Richa Chadha reveals what she was paid for Gangs of Wasseypur, cites examples of actors who were left destitute in final years
Actor Richa Chadha in her blog has highlighted an important financial aspect of filmmaking. She has said that in India, actors aren’t given residuals (royalties, essentially) for their work, and this might perhaps be the reason why many yesteryear actors were reportedly left destitute in their final days.
Richa revealed that she was paid Rs 2.5 lakhs ‘for both parts’ of her breakout hit, Gangs of Wasseypur. “And that’s alright,” she wrote. “(Director Anurag) Kashyap took a chance on me, and for that I am forever grateful. I didn’t even expect to be paid for a break like that. The film went on to become a cult hit. My continuing career is testament to that.”
But, the actor added, because of the film’s sustained popularity, someone must be profiting. “If I am not wrong, again, (going by rules for residual payments in other film industries) even if I were to earn royalty of this film, (*if I worked under the SAG guidelines, I would get only be getting a small percentage, under different categories capped at a maximum of 6.2 percent).”
Citing examples of Parveen Babi, who “allegedly didn’t have enough money for her treatment in her final years”, and AK Hangal and Bhagwan Dada, she wrote, “I am aware my desire to see all credited departments get their due in terms of royalty is the most unrealistic dream. It just will not happen, at least not in my life time. But since structures all around us are crumbling, perhaps we can build anew from the rubble. Am extolled man has said to turn adversity into opportunity. However, most have conveniently misunderstood this to mean ‘opportunism’. We have a chance. Let’s use this pause to evolve.”
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