After films on domestic abuse and pre-marital sex, the actress’s next is about a man who helped rural women overcome menstrual woes
Natasha Coutinho (MUMBAI MIRROR; March 1, 2017)

Radhika Apte is back in town after a long stay in London where she lives for the most part of the year with husband, composer Benedict Taylor, when she is not shooting. “In Mumbai even if you decide to take a day off, some work comes up suddenly. But in London, I can snooze, watch movies in bed, go for walks, meet friends or simply do nothing,” she informs.

Now, she’s ready to dive into R Balki’s next, a true life story of entrepreneur Padma Shri Arunachalam Muruganantham who invented a mini machine which can be operated with minimal training and which can manufacture sanitary pads at one-third the cost of commercial pads. He’s installed the machines in 23 of 29 Indian states and plans to expand the production to 106 nations. In 2014, TIME magazine included him in its list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.

“Shooting begins in early March and prep starts this week. The characters speak shudh Hindi so I’ll be focussing on my dialect. I’ve had some readings with Akshay (Kumar) and Sonam (Kapoor) and though the film is based on real people, I’m trying to stick to the script and how Balki sir perceives my character,” Radhika informs.

Her character is modelled on Arunachalam’s wife Shanthi and she reveals that the first thing Balki told her was that this girl is not who she is, which is why he cast her. “She’s the polar opposite of me,” Radhika admits.

With Akshay in the title role and Sonam also featuring in the film, will Radhika have a say in the narrative? “Obviously Akshay’s is the main part, but I play his wife and that’s a crucial role. In certain films it’s not about the length of the role but what your part adds to it. There’s a lot of meat in this character and I’m excited,” she exults.

The actress goes on to praise her costars, saying, “I’ve grown up watching Akshay’s films, he’s been there eternally and is always in great form. I met him for the first time at the reading and his questions, suggestions and concerns about the script and characters were interesting. I’ve met Sonam a few times, she’s lovely and I’m looking forward to spending time with her at the shoot.”

Isn’t she wary of touching on a subject which is still a taboo subject in India, and Radhika reasons that a mass friendly actor like Akshay being the face of the film, might help end the taboo. “It’s high time we began discussing these issues without shame or shyness,” she signs off.