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The lockdown last year and even the break that has been brought upon us again amid the second wave of the pandemic, has given many a chance to reflect back at their lives and careers. Actor Radhika Apte has been on a similar journey of self-discovery, and credits the pandemic as well as the lockdown experience for making her realise what is missing from her career, and that is joy.
In the race to prove her worth in showbiz, and get famous, Apte admits she forgot the reason she entered the industry, which was to do “good work”. The pause, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, connected her back to it when she started grappling with many questions.
”All this chasing and becoming famous, does it really still give me exactly what I want to do? (I realised) that’s not necessarily true. So many times, even today, there are projects I want to do, and I approach them and I get rejected over and over again,” she confesses.
Looking back at how she reached this stage in her career, she shares, “There’s always competition, so you need to be more famous or more visible. And then you ask yourself how much of it I really enjoy (or enjoyed). Turns out very little, which I found out during lockdown.”
Therefore, now, she just wants to follow her curiosity, and doesn’t mind any rejections that she faces on the way.
“All I want to do now is to approach a project that I really wants to do. Somewhere, these rejections have become a part and parcel of my day, and I don’t feel bad about it now. In a sense, I’ve learned to accept it and move forward from it very quickly,” says the actor, admitting that it does affect her further choice of work.
However, she’s quick to mention, “But I can’t just be 45 tomorrow and realise how many projects did I like out of the so many which I did? Very very few.”
Recalling her initial days in Mumbai, Apte, 35, explains how one decision led to a chain of reactions and often made her do things that she wasn’t entirely convinced about.
“I wanted to do good work but to be able to do those projects that you want, you need to be famous. Then you start doing projects that are going to make you famous, but not really happy. Then you get more such projects, and you find it difficult to say no,” she shares.
It was in 2005 when Apte entered the industry with a small role in the film Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!, and went on to star in films such as Shor In The City, Kabali, Phobia, Badlapur, Andhadhun, and Pad Man. She also focused on carving her path in the OTT space with projects including Sacred Games, Ghoul, Lust Stories, Raat Akeli Hai, and most recently futuristic series, OK Computer.
Now, as she finds new meaning to her career, she still wants to see how they shape up her career as she muses, “These are just my thoughts, not any resolutions. Let’s see (how things turn out).”