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Kangana, Aishwarya, Ranveer and Alia: Why Bollywood actors are refusing pay cheques

Not just the Khans or Akshay Kumar, even younger actors like Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh prefer to give up their pay cheque for a share in film’s profits.

bollywood Updated: Sep 12, 2017 14:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Aamir Khan,Salman Khan,Akshay Kumar
From Kangana Ranaut opting for a share in her directorial debut, Teju, to Aishwarya getting a share of profit in Irrfan Khan-starrer Jazbaa, more actors are chucking the pay cheque.

The ruling stars of Bollywood - Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan - have one thing in common: they prefer a share in the profit of a film rather than taking home a pay cheque. While it is not an entirely new trend, more and more actors are now joining the biggies.

The Khans, Kumar and Bachchan have been practising this profit sharing model for a while now or they prefer to co-produce their own films. Akshay Kumar did not charge a single penny as fees for Airlift, but reportedly took an 80% share in the profit. As per a Livemint report, Salman would have got Rs 70 crore for Sultan but took home Rs 110-150 crore as he opted for the profit share. And now, actors like Ranveer Singh, Kangana Ranaut, Alia Bhatt and others have adopted this model as it does not burden the filmmaker and also let the actors experiment with new concepts.

Calling it a healthy trend, trade analyst Akshaye Rathi told Hindustan Times, “It is good that actors are opting for this. Because if the lead actor/actress believes in the film, he or she should be ready to take that much of a risk. Why should the producers be the only ones who bear the brunt of a flop? A film is a collective effort and everyone should take the responsibility. For example, for a Dhoom 3, Aamir Khan or the Chopras wouldn’t have made as much money as they did if there was a Rs 50-60 crore pay cheque for Aamir. Even Ranveer Singh opted for back-end profits instead of a pay cheque in Bajirao Mastani.”

From Kangana Ranaut opting for a share in her directorial debut, Teju, to Aishwarya getting a share of profit in Irrfan Khan-starrer Jazbaa, more actors are chucking the pay cheque. It seems the trend is here to stay. Here’s looking at actors who decided to forego a set amount for a share in film’s profit.

1.Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut will soon be seen in Simran.

Kangana Ranaut., who will be seen in and as Simran this year and as Rani Laxmi Bai in Manikarnika in 2018, is on a career high. After writing dialogues for Queen and story for Simran, she plans to turn director with Teju next year. She will take a share in Teju’s profits.

2. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Aishwarya played a lawyer in Jazbaa.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made her comeback with Sanjay Gupta’s film Jazbaa opposite Irrfan Khan. At the time of the shooting, it was reported that Aishwarya decided to follow her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan’s example and take about Rs 3 crore as her share of profit from the film.

3. Alia Bhatt

Alia Bhatt is currently busy shooting her next Raazi, which is directed by Meghna Gulzar.As per reports, Alia has opted for a profit-sharing deal instead of charging any fees.

4. Ranveer Singh

Ranveer played Bajirao in the film.

Ranveer Singh did not charge a single penny for his challenging role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus, Bajirao Mastani. Instead, he received a part of the film’s profits. He continues with the trend in his upcoming projects as well.

5. Taapsee Pannu

Taapsee in a still from Anando Brahma.

Taapsee Pannu who established her place in Bollywood with last year’s Pink and this year’s Naam Shabana also adopted the profit-sharing model for her recent Telegu film, Anando Brahma. It helped in the making of this small-budget film as well.

Talking about the new trend, Taapsee told Hindustan Times, “Today, I am in a position where I don’t want to repeat the same thing and want to do something different. If this (taking a share instead of the pay cheque) is a chance for me to do something different I won’t step back just because I won’t get paid that much. I genuinely believed in the script and so thought to take this risk which is a biggest gamble of my career.”

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First Published: Sep 12, 2017 14:33 IST