Radhika Apte: "All the Women Characters Are Fierce, And Play Very Pivotal Parts in the Whole Series"

Radhika Apte: "All the Women Characters Are Fierce, And Play Very Pivotal Parts in the Whole Series"

Ahead of the release of Netflix’s Sacred Games, Radhika Apte speaks to us about her role in the series and working with Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Radhika Apte: "All the Women Characters Are Fierce, And Play Very Pivotal Parts in the Whole Series"

Tell us a little bit about Anjali Mathur.

Anjali Mathur is a RAW agent, a research and analysis wing officer. She is a young woman who wants be a field agent like her father, whereas her seniors want her to work behind the desk. This fight is her real struggle in the series. She’s an extremely focused, no nonsense agent, who is very brave and sharp. She is never found speaking of things that aren’t necessary and is to the point, which is her main characteristic. Another prominent quality is that she believes in not mixing emotions with her work, which is why she’s so good at her job.

Your role in Sacred Games is a little less prominent as compared to Saif and Nawazuddin. What made you take up the role.

I took it up solely because it’s a fantastic role. It doesn’t matter what length it is or the weight of the role, its mainly the subject that’s important for me. It is a series about the police officer (Sartaj Singh) and the gangster (Ganesh Gaitonde), so any other role apart from that will obviously be less prominent. It’s a great ensemble on the whole. All the female parts are extremely fierce, and play very pivotal parts in the whole series.

How did you prepare for your role as a RAW agent?

There was a lot of research involved, by both, us actors and the writers. We had to just incorporate all the research into our role, while collaborating with Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap along the way. It is not possible to personally meet RAW agents, but I’ve spoken to people who have been associated with, or worked with RAW agents. They gave me a good idea of how their life must actually be like.

The recently released Lust Stories got great reviews. What was the reaction to your character in Lust Stories?

There have been a variety of reactions. Some people have found her neurotic and psychotic, whereas there are many who have been able to relate to her character. It’s been amazing on the whole. The feeling of being able to evoke so many discussions and thoughts based on your character is unreal. My role in Lust Stories was pretty though provoking, so whether they liked it or didn’t, it definitely managed to make everyone dwell deep within.

Do you think the Indian audience is finally ready to relate to a role of this kind?

I think any human being can relate to any role. Only thing with Indian audience is that they are used to watching a certain kind of cinema, so these off-beat roles just come in as a big change for them and their thought process.

As an actress you’ve worked on Indie films, short films and commercial Bollywood films. What is the difference of working on each of these mediums for you as an artist?

Nothing. It is all the same. You have to put in the same effort, just the duration changes. With web series etc., we have longer working hours. And of course, you get more freedom to experiment on a medium like Netflix, with no censorship issues.

How is it working with Nawazuddin and Saif? Tell us about your work equation with both of them.

It was brilliant. I have worked with Nawaz before, but this was my first time with Saif. He’s one of the most versatile actors in Bollywood. On another note, I think he has incredible comic timing and I really hope he explores that more with his roles in the future. 

You have some interesting Hollywood projects lined up in the future. Can you tell us more about them?

I actually can’t reveal too much. But, one is with Dev Patel and in the other, I’ll be playing the role of Noor Inayat Khan.