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Radhika Madan Says She Left TV When She Was ‘At The Top,’ Reveals ‘It Was A Badass…’

Radhika Madan made her Bollywood debut with Vishal Bhardwaj’s film Patakhaa.

Bollywood actress Radhika Madan talks about how television gave her a cushioned life in a new city like Mumbai.

Radhika Madan started her acting career with the television show, Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi, in 2014. Her portrayal of Ishaani in the show based on the iconic British novel, Wuthering Heights, propelled her to instant fame and won her multiple awards. A year later, she participated in the celebrity dance reality show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 8. But soon, Radhika quit the television industry to carve a niche for herself in Bollywood.

But in a recent interview a while back, Radhika’s comments on the gruelling hours and the lack of innovation on television sparked off quite a controversy. The Shiddat (2021) and Kuttey (2023) actor revealed that she worked for as long as 48-50 hours for Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi and alleged that the show’s directors would frequently change the script. Following her statement, she was called out by the television fraternity including actor Sayantani Ghosh and producer Ekta Kapoor for looking down on the medium that gave a push to her career.

And now, in an exclusive chat with News18, Radhika talks about how television gave her a cushioned life in a new city like Mumbai. “I’m from Delhi. I didn’t know acting. I learnt it on the job. Living in Bombay and figuring stuff out was very difficult. But my show did pretty well and I left television when I was at the top. While I was doing television, I was leading a comfortable life. I knew that I was working hard and the money for the rent was also coming in. I had a sense of comfort that I’ll be able to build a good life for myself,” she says.

So, the transition from television to films required her to step out of her comfort zone. Radhika, however, remained confident. “Transitioning from television to movies was pretty tough for me. I left all of that and started from the scratch [when I joined the movies]. But I loved auditioning. I’m a student of life and I carried on. I had dreams and I wanted to fulfil them. So, yes, making that transition, I think, was a pretty badass move on my part,” she states.

In 2018, the 28-year-old marked her big screen debut with filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj’s Patakhaa. Over the years, she has been hailed for her choice that gravitated towards women-led narratives, which has labelled her as a strong woman even when the camera stops rolling. Talking about it, Radhika says, “I don’t like the thought that women need to be cared for and shielded by men. The mind-set that they need to provide for us because we can’t is really dated. We’re independent enough to provide for ourselves and we don’t need to depend on a man to lead a decent life.”

Her second film that released was filmmaker Vasan Bala’s quirky action-drama, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (2019), which saw her performing some high-octane martial arts based stunts. It won her wide acclaim and accolades. Interestingly, her next release, Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo, will mark her return to action. “In one scene, Homi (Adajania; director) told me to slide down a conveyance belt holding a gun. I was equally excited about doing it because I love action. But mid-way, I got stuck on something and I almost flew and to save myself, I hung onto something. That wounded my right leg. I still have that scar. Having said that, if there’s a season two, I’m ready to do action in all the episodes,” she shares. Hoping to see more women-centric actioners being made in the future, Radhika remarks, “It depends on the writers, the directors and the producers putting in their money. Hopefully, shows and films like this will bring about a change.”

Saas Bahu aur Flamingo also stars Dimple Kapadia, Angira Dhar and Isha Talwar, and is helmed by Homi, who also directed Radhika in Angrezi Medium (2020). The web series is slated to release on May 5 on Disney+ Hotstar. ​

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