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Pataakha Actress Radhika Madan: Rehearsed for Audition at Goa Airport

By: Sneha Bengani


Last Updated: September 27, 2018, 11:23 IST

Pataakha Actress Radhika Madan: Rehearsed for Audition at Goa Airport

Radhika Madan talks about everything she had to do — from making cow-dung cakes, bathing buffalos to gaining weight and smoking beedis — to become Pataakha’s livewire Badki.

Acting happened to her perchance. Despite it, at 23, Radhika Madan has already starred in a hit television show, Ekta Kapoor's Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi, and two upcoming films.
As Pataakha gears up for release this Friday, she talks about the film, its director Vishal Bhardwaj and playing the elder sibling to Dangal star Sanya Malhotra.

Did you always want to be an actor?
Never. It’s fate for me. I wanted to pursue dancing professionally but someone saw me on Facebook and called me. Initially I was suspicious about the whole thing but it turned out to be an actual audition. I was good at copying people. So I somehow got selected and did the show. I learnt acting at work.

How did Pataakha happen?
I found out about the audition in December, 2017 while I was shooting for Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (her upcoming film). I went, auditioned. They told me they’d get back in May.
But in February-end, when I was in Goa to celebrate Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’s wrapping up, I suddenly got a call informing me that the audition was the next day. They gave me four scenes and told me that Vishal Sir was going to finalise the girl in two-three days. I rehearsed the scenes in rural dialect sitting at the Goa airport. People around me thought I was either high or nuts.

How was it working with Vishal Bhardwaj?
He is such a sweet, easy director to work with. He is remarkably open to suggestions and gave us a lot of freedom to do whatever we wanted.

Did you ever feel the pressure of being in a Vishal Bhardwaj film?
I didn’t make myself realise it till the very last day because I perform really bad when I give more importance to people’s status than their roles. For him, I was his student. For me, he was my director.

What all did you do to become Pataakha’s Badki?
We had a lot of workshops and readings with Vishal Sir, Atul Mongia and Charan Singh ji, who has written the novella (Do Behnein) on which the film is based.
We stayed at Charan Singh ji’s house in Ronsi (three hours away from Jaipur) for five-six days. We did all the household chores — everything from fetching water, making cow-dung cakes to working the chulha, bathing buffalos and milking them. All of that with makeup and costumes really helped.

Your on-screen chemistry with Sanya Malhotra is explosive. Was it as much fun behind the scenes?
She is one of the closest people in my life right now. From the very first day, I was in love with her. I loved her work in Dangal and was so excited that she was working on this project. She initially felt differently but after the workshops, we really clicked.

View this post on Instagram

बहना.❤ @sanyamalhotra_

A post shared by Radhika Madan (@radhikamadan) on

You are younger to her in real life but you play her elder sister in the film?
Yes, everyone was super confused about this at the beginning but when we met each other, we realised that I couldn’t see her as my elder sister, she is so sweet and such an introvert. Thankfully, Sanya and Vishal Sir also felt the same way.

You and Sanya gained 10 kgs to look like your characters?
Yes. We also had to invent a lot of our characters’ backstories to get their psyche right. Not everything was written in the script. The readings and workshops really helped in it.
Also, I am the youngest in my family. So for me to play the elder sibling was very challenging. I remember going back home and making a list of things that my elder brother did to me. I used to watch siblings closely to better understand their equation.
Moreover, I had never smoked a cigarette in my entire life but I had to do it for this film. So I started off with herbal cigarettes and then gradually shifted to smoking bidis like a pro.

Are there any commonalities between you and Badki?
Lots of them. The way she hits her sister, I have used all those moves with my brother. Then her will to chase her dream, to never let it go.

Why are the two sisters always fighting?
There is no reason behind it. In Vishal Sir’s words, the reason is ‘Bhains ko moot’, which
means nothing.

Pataakha releases on September 28.

first published:September 27, 2018, 10:04 IST
last updated:September 27, 2018, 11:23 IST