Turn the pages of history in Bollywood and you would clearly be able to note the difference; actresses of the current era are no more just arm candies or glamour quotients for the movie—they contribute substantially, giving substance and weightage to their roles and the movie. While there is no denying the fact that some actress are still roped in just to add a bling, there are many who are outstandingly brilliant and outdo male actors with their talent. One such actress is Radhika Apte. A quintessential performer, Radhika has gained much limelight in little time with her stellar performances and brilliant on-screen portrayals. She has made an indelible mark on both theatre and regional and Hindi film industry with her talent. A Fergusson college graduate in Economics and Mathematics, Radhika Apte finds solace and comfort in acting. Super hit flicks, critical acclaim, popular demand, have all come Apte’s way who has been dubbed as a ‘revelation’ of Indian cinema.
Radhika Apte is the daughter of Pune’s leading neurosurgeon and chairman of Sahyadri Hospital, Dr Charudutt Apte. She was born on September 7, 1985 in Pune, Maharashtra. Radhika Apte graduated in Economics and Mathematics from Pune’s Fergusson College. During her educational years, she trained herself in the classical dance form, Kathak under the tutelage of Kathak exponent Rohini Bhatte. After completing her studies, she moved to London, where she studied contemporary dance at London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance for a year.
An acting enthusiast, it was only natural for Radhika Apte to follow her passion post her studies. Consequently, she soon made her way to Marathi theatre. During her early years in acting, Apte associated herself with Mohit Takalkar’s theatre group, ‘Aasakta Kalamanch’, an association that lasts till date. She performed in several plays including ‘Tu’, ‘Purnaviram’, ‘Matra Ratra’ and Samuel Beckett’s ‘That Time with Rehan Engineer’. She also performed a commercial Hindi play ‘Kanyadaan’ and an English play named ‘Bombay Black’. Apte considers theatre as her second home and finds performing on stage as her true calling.
Big Screen Extravaganza!
Did you know that Radhika Apte’s first outing in the big screen was ‘just for fun’? Yes, as weird as it may seem to be, Apte’s debut in the Shahid Kapoor-Amrita Rao starrer ‘Vaah! Life Ho To Aisi’ was not a planned debut. She said yes for the movie casually while still in college. Following her debut film, Apte was recommended by actor Rahul Bose to director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhary for the latter’s Bengali film, ‘Antaheen’ starring alongside veterans Sharmila Tagore, Aparna Sen and Rahul Bose. Rahul had seen her excellence on stage in Anahita Oberoi’s play ‘Bombay Black’ and was impressed by her acting talent. In ‘Antaheen’, Apte brilliantly capped the role of Brinda Roy Menon, a TV journalist. Critics called her a ‘revelation’ of the big screen.
The stunning success of her Bengali film venture made Apte a natural choice for Marathi films, after all the language being her mother tongue. Her first Marathi film release happened in 2009 for KBC productions’ ‘Gho Mala Asla Hava’. In the film, she donned the character of Savitri, a village girl. Following this, she starred in a couple of films including Hindi docufiction ‘Mor Dekhne Jungle Mein’, Jatin Wagle’s ‘Ek Marathi Manoos’, Akash Khurana’s ‘Life Online’ and Amol Palekar’s Marathi film ‘Samaantar’. In 2010, she was seen in Maneej Premnath’s thriller ‘The Waiting Room’ and later appeared in a significant role in Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Rakta Charitra’ and its sequel.
Year 2011 was big year for Apte in terms of career breakthrough. She appeared in the anthology, ‘I Am’ and later in the Balaji Films Production, ‘Shor in the City’. Following year, she did the Marathi film, ‘Ha Bharat Majha’ which was screened at various film festivals. She wrapped 2012 with yet another Marathi flick, ‘Tukaram’ and her maiden Tamil movie, ‘Dhoni’, in which she gave a stellar performance in her supporting actor character. Year 2013 took her success story forward with the Bengali film, ‘Rupkatha Noy’.
Versatile and talented Apte opened 2014 in style, ruling the big screen in four different languages covering four different film industries – Marathi, Bengali, Telegu and Tamil with the films, ‘Postcard’, ‘Pendulum’, ‘Legend’ and ‘Vetri Selvan’ respectively. Interestingly, each of her characters in the four films was stark opposite from the other yet had Apte play her role convincingly. She finished the year with yet another Marathi film, ‘Lai Bhaari’ that broke opening weekend box office record and went on to become the highest grossing Marathi film of all time.
By 2015, Apte’s innate talent and distinctive charisma became the talk of tinsel town. Her success story was covered by all leading publishing houses. As much as she detested the stardom that came her way, media couldn’t help but go gaga over this strikingly charming beauty, dubbing her as the ‘latest sensation of Bollywood’, Bollywood’s new ‘go-to girl’ and the ‘new constant in Indian cinema’. She had everything going for her – hit films, critical acclaims, conventional and unconventional cinema and was practically omnipresent in all major film industries of the country – Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, Telegu and Malayalam. Just about, everything that Apte touched turned gold for her.
2015 was a busy year for Apte with six releases. Though she wasn’t in lead roles in all, even her minimal on-screen appearance stood out beautifully, garnering much attention and critical acclaim. She started the year on a roll with Sriram Raghavan’s ‘Badlapur’. Despite appearing only briefly in the latter half, the conviction and realism that she brought into her act and character was nothing less than extraordinary and won hearts of the audience and critics alike. Later, she had her maiden Malyalam release ‘Haram’ and a Telegu film, ‘Lion’ post which she was seen in the Bollywood sex comedy ‘Hunterrr’. Her excellent portrayal of her character won her a grand entry into mainstream Bollywood.
The commercial and critical success of her two Hindi films were followed by two more Hindi movies, Ketan Mehta’s critically acclaimed biographical film ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’ which had Apte play the character of Falguni Devi, wife of Dashrath Manjhi and the film ‘Kaun Kitne Paani Mein’. The latter had her cap the role of an agriculture graduate. It was a satire highlighting the problem of water scarcity. Additionally, she did two short films, a Bengali film, ‘Ahalya’ and an English film, ‘The Calling’.
As of September 2016, Apte got the box office rolling with the super duper hit Tamil gangster-drama ‘Kabali’, starring the God of South Indian Cinema, Rajinikanth. She capped the role of his wife in the film. Generally, a Rajnikanth film is an out-and-out Rajnikanth blockbuster with audience only eyeing him in the whole film, given his immaculate stature and charisma. However, Apte managed to make her own space and received favourable response in both the popular and parallel cinema. Other films that she has starred in include two Hindi flicks, ‘Phobia’ and ‘Parched’. While in the former, she is a patient of agoraphobia, in the latter, she is a victim of male patriarchy. As Lajjo in ‘Parched’, Apte is confident, endearing and strong. Pre-release, the movie was hyped for Apte’s nude scene, which turned out to be the most gracefully projected scenes of the current era. She definitely was in the skin of the character. And with ‘Parched’ one can safely say, Apte is definitely the actor that the industry needs today.
Among her upcoming films are two Bollywood flicks ‘The Field’ which serves as the debut of Rohit Karn Batra, ‘Bombairiya’, an Indo-British production and a Tamil film, ‘Ula’. Additionally, she is filming for Hindi movies ‘Bhavesh Joshi’ and ‘The Ashram’.
Radhika Apte is happily married. Yes, the stunningly gorgeous actor found love in British avant-garde musician Benedict Taylor while on a sabbatical in London where she was training in contemporary dance. The two hit it off extremely well and eventually settled down to tie the nuptials in 2012. An official ceremony was held in March 2013.
Despite her brilliant on-screen portrayals and a series of hit films, Radhika Apte’s name has been mired following a string of controversies lately. Be it her nude out-of-shower pic or her lovemaking to Adil Hussain, her co-star from ‘Parched’, controversies have found their way to Radhika Apte more than often now.
- First, there were some leaked nude images of a woman who looked like Radhika Apte on the internet. Though she slammed the woman as her look-alike stating ‘she needs to look a lot more like me to pass off as a naked me’, we cannot help but think why Apte was cornered. Some have even suggested it as a publicity gimmick by the actress herself!
- The nude pic scandal had not even subsided that a leaked video featuring Radhika Apte undressing herself and exposing her private parts started doing the rounds. Later, it was revealed that the short clip was a part of a film for Anurag Kashyap.
- Probably the nude pic and undressing scene wasn’t enough as Radhika Apte found herself subject of yet another video which had her making love to Adil Hussain. Later it was found that the intimate scene was from her next film ‘Parched’. Wonder how such controversial clips and videos find Radhika as their subject?
- Apte got into controversy following her bold comment wherein she blatantly slammed the Telugu film industry for being ‘patriarchal’ and ‘male chauvinist’. She stated that actresses were not treated well in the Telegu film industry and thus, does not wish to make any more Telegu films in future.