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When Radhika Apte called Telugu film industry 'patriarchal', recalled unpleasant incident with 'powerful' male co-star

Updated on: 30 May,2024 10:40 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Amid criticism against Nandamuri Balakrishna for pushing Anjali, an old video of Radhika Apte has surfaced online

When Radhika Apte called Telugu film industry 'patriarchal', recalled unpleasant incident with 'powerful' male co-star

Radhika Apte

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When Radhika Apte called Telugu film industry 'patriarchal', recalled unpleasant incident with 'powerful' male co-star

Telugu superstar Nandamuri Balakrishna is in the center of a social media storm caused by his behaviour towards Telugu cinema actress Anjali. The superstar, at a recent pre-release event for 'Gangs of Godavari', was seen pushing Anjali as they posed together for the media. The behaviour was applauded and cheered by the audience.  Anjali was not seemingly offended and opted to laugh off the matter. However, netizens were offended by this behaviour from an actor of Balakrishna's stature on a public platform. 

Amid criticism against Balayya, netizens also dug up an old video interview of Radhika Apte where she spoke about her unpleasant experience working in the industry. Apte, who primarily works in Hindi films, has occasionally worked in regional films as well. In an old interview with Rajeev Masand, describing her experience working in the Telugu film industry, the actress said, "The industry I struggled the most with is Telugu. That is one industry that is so patriarchal, male dominant and sort of male chauvinistic, that it is unbearable. The way women are treated and even their part in the films is like ‘My man is god.’”

Apte added, “ They (film team) don’t even ask the actors anything, because they are not in the mood and all. I constantly struggled and that is why I put an end to it.”

Apte has worked with Nandamuri Balakrishna in the Telugu films 'Legend' and 'Lion'. Apart from that she also starred in 'Dhoni' and 'RaktCharitra which were shot as bilingual in Hindi and Telugu. 

In an interview with Neha Dhupia, Radhika spoke about a particular unpleasant incident on the sets of a Telugu film. While the actress did not drop names, netizens felt she was referring to Balayya. “It was my first day on the sets of a Telugu film. I was lying down, because I was unwell. This male actor walked in. I did not even know him, and he started tickling my feet. I was told he is powerful,” she recalled. She added, “But I got up and I snapped at him in front of everybody. And I looked at him and said, 'Don’t ever, ever do that to me'. He looked ate me, because he didn’t expect that. But he never touched me again!”.

Radhika further said that she does not want to generalise the industry and went on to call Rajinikanth the "nicest and the most wonderful human being" she has worked with. She also said she had a good experience working with Prakash Raj. 


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