Radika Apte has played a number of peculiar roles throughout her acting career. Last year, she debuted as a writer-director with The Sleepwalkers, a short film starring Shahana Goswami and Gulshan Devaiah.
Talking about what led her to write and direct, Radhika says, “I had never thought of making films. There was no such plan. I just had the urge to write because sometimes you want to create content that challenges you. Roles that come your way are not necessarily from the space that you want them to come from. I just wanted to write something that interested me. There are things that I passionately want to do. When I bounced off the story to Honey Trehan and Abhishek Chaubey, they decided to make it. I had 10 days for the prep and shoot. When I finished writing, I realised I didn’t want to act in it, but I wanted to direct it. And, I absolutely loved the process.”
She also said, “As a director, the responsibility on your shoulders is huge. Someone has put in their money, which they could lose because you didn’t do your job well. So, directing is scary, but it’s equally rewarding.” Radhika, while talking about her decision to direct, says, “There is a lot to learn. I feel grateful for the work that came to me in all these years as an actress, but a lot of it was not really challenging. The things that I enjoyed were done within a matter of a few days. I was also tired of getting these tiny roles in films led by other actors. I wanted something that I could sink my teeth into for longer. I love to work, and I want to go on. I felt I was creative in my own way. So, now I am trying to write more, and I will make something again when I am happy with the material I create.” When asked if she plans to write or direct a film or a web series or stick to the short-film format, Radhika says, “I have never had plans to write a feature. Until I feel I have a script worth making, I won’t. There’s no pressure. I want to make something again, but it will depend on the idea. I will not decide on the format before I zero in on the concept.”
Radhika is back in India for her upcoming film after spending much of 2020 in London. The actress recently wrapped filming on her next project in Kolkata. Given the gravity of the situation, one can’t help but wonder how the experience has gone. “The experience was the same,” Radhika says, “except that we do repeated checks, take a lot of precautions, and adhere to health and safety protocols.” Apart from that, everything else is essentially the same.”