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"Painlessly" a Pataakha on screen: Radhika Madan on movies, TIFF, and more

By Armin S. Monday, Sep 24, 2018 01:39: PM

I’m sure that many of her television fans feel that there is no surprise with the kind of success Radhika Madan has seen in just this past month. With the TIFF premiere of her film, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, and then the fiery Pataakha, which released worldwide in September, she seems completely unstoppable. But we stop to chat with her about the two films, what she loved about them, and how she trained for them.

 

 

First of all, congratulations – Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota wins The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award. How does it feel? What kind of response had you been expecting?

 

I still cannot believe that Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota won. The feeling is really surreal and …we’re just grateful for whatever has happened with us. We did not expect to get selected in the festival, forget winning the best film in the festival so we all are just very grateful and the response that we got from the audience, that was really humbling because they gave us a standing ovation and we really weren’t expecting that. They were asking questions like when is the sequel coming, when is the music out so like, seeing the response, we really felt motivated. It’s good when your hard work is appreciated.

 

 

I absolutely loved the film and your action sequences. What kind of training did you go through to get the sequences just right?

 

So for the training, I actually learned martial arts for a good eight-nine months. I did Nunchaku, stick work, and yeah, that was a really intense training. Every day, we used to train for four hours of martial arts and two hours of general training as well – so six hours of training every day. And we used to watch a lot of action films… I was given a list of action films I had to watch every day because I was really not interested in action so I was made to watch it. After that, of course, I fell in love with it. Basically, my trainer, wanted me to live the life of a martial artist, like how they wake up, what their lifestyle is, what they eat, how calm they are from the inside and how fiery they are from outside, so a lot of that work as well.

 

 

Action-comedies are tough to do, and not many are done right in Hindi cinema. What convinced you that this film would weave that magic of comedy meets action seamlessly?

 

So, I actually went to audition for some other film and Vasan (Bala) sir just saw me and he just told me that, “hey, you’re Supri.” Of course, I did some action moves, which wasn’t necessary according to Vasan sir because he saw some video of mine that made him feel like, okay, I’m Supri. At that point of time, when I read the script, I thought it was very interesting; there’s something very different that has never been done in India so that really convinced me to do the character and live the character and train in martial arts. That script convinced me.

 

 

Your film Pataakha has come out. Viewers who are used to seeing you on their television screens will see you look and sound very different. What kind of head space did you have to get into to get the nuances of your character right?

 

So, for Pataakha¸ the training was very different. We did a lot of readings, a lot of workshops with Vishal sir. We went to the village, Ronsi, which is three hours away from Jaipur. We lived there at Charan Singh Pathik ji’s house, who is the author of “Do Behnein” (Two Sisters), from which the script was adapted. We lived there for a good five-six days and the ladies there could not speak in Hindi, so we had to speak in their dialect. We polished our dialect as well. We learned all the household chores that they used to do there. We used to get up at 4 in the morning and fetch water. We used to bathe the buffalos; we used to milk them; we used to pick up the cow dung and make cow dung cakes out of it. We cooked breakfast. Yah, so that is how our day used to go. We used to sit and do our reading with Charan Singh so our dialect gets even more polished. That happened also, the makeup, we were made five shades darker. The teeth were blackened, hair was bleached, so all of that, the costumes really helped us get into the character.

 

 

Were you able to relate to your character in the film? How did you facilitate the kind of sibling bond – at war and then at peace – required for the film?

 

So, I could connect to Badki on some level because I used to fight with my brother when I was young and I used to practice all the WWE moves with him when I was young, so on that level, I really connected with Badki. But I was the youngest in the family, like there is nobody younger than me, so to play the elder one was a bit challenging for me. I used to go home, I remember, and I would write down all the things my brother used to do to me when we were young and I observed a lot of siblings, a lot of elder ones. That really helped me to get into that space.

 

 

You and Sanya seem to be perfect for the roles. What quality in your character and what quality in Sanya’s character do you love and hate, on a personal level?

 

On a personal level, I think Badki is really passionate about her dreams. And, she’s just so cool (chuckles). She thinks she is the ‘it’ thing in the village. That really fascinates me about Badki. In Chutki’s character, what fascinates me, is how entertaining she is. She is super entertaining, super funny, and that is one thing that I like about her.

 

 

 

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