As soon as you imagine Radhika Sarathkumar in mind, you may be reminded of the adjectives majestic, talented, authoritative, bold and of course beautiful. She is someone who kickstarted the small screen programming wave in a big way and her TV shows are quite the rage till date. Not to forget, her numerous memorable performances on the big screen opposite most of the reigning superstars of the land.

‘Nadigavelin Rajapattai’ is an event where Radhika and Radha Ravi's family decided to honour their father, MR Radha by encouraging theater players from the state. This grand event will be telecasted in Puthuyugam TV on the special day of August 15th at 10 am.

Meera of Behindwoods had the golden opportunity to interact with this super-busy lady and she shares that memorable encounter with us, below.

The spark for Nadigavelin Rajapattai…
So many people still hold great memories of my father, Mr. MR Radha. I think this is the true meaning of the word, “True Legend”, when a person is remembered years after his passing away. Initially few had an idea of erecting a statue for hm. Though we got the statue almost ready, due to political interferences, we couldn't accomplish that project.

Later, I decided not to depend on others to do something in his memory. So I gave a deep thought to what he loved the most when he lived. That’s when the spark of stage, theater and drama ignited in me. Even his last moments were on stage. Keeping all this in mind, we came up with this unique concept, “Nadigavelin Rajapattai”, to commemorate his work through theater. I am glad that Puthu Yugam were also excited about the concept and they agreed to do this event for us.

The Process…
Firstly, we wanted to encourage the dramatists of our state. We went around and selected few good plays that were staged on 31st July at the grand event held at Chennai. We will continue this venture and you will see more editions of this in future. The legacy will continue.

The status of theater in India…
I think there is a lot of room for improvement. We have the capability, then why cease to act? In our country, Mumbai is excelling in theater. Yes, we do have ‘Margazhi Utsavam’ where we encourage classical art forms, similarly we need to extend our hand to motivate drama and theater in our country. Theater artists are the most dedicated performers that I have seen.

Any recent drama you admired?
Magic Lanterns’ Ponniyin Selvan was a bliss to watch. Specially when every artist was mouthing the Tamil dialogues with great clarity and pronunciation, I was enthused.

Any trait that you picked up from your father and you are paradoxical about it?
OUTSPOKENNESS ! (Laughs) Now I have definitely mellowed down. I am too busy with my work that I have no time for all this. That is one quality I picked up from him and not everybody appreciates it.

Juggling between the small screen and silver screen…
It is very taxing. Initially when I stepped into TV, I did not find it this difficult. Once it grew into a big company, I have been so occupied with the administration work. Few friends keep asking me to do some roles in cinema and I squeeze time for it too.

The difference between Ms. Radhika and Mrs. Radhika Sarathkumar…
I am more calmer and composed now (Laughs). My responsibilities have been amplified. It is part of growing up, accepting the changes and altering our lifestyle accordingly. I am a big support to his political life too. I believe in his ideas and I see him as a leader with great vision for our country.

Your huge sustenance in the Industry…
When I entered this industry, heroines were labelled under different categories like family role, bubbly role etc. So heroines had shelf lives with tag lines. I thought I definitely have to break all these set boundaries. I attribute my quality of work and luck factor to my sustenance. If you have a closer look at my work, I have never taken a break. In fact, I worked till 8 pm and then delivered my son the next morning. I kept going!

Vijay and ‘Vijay 59’
From ‘Idhu Engal Needhi’ (Vijay appeared as a child artist) to ‘Vijay 59’, Vijay hasn't changed a bit. As a person he is the same calm and reserved boy. He used to hide himself from me when he came to the shooting spots while I worked with his father SA Chandrasekhar. Surprisingly, now people say that he speaks well with me. We discuss a lot of things under various topics. We keep cracking jokes and laugh until our tummies hurt.

As an actor he has taken a leap from what he was to what he is now. His capability and potential as a performer have gone to a different level altogether. The way he conceives a scene and comes out in the take amazes me. All credits go to Vijay’s hard work for his current status. With all the criticism he received in the initial days of his career, he didn't sulk over it but evolved.

Correspondence with Dhanush as a co-producer and a co-artist..
Dhanush is a powerhouse of talent. I have known him too from his childhood as I worked with Kasturi Raja sir. Through the production of Maari, he stood by me no matter what. During VIP 2 we had a lot of fun. But, Dhanush is a task master and a workaholic.

Next Radhika in the making ?
I do not know. You guys have to tell me if there is any artist who can be called the next Radhika. Poor girls, of late heroines are just fleeting in and out so quickly. They are trying their best but the scope for them has sadly reduced.

Your casting scheme if you direct a play…
Any artist who can speak Tamil well. May be Trisha, Samantha and Amy Jackson (shocked). Yes, Amy is extremely dedicated and renders her dialogues without any flaws. So I will give her a role that will suit her the best. Keeping all this funny stuff aside, I will give the casting scheme a thought when I direct.

Challenges of being a producer…
The industry has to become more healthy specifically for producers. Costing, professionalism in distribution and many other aspects need amendment. A clearer system for film distribution must be introduced. Change is constant and I am confident that these changes will happen soon.

Furore on the influence of TV soaps...
I am not sure about this as I do not watch other serials. My serials only revolve around family drama. At this point, I want to clarify that one must evaluate what is right and what is wrong, on their own. That is basic.

Closing Note…
I must thank everyone who has supported and encouraged me through my career. Nothing comes to anyone easily! I still think I am learning and evolving.