in the world of showbiz but takes place in every alternate household. "Sexual abuse takes place in every alternate household. So it's not a part of just the film industry. You have so much child abuse, domestic abuse everywhere in the world, including India," Radhika told.

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    Radhika asserted that this needs to change. "I think it starts from us putting our foot down and saying 'no' to things, however big your ambition is. You need to be brave about it, believe in your own talent, say 'no' and start speaking up because if one person speaks up, nobody is going to listen to him or her. But if 10 people do, then others would (listen to them)," she said.

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    When quizzed about her reaction on what if she wakes up one morning as Shah Rukh Khan, Radhika Apte says, "I'll experiment a lot more with films because I think Shah Rukh is an amazingly versatile actor and that's exactly how he started his career. He experimented across different genres and that's what I'll do if I ever woke up as him."

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    Radhika Apte is emerging to be the digital favourite actress with multiple projects in her kitty, the actress feels the digital space is liberating, however, given that, the medium is never the criteria for her choice of projects.

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    Radhika Apte was one of the first Bollywood actresses to have set foot in the digital space and create rage.

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    Radhika Apte who has her feet firm in not just Bollywood, but also regional film industries has spread her wings across the digital medium as well. After making a mark with the short film Ahalya, Radhika has also worked in short films such as Kriti, The Calling, and Stories By Rabindranath Tagore.

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    Radhika Apte is well known to treat the audience with content-driven films which connect well with the masses.

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    Talking about working in projects aimed at the digital space, Radhika Apte says, "Working on films and the digital space is more or less the same, but the digital medium definitely has more freedom. There is no censorship, so it's very liberating to do what you want and not worry about anything. But having said that, the medium will never be criteria when I'm choosing a project."

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    Radhika Apte, who has often been under the scanner for her 'bold' approach in her films, says anything remotely associated with human body can turn out to be a problem in India -- a country that is 'very ashamed of sexuality and physicality'.

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    Sex and sexuality are not the only veiled topics of discussion in the country. Menstruation also finds a spot on the list, and Radhika hence chose to be part of Padman - which tells a true story of a man's journey to make affordable sanitary napkins.

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    "I think our country is very ashamed of sexuality, physicality, or human body. Anything to do with human body or sexuality is a problem here," Radhika Apte said.

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    Despite the critical acclaim coming her way aplenty, Radhika Apte has often been in news for being 'bold' in her films - be it an intimate scene with co-star Adil Hussain in 'Parched' being leaked online, or a clip of a semi-nude Radhika from an Anurag Kashyap-directed short film making its way on to the web.

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    Radhika Apte has never tried to sweep the matter under the rug, and believes in talking about it instead of opting for silence.

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    "Yes, there is a whole thing of generations of being awkward about things, but if you start taking a decision like 'Okay, I am not going to feel like that', it will make a difference," Radhika Apte said.

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    Radhika Apte said a natural process like menstruation should be spoken about. "It should not feel awkward touching the pad in front of people. These are small things with which people have issues," said the actress.

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    According to Radhika Apte, it is not only men who have issues talking about it.

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    "Women also have issues about it. It is all a part of society and upbringing, and it is high time we changed it," Radhika Apte said.

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    Radhika Apte is one actress, who won't take anything with a pinch of salt, be it getting trolled online, criticism or anything. She is daring enough to give it back with pride and the beautiful actress revealed one such incident, wherein, a Tamil co-actor misbehaved with her.

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    While chatting with Neha Dhupia on Colors Infinity's BFFs with Vogue, she opened up on a rather horrendous incident she faced while shooting for a Tamil film. She said, "It was my first day at the shoot and a famous actor down south came on the set and started to tickle my feet."

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    Revealing further about the incident, she also stated that she was stunned as they had never met before, her instinct reaction was to slap him! She is a no-nonsense girl and won't think twice to put you in the right place if you mess with her.

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    Radhika, like any other celebrity, was also trolled for uploading a picture of hers in a bikini at the beach on Instagram. To which, she said, "Do they expect me to wear a saree on the beach?"

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    Radhika Apte has come a long way! Her journey and she as a person is nothing but an inspiration to many. Keep rocking girl! More power to you!

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    Here's wishing a very happy birthday to Radhika Apte!

First Published: 09 November, 2019 07:30 IST

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