‘GIVE US FAT­TER PAY CHEQUES’

Ac­tor Vidya Balan rues the fee dis­par­ity be­tween male and fe­male ac­tors in Bol­ly­wood

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Medha Shri Dahiya ■ medha. dahiya@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

Ac­tor Vidya Balan, who is of­ten cred­ited for be­ing one of those who made women-cen­tric films main­stream, is happy to see that in the re­cent months, “some bril­liant films with fe­male leads have done ex­tremely well — both crit­i­cally and com­mer­cially”.

How­ever, there is still some­thing that pains her heart. “You know, I feel that there is still a lot of dis­par­ity in the pay cheques of male and fe­male ac­tors,” she sighs, and adds, “If there is one thing I could change about the in­dus­try, I think it’d be this dis­par­ity. The fe­male ac­tors should also get an equally fat cheque.”

The ac­tor, who made her Bol­ly­wood de­but with Pari­neeta (2005), a film ap­pre­ci­ated for its strong fe­male pro­tag­o­nist, re­calls that there was a time when the kind of films she did were con­sid­ered ex­cep­tions. “I am very happy to see the kind of films be­ing made over the past two years. I re­mem- ber when I did Ishqiya (2010), No One Killed Jes­sica (2011), The Dirty Pic­ture (2011) and Ka­haani (2012), these films were con­sid­ered an aber­ra­tion. Slowly but surely, I think it gained mo­men­tum, and be­tween last year and this year, I can think of at least eight good films with women in the lead,” says the 37-year-old ac­tor.

Vidya ob­serves that the trend on reel po­trays the change in so­ci­ety. “It’s a very hope­ful sce­nario for us (fe­male ac­tors), and it’s here to stay now. I don’t think this is a phase. I think this is how it is go­ing to be, be­cause if you see all around, women are now in-charge of their lives. They are be­com­ing aware that they could lead their lives the way they wish to. They are be­com­ing aware of their rights, and they are com­ing into their own. They are get­ting into pro­fes­sions that were con­sid­ered a male bas­tion ear­lier. So there are go­ing to be more sto­ries with fe­male leads. And we will see more such sto­ries on screen, be­cause cin­ema is a re­flec­tion of our so­ci­ety.”

If there is one thing that I could change about the in­dus­try, I think it’d be this dis­par­ity

Vidya Balan, ac­tor

PHOTO: YOGEN SHAH

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