TV

Radhika Madan on struggles she faced after quitting TV: Was told I needed to have a particular shape & size, & that I needed surgery

Radhika Madan, who started her career on TV with popular show, Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi, had her own share of struggles before she made it big in Bollywood. The actress had to deal with a lot of criticism when she decided to quit TV for films. Radhika recently opened up about her struggles to Humans of Bombay and revealed how during film auditions she was told she needed to have a particular shape & size, and also needed surgery. However, instead of giving into pressure she believed in herself and continued to give auditions.
She also talked about bagging her first TV show at the age of 17 and how she gained weight due to the hectic schedule of TV. She revealed that she soon heard rumours of her getting replaced on the show and decided to lose weight, “As a kid, I was happy in my own world doing my own thing; I was a queen. I was really mischievous & would sometimes even puncture tyres for fun! Growing up, I had a unibrow & hardly got attention from boys, but I didn’t care; I felt I was pretty. And whenever anyone asked, ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ I’d say, ‘Shaadi’! I loved the taamjham! But I became passionate about dancing & dreamt of going to Broadway. My parents were supportive. At 17, I auditioned for a TV show & within 3 days I was in Bombay, shooting. But it was tough. I barely got time to sleep, which led to me gaining a few kilos. Then, I heard rumours about me getting replaced & that pushed me to explore my limits. So I began working out & lost myself to my character. And I realised, this is my high…this is what I want to do.”

Talking about the struggles she had to face after she decided to quit television, the actress shared that she was asked to get a surgery done to be in shape, “I got more TV offers, but I told myself, ‘You’re only 19, if you choose comfort, you’ll get stuck.’ So, I quit TV to do films. I began auditioning, but I faced rejections. I was told I needed to have a particular shape & size, & that I needed surgery. But mujhe toh main bahut sahi lagti hun. Who are these people to tell me I’m not pretty? But for the next 1.5 years I didn’t get work. It’s easy to doubt yourself at such a Time, but I knew the journey is more important than the destination. So I made an effort to enjoy my auditions! Soon, I signed my first film as other projects followed. I remember I’d gained 12 kgs for a role to look older, & I auditioned for a 17-year-old character, both in a month! But I had only one motto–just have fun! That audition turned out to be one of my best & I got the part!”

She further added, “I think the key is to love yourself fiercely because what you see in yourself is what others see in you. If I’d been insecure, people would’ve fed on that fear. So whether it’s as a kid who didn’t care about her unibrow or an adult who thinks her height is cute, I celebrated my imperfections. I know I don’t have to fit someone else’s definition of perfection–I’m imperfectly perfect & I love it!”