Deepika Padukone recently refused a film where she was offered much less than what she was worth because the filmmakers wanted to reduce her monies to pay the hero. It was but obvious, that Padmavati refused the film.
“I would like to speak for myself I have been able to bridge that gap in terms of what my male contemporaries. In a recent instance a director offered me a film and creatively I liked it. He came back and forth on the monies and said that we won’t be able to afford this kind of monies because he wanted to accommodate the male actor in it. So, I said, tata… good bye!” says Deepika.
“I know my track record and I know what I am worth and then his (the male actor’s) films haven’t been doing as well as mine. It made absolutely no sense and I said no to that film because it was unfair. I am ready to take those decisions for myself. Because of that I can sleep peacefully at night,” says the actress on the sidelines of an event she attended on Wednesday.
Interestingly a survey done recently saw five films made over a budget of over Rs 50 crore with women as a protagonist returned 25 % on Investment s compared to the Khan films which made 9 percent while the real estate market made 7 per cent.
Point this to Deepika and she says, “I think it is amazing. It is nice to say women centric or female centric when we talk about female role models.
But when it comes to creativity it has to be beyond a male or a female.
It is fine to say that the films with the Khans didn’t work. But Andhadhun was led by Ayushmann (Khurrana). So, it really boils down to the script, but yes, I see a trend that films being led by women are doing much better.
We are in a space today where directors are changing roles. There are scripts that have a male protagonist and the director says, ‘Let me make that into a female protagonist!’ Role offered to male coming to a female is a huge achievement. But as a creative person I won’t like to make a distinction. Great content is what is really working right now. And a lot of that credit goes to the audience as they are ready. It depends on kind of story that’s being told. How well the director is telling that story. 2018 was a clear verdict on that. The promo and the poster tell it all. When the first trailer goes out, they know whether they want to watch the film or not. In some cases, there are films where word of mouth helps it elevate in the week of the release,” says Deepika.
The actress however says that she has never been discriminated for her gender. “Broadly I never been made to feel less for being a woman. I never really experienced it Maybe it’s the way I was brought up. I didn’t look at this through those lenses. Maybe there have been that instances of male vs female or girl vs boy. Maybe it didn’t register. I have grown up in a family there just me and my sister. And we were never made to feel that we were lesser or could not accomplish because we were girls. I started playing badminton at a very early age. Girls and boys played together we travelled together and we stayed together in dormitories. We had the same issues of not having toilets or water to shower. The issues have been the same. Maybe the prize money was more for boys than the girls got,” she says.