While several actresses in Bollywood have time and again spoken about pay disparity in the industry, actress Ameesha Patel feels that male actors “deserve” to be paid more because films are selling because of them.
Patel, who is presently looking forward to the release of her much-anticipated film Gadar 2, said during an interview, “Pay parity doesn’t exist in Bollywood and it never will. It doesn’t even exist in Hollywood also. To be very honest, a film does ride on a hero’s shoulders. Why are we running away from that? I can say I want the same pay as my male co-star, but the truth is, the film is selling because of the hero, so he deserves it.”
The actress continued and said that she wanted more comfort on the sets instead of equal pay.
“Give me as much comfort as my male co-star because we work in as harsh environmental conditions. I want to perform my best. It is harder environmentally for us (women). In snow-clad mountains, we have to be in chiffon sarees when heroes are in their winter gear,” she added. “I will never say I want the same pay as Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Sunny Deol, or Akshay Kumar. The audience is coming for them. Yes, we do add a considerable amount in a significant role if we deliver but how many female-oriented films have done those kinds of box office numbers that even a solo hero film can do? So, why should we fool ourselves?”
Also starring Sunny Deol, Gadar 2 is the sequel to the 2001 blockbuster Gadar. It is scheduled to release in cinemas on August 11, 2015.