How Radhika Bangia’s love for K-dramas has landed her international assignments
K-Drama and K-Pop fanatic Radhika Bangia is a well-known Indian digital content creator and actor. With a community of over 2.4 million followers across her social media platforms, Bangia, currently known for her content around Korean and Y2K Fashion, has also appeared in movies like ‘Welcome Back’, ‘Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya’, ‘Let’s Play’, ‘Irada’, ‘Gehraiyaan’, and ‘High Jack’.
Bangia has recently caught the attention of many for her performance in ‘The Monster Song’ in ‘KGF Chapter 2’. The influencer has collaborated with well-known brands like Maybelline, Zomato, One Plus, Whisper, Kelloggs, SuperNova, Center Fresh and many more. Being a K-Pop and K-Drama fan, she also collaborated with Alan Chikin Chow, a Chinese Instagram Creator, and she was invited to a Korean event hosted by Spotify.
In a freewheeling conversation with Adgully, Radhika Bangia speaks about her journey as content creator, her love for K-dramas, her ad shoot experience with Viki Rakuten, Bollywood foray, her views on short content platforms, and much more.
How did your love for K-drama begin?
My K-drama love goes way back. I used to watch Korean movies when I was in school. Also, my childhood best friend is Korean. We grew up together in New Zealand. She would tell me about movies and K-pop songs when we were in school, but I was not too much into it and then life happened, and I kind of got out of it. But during the lockdown, when we all had so much time, I started with a K-drama or two on Netflix. I watched ‘The King’ and ‘Boys Over Flowers’, and became obsessed with Lee Min-ho – I literally watched everything by Lee Min-ho.
I realised how much fun it was to watch such content and started to watch other K-dramas. That’s how Covid got me majorly into K-dramas.
If you were to select one K-drama of which you could be the lead actress, which drama would it be? If you were to select an Indian actor for a K-drama that was to be remade in India, which actor you would like to be cast opposite?
I think it has to be a series like ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’. I would love to be a mermaid and have Lee Min-Ho as my boyfriend! I personally feel Siddharth Malhotra would fit in the K-drama realm really well.
How did you start on your journey as a content creator and actor?
I started off with acting. Those days I was auditioning a lot, sometimes giving seven to eight auditions in a day. I was also doing TV commercials. Since the more auditions you do, the more are the chances of getting the gig, I managed to get three to four ads a month. I was doing that for a while and then I realised that acting is not very consistent for me; it’s not a stable job for me. I was almost about to leave it and go back to New Zealand, when I started doing content creation while I was auditioning, just for fun. I was doing comedy sketches as a stress buster and somehow they got me views on Instagram.
I was doing it for fun and had no idea that social media could be a great way to make money. When I got my first brand deal from Zomato, I thought it was a scam. I was like I don’t even make half the money that they were paying me for an ad shoot. When I received the cheque, I thought that if I worked hard in this, giving it my full time, maybe this could be a career. Then I started focusing on social media and content creation more. It’s full time for me now and acting is kind of secondary.
What are your views on short content video platforms?
I think it’s great and a lot of time people don’t have the time to watch long videos. They are travelling or have five minutes to kill. For a lot of people it’s easier to consume short video content, than sitting down and watching long form. People’s attention span is also getting shorter with time. You can literally tell a story or a situation in a short amount of time. It’s a great time for content creators.
You have also been seen in KGF’s song ‘Monster’. How did that happen?
I was shortlisted and then there was a huge gap, so I thought I did not get the gig. They did not even tell me it was for ‘KGF’, all they told me that it was for a big South movie shoot. Then two days before the shoot, I got a call from the casting director to fly to Hyderabad to shoot it. I was stressing out as it was a dance shoot – there was no practice, nothing, everything is going to be on the set. I reached Hyderabad in my outfit, without any idea what I’m doing for the dance. They would literally teach me on the spot, I practised for 10 minutes and then start shooting.
You recently worked with a Korean production house. Could you share more about your work with them? How was it different or similar to shooting for Indian ad films?
This one was with Wong Fu Productions and Viki Rakuten. A lot of people watching K-dramas know that Viki Rakuten is the biggest platform for K-dramas, C-dramas, J-dramas; I have been consuming it for so long and love their platform. Wong Fu Productions is also a very big production house in LA – most of the Asian actors in LA started their careers from there. It was one of my dreams to work with Wong Fu Productions. One day they reached out to me and said there is this ad for a K-drama skit for Viki Rakuten and that they are producing it. It was a proper ad shoot. I also promoted it on Instagram.
I think shooting with them was quite similar to ad shoots in India. I’d thought that it would be different, but it was pretty much the same, except everyone spoke in English. The whole process and everything was just like an Indian shoot. You go for make-up, then you are doing the lines, the directors are there, it was pretty much the same.
What’s next for you?
Among other things, I’m in talks for signing up with a Korean agency for acting. In December, my movie ‘Circus’ by Rohit Shetty will be released. It stars Ranveer Singh, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Pooja Hegde. I am playing an important character in the film, it’s a really good role. We have finished shooting for it.
I’m really open to everything as long as I enjoy the work and it’s a good role and the team is good. Bollywood, Hollywood, Korean, Chinese – I don’t mind, as long as the script is exciting and it’s a good gig. If I’m excited about it, I would just do it.