Kareena Kapoor Khan says that female artistes voicing for equal pay in the film industry should be normalised as pay parity signifies respect for women. Kareena, in an interview to the Guardian, said she is happy that more female actors have begun raising the unfortunate gender pay disparity in Bollywood. The actor also said that she is aware of her worth and has no qualms in putting it across during negotiations.
“Just a few years ago, no one would talk about a man or woman actually getting equal pay in a movie. Now there are a lot of us being very vocal about it.”
The actor was recently trolled for allegedly hiking her fees to play Sita in an upcoming reimagining of the Ramayana. The actor has not directly responded to reports that said that she asked for Rs 12 crore for the film, which would require a longer commitment from her. “I make it quite clear what I want and I think that respect should be given. It’s not about being demanding, it’s about being respectful towards women. And I think things are kind of changing,” Kareena said.
Earlier, in an interview to NDTV, she was asked, “What next for Kareena Kapoor Khan? You have a film with Aamir Khan later this year, there was talk that you were getting ₹12 crore, you were asking for ₹12 crore, and other actresses came out in support of you, but I think that was fake news.” Kareena had not directly responded, shaking her head and saying, “Yeah, yeah…” Kareena had also received a lot of support from other leading actresses.
Among the host of things that the actor spoke in the interview was also about breaking age-old stereotypes attached to female artistes. For years, female actors had to bid a forced goodbye to their careers after marriage. But Kareena, who married Saif Ali Khan in 2012, not only continued working but also gave some of her career’s biggest successes and remains relevant irrespective of her marital status or two pregnancies.
Kareena said despite warnings from close people, she simply followed her heart. “When I married Saif, so many people told me that my career would be over because no producer wants to work with a married actress. At that time, no other Bollywood actress got married and then continued to work. But I just thought: OK, well, if it does end my career, then that’s fine, that’s my destiny. I’m not going to not marry the person that I love.”
Kareena continued following her heart as she worked through her first and second pregnancies (she gave birth to Taimur Ali Khan in 2016 and welcomed her second child earlier this year). The actor shot for Ekta Kapoor’s Veere Di Wedding during her first pregnancy.
“Most Bollywood actors, when they get pregnant, don’t leave the house because they are stressed about how they look, that they are no longer this glamorous diva, worried if they put on some weight that people will judge them. There’s still a lot of those taboos. But I just wanted to own it,” she said.
View this post on Instagram
Kareena Kapoor Khan now looks forward to the release of Aamir Khan-starrer Laal Singh Chaddha, which is supposed to arrive in theatres in December.
She has also turned producer, bankrolling director Hansal Mehta’s next, which she also stars in. The film will be co-produced by Ekta Kapoor.