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Exclusive! Radhika Apte: Monica, O My Darling is an exception, it is genderless and does not victimise women

Widely known as the 'sweetheart of OTT', seasoned star Radhika Apte always speaks her mind. And, in this exclusive chat with OTTplay, she talks about power trip in people, chauvinism in noir genre, and why she enjoys being pop culture's favourite child but doesn't really take it upon herself to overdeliver. 

Exclusive! Radhika Apte: Monica, O My Darling is an exception, it is genderless and does not victimise women
Radhika Apte
  • Pallabi Dey Purkayastha

Last Updated: 07.57 PM, Nov 11, 2022


Global fan appreciation, meme fest, pop culture icon ... but Radhika Apte chooses to stay laser focussed only on her work. "I always expect myself to give my 100 percent. That's it," she tells OTTplay during an exclusive chat in New Delhi. The actress, who was last seen as another cop in Forensic (Zee5) earlier this year, says no two cops are the same and that she only looks at the role of a police officer as a character. 

During the course of our interview, Radhika also lauds Vasan Bala (director) for not dragging women down in his latest release or victimising them. With her role as ACP Naidu in Monica, O My Darling, however, she feels there's an element of hunger for power. 

Excerpts from our conversation with the star: 

So I watched the movie at the private screening in delhi and thought it was lovely, and all things fun and quirky. So what prompted you to take say yes to the script?

RA: I think I will speak on behalf of everybody (referring to her co-stars Rajkummar rao and Huma Qureshi) because they have done this before. But I think everything came together for all of us, the director, the script, the producers, co actors, John, everything, everything story, basically, we all love the script. We all love our characters, and we love each other. So yeah, Yeah. Love, love, love.

This is a second time you're playing a club this year. So, how different is ACP Naidu and SI Sharma (in Forensic, web show) because she's very fun and quirky and what not. So basically, while while preparing for the role, did you derive inspiration from any real life person cop like a cop or maybe some film star, some actor that you had in mind while preparing for this role? Because she's very interesting and very off, right?

RA: Yeah. Only you guys have noticed that (laughs!) No, two police officers are same, though. I've never seen any two police officers be exactly the same. So, you know, they're very, very different. But I won't talk about police officers but them as characters, right? They couldn't be more different from one another. I mean, you just say any quality in this sort of different? So yeah. 

No, actually. I didn't. It was I was very well briefed by Vasan. And he was very clear about what kind of person he wants me to play. So, no, I mean, although you do see people who love authority, and you know, they're just shameless people, we see them quite often. So, there's a hint of that in her, I think. But, obviously, you didn't see a woman playing such a part (in films) before, so all credits to Vasan.

A few years, your work on Netflix ended up being a part of the meme culture, with Netflix India even calling themselves 'just another radhika Apte fan account'. With Monica O My darling, what are your expectations? Do you feel pressured to outdo yourself with every performance since you are considered the sweetheart of OTT?

RA: I enjoy all this (referring to becoming a part of the pop culture) and the movies. But no, I mean, of course there's I want to perform well, I want to do my best. That's the expectation I have for myself. I will do and all of these things I don't because you should allow yourself to experiment with things you might fail also, and that's okay. You know, so I don't have that expectation from myself that excel karna chahiye but my expectation is that I should give my 100% that's all I want to do. 

So, when it comes to films, these days, some actors—some actresses to be precise—they say that we should not call women-dominated films as 'women centric' because we do not call a two-hero movie 'male centric'. So what's your take on that?

RA: I just think that Monica ... O My darling is actually one of the exceptions. This film is genderless, you know, when you watch the film, you'll never see gender. You'll you'll see men and women and what you'll see you'll make that thing. Obviously, that's there. But I'm saying that you won't see the gender to the character. And very few people a few films have the ability to do that. And I think for Vasan it was even more difficult because the noir genre comes with chauvinism, and it comes with like, putting women in that victim position. And despite that, he's managed to make a film where you only see the characters not in terms of gender. Yes. Great, I think.