Equal pay for equal work is a debate which has gathered momentum in Bollywood over the last few years. Many leading actors like Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan have questioned the prevalent pay disparity in the film industry.
Adding her two cents to the discussion is actor Taapsee Pannu, who is currently enjoying the limelight thanks to her performances in films like Pink and Naam Shabana. The young star pointed out that until films with female actors as the protagonists don’t do the same business as projects led by their male counterparts, equal pay will remain an unfair demand.
“How many movies like these do you actually come across in a year? Probably one or two maximum. It’s unfair to ask for an equal pay when you’re not getting an equal amount of opening collection. The day the audience walks in the theater and sees a female protagonist’s film, gives us the same amount of bumper opening of Rs 10- 15 crores, that day I will say we need to be paid equally,” she told reporters here.
Citing the example of Naam Shabana that released earlier this year, Taapsee said that despite her film being the biggest opener among the films with a female protagonist, it is much behind in earnings than a movie with a male lead. In such a scenario, she doesn’t think she can ask for a hike in her fee.
“Right now, it’s unfair for producers to give us an equal amount of money because no matter how good the film is, if you compare it with films of male stars, they get far higher opening. So it’s unfair for me to demand the same price. First the audience needs to come and give me the bumper opening, then I’ll ask for equal pay,” she said.
At the same event, Taapsee was asked about the speculation that she was set to star in filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s next alongside Parineeti Chopra. The actor refuted the reports saying, “Anurag Kashyap has never even approached me with a script. So, I don’t know what these talks of a film are about. Right now, I haven’t signed anything. I’ll proudly announce it. You don’t have to wait for any rumour.”
Taapsee’s next is director David Dhawan’s sequel to his own 1997 hit comedy Judwaa. The movie also stars David’s son Varun and Jacqueline Fernandez. It has a special appearance by superstar Salman Khan and Karisma Kapoor, who starred in the original. The film will arrive in theaters on September 29.