Radhika Apte Recalls Facing Sexism on Set ‘Quite a Few Times’: ‘There Was No Equal Pay’ Apextalk

Radhika Apte is currently seen in Mrs Undercover.

Radhika Apte is currently seen in Mrs Undercover.

Speaking to News18 Showsha exclusively, Radhika reveals that she has witnessed preferential treatment towards her male co-actors on a film set, first hand.

Over the years, several actors have called out the Hindi film industry for being sexist, treating men and women differently and the disparity in the pay scale. And Radhika Apte is one of them. She has often been vocal about not being paid on time, how the #MeToo movement couldn’t fully achieve what it had set out to and the difference in remuneration not just between leading men and ladies but also male and female character artists. Radhika’s film choices also bear a testimony to her thoughts on gender inequality. Since the beginning of her acting career, she has portrayed characters that drive the narrative and call their own shots irrespective of the screen time they have.

Her latest release, Mrs Undercover, addresses the underlying misogyny and casual sexism faced by women within the confines of their own homes. Speaking to News18 Showsha exclusively, Radhika reveals that she has witnessed the preferential treatment towards her male co-actors on a film set, first hand. “We have all been at the receiving end of sexism. It’s rare for a woman to have not faced it. I’ve faced it on a film set in the past quite a few times. There was no equal pay, the treatment of a man and a woman was different and things would revolve around the male actor,” she tells us. However, she’s happy with the changing landscape and lauds those who have raised their voice against these inequalities. “Things are changing for sure. We’ve seen people fight for equality and it’s inspiring. The best we can do is fight for our own rights, recognise our rights and disparity and spread awareness,” she says.

Mrs Undercover sees her playing a homemaker and undercover agent, who sets out to track down a serial killer, who vindictively murders strong and independent women. On the domestic front, her character also deals with an unappreciative husband, who derides her for being just a housewife. Sharing her thoughts on how homemakers are taken for granted, the 37-year-old says, “It happens everywhere. We take our house helps for granted too. We look down on normal household chores all the time. We don’t give it much importance.”

Radhika goes on to point out that unlike the popular perception, women can be as misogynistic as men for pulling other women down. “Misogyny isn’t just a man’s thing. Women can also be misogynistic. We’re all brought up a certain way. There’s a lot of conditioning with regards to the way we’re brought up and how women treat themselves and other women is also a part of that,” she says. The Monica O My Darling and Vikram Vedha actor continues, “A lot of women don’t give themselves the right and the freedom to do certain things because of their own conditioning. It’s about awareness and not pointing fingers at a certain gender. The problem is the thought. In the film, too, we say that this thought has to change.”

The Hindi film industry has seen a lot of female actors turning to producing and creating content told from the lens of feminism. Joining their league is Radhika, who is currently in the process of writing stories that resonate with her and her ideas. While that has not stemmed from the dearth of scripts for women, she took to it to helm stories that inspire and creatively satisfy the artist in her. Without divulging much, she says, “I’ve started writing. It’s too early to talk about it because it’s too nascent. I’ll talk about it if it materialises or fails. All I can say is that I’m writing about things that excite and inspire me. I’m writing quite a few things. I’ve lots of thoughts and ideas.”

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