Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been out championing the cause of women empowerment while simultaneously promoting his upcoming film ‘PINK’. During an interview with an online portal, the actor was questioned about the perceptions and prejudices prevalent in the Hindi film industry. Much to everyone’s surprise, the actor said that he didn’t know if it was relevant or not. He went on to explain a circumstance and revealed that Deepika Padukone was paid more than him in their 2015 drama ‘Piku’. He reasoned that her pay hike was probably because she was ‘more important’ than him or that his price tag has receded because he has been in the industry for this long. He went on to state that maybe he was not ‘so important’. Deepika Padukone recently made it to the number 10 spot on the Forbes highest paid actress list. She was the only Indian star to feature on the list, surpassing Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma.
Just as we were bemoaning how unfavourably Deepika Padukone's Forbes ranking compares to her male counterparts, actor Amitabh Bachchan has revealed that he was paid less than she was in their 2015 film Piku.
Mr Bachchan, who won the Best Actor National Award for Piku, told : "In Piku, Deepika Padukone was paid more than me. That says two things - one that she is obviously more important than me and two I have lost my price scale because I have been working for so long and maybe I am not that important now to get that kind of money."
Piku director Shoojit Sircar corroborated this with a nod and added: "But what's the harm? If the woman's character is that then it's okay. For example, everybody asked me if Piku is a woman-centric film. I said, 'Why? Because a woman has a stronger character, that's why it's a woman centric film?' There are many films with only heroes but that is not a man-centric film. So don't see a film like that. Because there is a woman's picture on the poster, it's a woman-centric film? It's a cinema, it's a film, it's a story. Maybe, she is the hero of the film and that's how you should see it."
Deepika Padukone, 30, was recently named the tenth highest paid actress in the world by Forbes. Her earnings of $10 million in the last year was half that of Mr Bachchan's, who occupied a far lower comparative spot on the actors list. He was ranked #18 while three other actors - Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar - were placed above him on the top 20 actors list.
Deepika was also reported to be have negotiated a Rs 12 crore salary for her next Bollywood film Padmavati. This was later dismissed by a spokesperson from the team, who said: "The reports surrounding the star cast remuneration for Padmavati are completely false. The rumours are baseless and are being blown out of proportion."
Amitabh Bachchan, 73, will be next seen in Pink, also produced by Shoojit Sircar and directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury.
Deepika Padukone's first Hollywood film xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, co-starring Vin Diesel, releases next year in January. On Thursday, she and Vin went live on Facebook and Deepika got the actor to say "Namaste, mein aap sabhi ko bahut pyaar karta hoon."
Deepika is also busy with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati.
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