Radhika Apte Cosmopolitan India January 2018

The Future.according To Radhika Apte
She’s the one they’re talking about…for more reasons than one. But actor extraordinaire Radhika Apte shares with us her dreams, hopes, and beliefs for the future of…well, everything!

Radhika Apte is not your typical Bollywood actor. Far from it. Her choice of films makes just the tip of an unconventional iceberg: Manjhi: The Mountain Man, Badlapur, Hunterrr to name a few, won her critical acclaim. And then there was Sujoy Ghosh’s Ahalaya—a 14-minute short film that’s got over seven million views—which proved that she can beautifully bring to life some of the most complicated characters.

But what really makes Radhika different is her points of view. Yes, in plural . On wage disparity, the casting couch, and why a woman’s period shouldn’t stop her from anything (incidentally, Radhika’s upcoming biographical drama-comedy, PadMan, also starring Sonam Kapoor and Akshay Kumar, is based on Arunachalam Muruganantham, who introduced low-cost sanitary pad machines).

And then there was that incident of leaked sex scenes from her movie, Parched. When a journalist asked her whether ‘she needed to create controversies to be successful’, Radhika pretty much told him to FO, in the fiercest way possible.

It’s fair to say that this special blend of winning performances, unconventional roles, and an I-don’tcare-for-your-misogyny mindset, makes this 32-year-old one to watch. Closely. And since her own future looks more than just a little sparkly, we thought it would only be fitting to ask Radhika to tell Cosmo what she thinks the future might look like. Of women, dating, the world… Her crystal-ball predictions are smart and sassy, as you’ll find out…

1. “THE FUTURE OF BOLLYWOOD”

“I think our industry will definitely become a better place for women. The foundation has already been laid, and it’s only going to get better from here. Earlier, there were very few films shouldered by women, but now female actors are getting meatier roles. And it’s not just in front of the camera, there are so many women working behind the scenes as directors, producers, cinematographers, writers, editors… taking on roles that were once presumed to be only for men. And that’s a great sign, you know! Of course, it won’t happen immediately, and I know that gender bias still exists, but I just hope that women will keep fighting for equality like they have been till now.”

2. “THE FUTURE OF FEMINISM”

“It’s such a powerful movement, and women have been fighting for their rights for centuries, making the impossible possible. The wave of change has been happening over time for the past 100 years. I agree the issues a couple of decades ago were different, but little by little things have been turning. I believe education is the key to a better tomorrow. Feminism is about equality, and we need to ensure that boys and girls are raised, treated and educated in the same way. It’s the single most effective way to curb population, spread awareness about human rights, among other things… And while the next few years might be too little a time for a sea change, we’re going in the right direction and that gives me hope.”

3. “THE FUTURE OF BEAUTY”

“To me, beauty is all about body positivity. There are some people who are exceptionally accepting of their own bodies and it’s not just empowering, it’s also a positive influence on others. As actors, we have a responsibility to not promote a particular body type, and help people embrace their own unique bodies. But the one thing I really hope gets completely eliminated in the future is cosmetic surgery— whatever ‘jobs’ people get done to their faces or bodies need to stop. A lot of celebrities around the world are getting fuller lips or bigger breasts, and people who idolise them also get it done. I think that’s a very dangerous zone, and it takes away from your identity in many ways. Our ultimate goal isn’t to look like clones of each other, but to stand out. So yeah, I hope we learn to feel good in the skin we were born in.”

4. “THE FUTURE OF DATING AND RELATIONSHIPS”

“So much has changed in the past five years that I even can’t wrap my head around it. I haven’t even seen what Tinder looks like, can you believe it? And the whole world is on it apparently, even married people. I can’t even think of getting on an app—I just find the whole concept of ticking boxes and swiping people right or left totally crazy. Even though I’m old-school (I like to meet people in flesh and blood), I think in the future, marriages might become obsolete. I personally feel one shouldn’t get married. Considering the same rules apply for both marriages and live-in relationships (after a certain time) now, it’s better to do the latter, no? But I think dating apps will reign supreme in the future. With everything being digitalised, I’m quite sure people will come up with even more innovative ideas to find love online…it will not only sustain, but will probably be the only way forward in the next few years.”

5. “THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL MEDIA”

“Anyone who thinks it isn’t the future is living in the past. In the last 10 years, we’ve probably made more progress than we did in the last four centuries, and that’s all because of the power of technology and the Internet. I’m not big on social media, but I like Facebook—it’s a great way to stay in touch with old friends. I mainly use Instagram for work, but I also follow a few artists and photographers whose work I really like. I know people who document their lives 24/7 on social media, and it comes with its own set of pros and cons. But like I said before, it’s only going to get bigger…I just hope it doesn’t nullify actual human interaction!”

6. “THE FUTURE OF RADHIKA APTE”

“Well, I’m not a big planner, so I really don’t know what’s going to happen in the next five years, or even a year for that matter. I like to take each day as it comes. Over time, I’ve turned into a very pragmatic person. But yes, the next six months look pretty promising… I have four new films coming up. PadMan’s releasing this month, then I have Shoot The Piano Player with Ayushmaan Khurrana, and Baazaar with Saif Ali Khan. I have also done a Netflix original web series called Sacred Games (with Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui), and I’m quite excited about that. But what I’m really looking forward to is doing some international projects (I have a few in the pipeline, and hopefully they’ll materialise) and travelling! 2017 was mad-hectic and I’m looking to chill a little bit this year, maybe take up a course… I’m contemplating doing a lot of things. So I guess this year is looking good, and I hope this streak continues.”

The Cosmo Quiz

1. My new year’s resolution is to stay away from my phone as much as possible.

2. When it comes to my dream role, I’d like to be surprised versus going for something that’s already been done.

3. One woman who’s deeply influenced me is my mother.

4. I absolutely refuse to eat fish eye.

5. Never have I ever jumped off a cliff.

6. One thing that people don’t know about me is that I’d really like to learn how to fly a plane one day.

7. The perfect day according to me is when I’m happy throughout.

8. One thing I’m looking forward to in 2018 is peace of mind.

9. One thing people get wrong about me is that I’m snobbish.

10. One thing that scares me about the future is robots taking over the world.