Actor Deepika Padukone has once again spoken about pay disparity in the Hindi film industry. The actress was present at a launch event of a book when she shared her experience of refusing a film because of the money offered to her. Deepika mentioned that she realised the makers wanted to accommodate a certain male actor by giving her a pay cut, however, she refused to comply.
The actress talked to The Indian Express at the event and said, “There was a recent incident where a director offered us a film that creatively I liked. But then it came to talking about money, and I said that this is what I would charge. Then it kind of went back and forth. He came back and told me that he wouldn’t be able to afford me as he had to accommodate the male (lead). So, then I said ‘tata- good bye’ as I know my track record. I know my worth. I know that his films haven’t been doing as well as my films have. So, it made absolutely no sense. I was okay to say no to that film based on pay because I thought it was unfair.”
She also added that she knows her worth and it’s important for female actors in the industry to stand for themselves. She explained that it’s not peaceful for her to work on a film in which she is being paid less than the male actor despite contributing equally to the project. She said by refusing to work on the said film, she at least ensured sound sleep for herself. Deepika said, “Today, I am ready to take those steps, measures or decisions for myself because I am going to be able to sleep peacefully at night. I don’t think I would be able to live with the thought that despite the same kind of creative contribution as my male co-star, and bringing in the same kind of value to the film as him, I am being underpaid. I was not okay with that.”
The actress’ next film is Chhapaak. It’s a story based on real-life acid attack survivor Laxmi Aggarwal. Chhapaak is being directed by Meghna Gulzar while Deepika is producing it.