In a film industry where patriarchy remains the norm, trust a trailblazer such as Kareena Kapoor Khan to make inroads on bridging the pay gap between conventional Bollywood heroes and their leading ladies.
The revelation came during an interview between Kapoor Khan and veteran actor Anil Kapoor, who was a guest on the former’s radio show, ‘What Women Want’.
While speaking to Kapoor, the actress spoke of many Hollywood leading men taking a stand to ensure the film’s female lead also gets equal pay on a project. When she asked whether Kapoor would be comfortable doing the same here, the veteran star’s reply stumped her and revealed a little nugget of Kapoor Khan’s own pay day while filming ‘Veere Di Wedding’.
“You took a lot of money from me,” came Kapoor’s reply, before narrating a story about Kapoor Khan’s negotiations to work in the female-led film he had produced.
“’Yaar, yeh toh hero se zyada paise maang rahi hai’. Maine bola, de do (‘She is demanding more money than the hero.’ I said, ‘Give it to her).’ They were calling me when the negotiations were on. I said, ‘Bebo jo maangegi, de do (Give Kareena what she wants).’”
The actor went on to say that he worked on several films where the female lead has demanded more money and I have happily worked on those projects too.
Having worked in Bollywood for more than two decades, Kapoor Khan reportedly charges anywhere between Rs18-20 million per film. Her upcoming film includes ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ (with Aamir Khan) and ‘Takht’, which also features Kapoor.