A free ride
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A free ride

A host of top stars are doing films for free. We find out the reason for their generosity.

bollywood Updated: Sep 17, 2010 08:12 IST
Neha Sharma
Neha Sharma
Hindustan Times

Bipasha Basu has decided to forego payment for socially relevant films. In fact, the actor even preaches the same for her Bollywood contemporaries. Referring to her last release, Lamhaa — a film that dealt with the problems in Kashmir, but bombed at the box office — Bips said, “If Lamhaa had been made for the price of an Udaan or a Tere Bin Laden, it would have been a hit. Taking a pay cut is the only way these films can work.” Although reasons vary, other actors are following suit, too. We take a look at who these A-listers are:

Friend in need: Shahid Kapoor did not charge any money for Paathshala, which released in April and focussed on the life of school children. About the film, written by his best friend, choreographer Ahmad Khan, and produced Khan’s wife, Shaira, Shahid said, “I haven’t done this for commercial reasons. We wanted to reach out to people.” Nana Patekar also refused remuneration for the film.

Team effort: The team of I Am, including actor Juhi Chawla and film-makers Anurag Kashyap and Anurag Basu, worked in the project for free. The money for the film was collected through Facebook. “Everyone was very helpful,” says director Onir Anirban. The film releases later this month.

Personal gain: Akshay Kumar is not charging a fee for his next release, Tees Maar Khan, because the actor is also co-producing it. “I’m making sure that this film at least romps home with no losses. If it’s a hit, then my production house will benefit,” he said. The film releases in December.

Subject matters: John Abraham claimed he did not take money for his film, Aashayein, which released this month. “I thought the film was beyond economics. We wanted to tell this story,” he said. When the film’s producer claimed he had paid John, the actor clarified it was just confusion, and that he hadn’t charged a thing.

All in the family: Imran Khan did not charge a single penny for maamu Aamir Khan’s home production, Delhi Belly. Imran says the gesture was his way of thanking Aamir for launching him in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.

Free work by actors in the past

Until recently, actor Salman Khan was known to make special appearances in his friends’ films for free. He did not charge a penny for Atul Agnihotri’s film, Hello (2008) and Sawant Kumar’s Sawant — The Love Season (2006).

In Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om, more than 30 stars, including Sushmita Sen, Kajol, Katrina Kaif, Saif Ali Khan, Karisma Kapoor and even Rekha, made cameo appearances for free.

Actor Shah Rukh Khan did not charge Yash Chopra anything for the 2008 film, Bhoothnath. SRK even agreed to wear his own clothes for the film, which starred Amitabh Bachchan.

First Published: Sep 16, 2010 18:12 IST