MUMBAI: Actor Radhika Madan says working with directors like Vishal Bhardwaj and Vasan Bala early in her film career helped her escape the superficiality that comes with fame.
Madan, who began her career in TV in 2014 with the popular show "Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi" before switching to films with Bhardwaj's "Pataakha" and Bala's "Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota", believes she has grown into a better person in the last few years.
"I am grateful I got to work with them in my first two projects because my foundation became so strong. I didn't get swayed away in the frivolousness of the industry, in the superficiality of the industry.'
"I understood what craft means, how much it means to me and how I would want to hold on to it till my last breath," Madan told PTI in an interview.
Leaving a successful career at the peak also prepared her to navigate Bollywood.
The actor said she is today as much a part of the industry as she is at a distance from its "frivolousness."
"When I was leaving TV, I was told that fame comes fast on TV and goes away with the same speed. I would ask myself, while I was working on TV, why would I want to attach myself to something that is so temporary. Isn't that self-sabotaging? "When I left the TV, I didn't realise when the fame went away. Until someone pointed out to me that, 'Oh you are not being recognised at airports.' But I felt fine."
She realised that it was a conscious effort from her end to not get attached to temporary things.
"That has helped me in the movie industry as well, not to be attached with frivolousness or the image people create for you. All these years in the industry have flipped me as a person. I have grown a lot, matured."
"Today I have more empathy, which means I can empathise with my characters a lot and won't be judging them. If you would have met me seven years ago, you would have just thought, 'She has no depth!' Now I want to constantly do something that scares me and never stop growing," the 26-year-old actor said.
Her pursuit of chasing new stories is how the actor decided to be a part of "Shiddat", which features co-stars like Diana Penty, Mohit Raina and Sunny Kaushal.
Madan recalled meeting "Shiddat" producer Dinesh Vijan after "Pataakha" for the film but instead landed a part in his production "Angrezi Medium", starring the late Irrfan Khan.
Post "Angrezi Medium", Madan shot for "Shiddat", which became her fourth film.
The actor said she was intrigued by the Kunal Deshmukh-directorial as it offered a refreshing take on new age romance.
"Today, love is just a swipe away. What do you do when love, in its most pure, honest form knocks on your door? How do we deal with it and are we even equipped to deal with it right now? That plot really fascinated me."
"A part of me always wanted to do a romantic drama and I am glad it didn't come to me in the form of a cliched, predictable story. 'Shiddat' isn't that, it is a revenant, relatable film."
In the film, Madan plays Kartika, a practical woman, but the actor said in real life, she is more like Kaushal's character, Jaggi, who is "all hearts".
"Kartika has compartmentalised everything in her head, even love. I had to understand what she was doing because I am the opposite of her. When I fall in love, I am all out there. There is no in-between. It is that simple, pure for me. I love being vulnerable in love."
"Shiddat" is scheduled to be released on Disney+ Hotstar on October 1.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)