Kangana Ranaut seems to have created her own parallel universe in Bollywood. With the Karan Johars and the Hrithik Roshan camps not working with her, she has not just done a Manikarnika, but is now looking south of the Vindhyas. What is shocking or rather surprising that since the film on the life of the actress turned chief minister Jayalalitha is being made in two languages - Jaya in Hindi and Thalaivi in Tamil, Kangana has billed the makers a sum of Rs 24 crore for both the languages and she will be paid so.
According to a source close to the development, “Kangana is being paid to the tune of Rs 24 crore for the bilingual project, which will be made in Hindi and Tamil. The makers are sure that her star power will help reach a pan-India audience. The producers have already signed a contract with her.”
Having got the amount for the Jayalalithaa biopic, it is also the highest ever amount paid to any Bollywood actor for any South venture. It is also the highest ever for any actress in India to be paid for an Indian film.
“Normally you do not have a Bollywood star playing the lead in a south film. But this is a first, when a Hindi actress is playing the lead role in a south film with other south and Hindi actors around her. Hence it is also a significant development. If it works, it could completely blur the lines between Bollywood and regional cinema,” says a trade source.
Interestingly, Kangana’s fee is way behind what the biggest male Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan or Akshay Kumar ask for a movie in Hindi. Akshay charges Rs 45 crore for a film where he takes no profits or comes on board as a producer. And if one compares her fee with Scarlett Johansson’s fee of 40.5 million USD for the Avengers franchise, she is still at 3.5 million USD in pre-tax earnings.
Jaya a.k.a Thalaivi is being directed by Vijay and written by Kangana’s favourite writer KV Vijayendra Prasad. The makers were earlier looking at the option of choosing either Vidya Balan or Aishwarya Rai – both actresses with a south origin - to try and play the lead role, but that did not work out and they opted for the Himachali actress to play the lead. Kangana is currently working on Mental Hai Kya and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s Panga, post which, she will start work on the Jayalalithaa biopic.