We’ve been telling you for a while now that female actors are not happy with the disparity in pay in Bollywood, and it now appears that they’re out to get what they want. While there have been reports of actors Kangana Ranaut and Deepika Padukone increasing their fees, male actors like Emraan Hashmi and Saif Ali Khan have slashed theirs.
"After delivering a spate of flops, Emraan has slashed his fee for the Azhar biopic to Rs 4 crore instead of his usual Rs 11 crore," a source was quoted as saying earlier, while Saif has also cut down his fee after delivering flops such as Humshakals (2014) and Happy Ending (2014).
Watch Saif Ali Khan in Humshakals trailer
Trade analyst Atul Mohan says that the reasons notwithstanding, this has levelled the pay field. "There has always been a debate on how the pay structure of actors and actresses are different. This will help bridge the gap," he says.
Producer Krishika Lulla agrees. "It’s good that actors are decreasing their fees. I think it’s better if they share the profit," she says.
Another factor that is contributing to closing the gap is the success of women-centric films, says actor-producer Ajay Devgn. "Things are changing now that women-centric films are doing well. Actresses are getting paid proportionally," he says.
"Earlier, the audiences were more drawn to male stars in the lead and that is why they were paid more. Now, they like female leads too, which is why their pay packs are getting better," says filmmaker Pritish Nandy.