"I was stunned as we’d never met before and I instinctively slapped him.”
In the wake of campaigns such as #Time’sUp and #MeToo, Indian actresses have also started to open up and talk about sexual harassment in the workplace.
Actress Radhika Apte who is famous for her roles not only in Bollywood but also in South Indian cinema revealed on a TV show about an incident when she had to slap an actor from the South for misbehaving on set.
According to reports, the PadMan star recalled an incident when her co-star, a well known Tamil actor, began tickling her feet. The inappropriate gesture was not tolerated by the actress.
She said: “It was my first day on the set and a famous south actor started to tickle my feet. I was stunned as we’d never met before and I instinctively slapped him.”
Radhika made this revelation on Neha Dhupia’s show BFF’s with Vogue where she was accompanied by actor Rajkummar Rao.
The Parched actress made her Tamil debut in Prakash Raj’s Dhoni in 2012. Post this, she has starred in films such as Vetri Selvan and the popular film, Kabali alongside Rajinikanth.
Apte has previously spoken about the casting couch in Bollywood. She called it “fortunate” that she didn’t have to go through anything of that sort. Although the actress did mention that she was once approached for a Bollywood film with an invitation of sleeping with the person involved. Naturally, Radhika refused the offer.
Radhika also mentioned that when she started off in Bollywood, she was often approached for late night auditions but the actress never gave in. She said:
“These are like the middlemen, trying to get you an audition and all, you know. But I never met them.”
There is a difference between the functioning of Bollywood and South India’s film industries. The casting couch in South India is still prevalent on a larger scale and hence actresses from the Malayalam industry have opened up a non-profit organisation, Women in Cinema Collective for the welfare of female artists in the industry.
Talking about this in an interview with The Quint, the actress mentioned: “In the south, they just make it very obvious that they want to sleep with you. But I just don’t cater to that and I don’t even know if I have lost work because of that because it never really reached me that much.”
Not too long ago, Radhika Apte was being shamed for wearing a bikini in Goa by internet trolls.
But she shot them down too with a befitting reply, saying: “It’s ridiculous! Do people expect me to wear a sari on a beach?”
On the work front, Radhika will be next seen in Bazaar alongside Saif Ali Khan. She also has a Hollywood project, The Ashram in her kitty.