‘Not A Penny Less; Not A Penny More’ Says Deepika Padukone To Sanjay Leela Bhansali
The gender pay disparity in Bollywood exists from a long time. Even after female actors have tons of box-office hits in their kitty, their pay cheques don’t speak the same, especially if you compare them to the male actors’ pay cheques. With truckloads of critical acclaim and putting in the same efforts as their male counterparts, Bollywood’s leading ladies don’t lead in terms of getting the rightful payment. The gender pay disparity is so deep-rooted in the Hindi film industry that top male actors are paid at least five times more than female actors.
In 2003, filmmaker Karan Johar dropped female actor Kareena Kapoor Khan from Kal Ho Naa Ho just because Kapoor was asking for as much money as the lead actor Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta ended up with the role, revealed by the director in his autobiography An Unsuitable Boy.
Many leading ladies of Bollywood, including Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Priyanka Chopra, Taapsee Pannu, and Kangana Ranaut, have come out in the open and spoke about how they are paid really less compared to their male counterparts, revealing the gender pay gap in Bollywood. The recent to do so is none other than female actor Deepika Padukone. She reportedly walked out from the Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Baiju Bawra because she demanded the same pay as her husband and actor Ranveer Singh would be getting for the film. Today, Deepika Padukone is one of the successful actors of Bollywood and totally in the position to dominate a film and demand equal pay.
A few days ago, a source close to the development said that filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has finalised actor Ranveer Singh for his next directorial venture Baiju Bawra. Speaking about the same, the source said: “It is Ranveer Singh who has been finalised. An official announcement is in the offing, but yes, a few modalities yet remain to be worked out. Probably post all that, Bhansali will declare. But as things stand today, it is Ranveer,”
After reports of Ranveer Singh finalised for Baiju Bawra, reports were coming in that female actor Deepika Padukone has been approached for the film, and fans were eager to see the Ranveer-Deepika-Bhansali trio create magic on screen after giving blockbuster hits including Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram Leela, Bajirao Mastani and Padmavaat. Well, now that Deepika Padukone has refused to work in the film due to the pay disparity, fans have to wait a bit longer for the trio’s comeback.
Since Deepika Padukone asked for the same pay as her husband, she will not be a part of Baiju Bawra for this sole reason. Speaking about the same, a source told Bollywood Hungama: “Apparently, Deepika wants the same remuneration as her husband. Not a penny more, not a penny less,” “In a way, it works out for the better. Four Ranveer – Deepika films in a row from Sanjay Leela Bhansali would have been excessive, don’t you think,” added the source.
Recently, a video of female actor Vidya Balan talking about the gender pay gap in Bollywood has gone viral. Vidya spoke about it when her film ‘Te3n’ was released, in which she played the role of an investigative cop who is trying to unearth the cases of child abduction. Look what the actor has to say about it:
“My blood would boil.” Vidya Balan opens up about the pay gap in the industry.
— Brut India (@BrutIndia) August 11, 2021
Baiju Bawra is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s most-awaited project which is a remake of a 1952 film with the same name. The film revolves around the life of an unknown singer who has to avenge his father’s death by defeating a prominent figure of Hindustani Classical Music, Tansen, in a musical.