Radhika Apte says it's difficult to find characters that inspire her and that's one of the reasons why she chooses to do limited work. The 37-year-old actor, who divides her time between India and the UK, was most recently seen in the ZEE5 film “Mrs Undercover”, in which she plays Durga, a housewife who is a spy.
“It is difficult these days to find that good script as everyone is making everything so fast, there are lots of other parameters that have to fit in. It is difficult to find roles that you just wholeheartedly go and feel this is so well crafted,” Apte told PTI in a virtual interview. "I live in two countries, I work when I want to do work, I don’t do a lot of work because it makes me feel quite exhausted, so I select less work, I like it that way. When I don’t work, I write, read, and do things other than acting," she added.
Then, there are moments when she worries about turning down a role because she wonders if the projects will keep coming. “I just say, ‘I don’t feel like doing the part right now’. It is hard to reject because sometimes you don’t have anything else and you feel, ‘Will I get work?’ As a freelance actor, you are constantly thinking about your next project, it can be scary but it is ok.”
Known for films such as “Badlapur”, “Phobia”, “Andhadhun”, and "Monica, O My Darling", Apte said her role in “Mrs Undercover” is a departure from the intense roles she is known for.
“You always try to find roles that are different from what you have done before. So, that is intentional. When I was approached for this, they (makers) didn’t have a script, they had an idea. I liked the idea about a housewife being an undercover spy and finding out that she has much more to do in life, and that she deserves much more than her husband’s treatment. And this was a comedy spy thriller, it’s a genre I have never seen, so I was quite excited about it,” she added.
The actor said she enjoyed doing stunts for the ZEE5 film, directed by debutante Anushree Mehta. “It is a new thing for me, it was fun to do because I had never done it before. There is clumsiness to it, there is proper action at times (too). It was a lot of fun,” she said.
Apte, who previously played real life British secret agent of Indian descent Noor Inayat Khan in the 2019 American spy drama “A Call to Spy”, said there is a "wave" of spy films today. “Everybody is making spy films, which is fine, it will come and go. There is always a wave of something, biopics, romance, action, etc, different genres, different things coming and going, so it is probably one of them,” she said.
Some of the recent examples of spy films include “Pathaan”, “Mission Majnu” as well as web series “The Night Manager” and “Special Ops”. “It is a thing that everybody wants to watch right now, it is exciting and adventurous. But we have had spy stories for a long time, we have grown up watching different spy stories, mysteries and whodunnits. As I said, the genres come and go,” she added.