Kangana

Mumbai: Recently, Kangana Ranaut had confirmed that she is going to play the lead role in the biopic of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. This film will be made in Tamil as Thalaivi (meaning leader, a reference to her epithet of Puratchi Thalaivi, which means “revolutionary leader”) and Jaya in Hindi.

Kangana Ranaut is reportedly charging a whopping Rs 24 crore for working in the film.

Kangana is considered the highest fee taker in Bollywood at this time. According to a source, “Kangana is being given Rs 24 crore for the film being made in two languages. The filmmakers have full faith in Kangana’s star power. This film will be seen by a pan-Indian audience.”

“Whenever an artist from north India does a film of the south, there are also local actors along with him or her as protagonists but, in this movie, Kangana alone will be seen in the lead role. The film’s producers have already signed the contract with Kangana,” the source said.

If the news is true, Kangana has become the highest fee-taking actress in the Indian film industry so far.

AL Vijay is directing the movie. Writer KV Vijendra Prasad, who has written the script of super hit films like Baahubali.

Kangana said about the film, “Jayalalithaa was one of the most successful women in our country. She was a superstar of her time and then she succeeded in politics too. I am feeling honoured to join the film on her.”

According to a blog, this is the order of the highest earners among Bollywood actors:

Salman Khan: 60 crore

Aamir Khan: 45 crore

Akshay Kumar: 40-45 crore

Shah Rukh Khan: Rs 40 crore

Hrithik Roshan: Rs 30-40 crore

Ranbir Kapoor: Rs 30 crore

Ajay Devgn: Rs 25 crore

Amitabh Bachchan: R, s 20 crore

Kangana reportedly charges Rs 15 crore for a film, but this is a one-off case of a higher fee.

Bollywood caters to a society where the price of an actress drops after her marriage. Before Deepika Padukone’s marriage, the wife of Ranveer Singh used to charge Rs 14 crore for a film. Priyanka Chopra was worth Rs 13 crore per film before her marriage with Nick Jonas.

Before their marriage, Kareena Kapoor Khan earned Rs 11.5 crore, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja Rs 10.5 crore and Vidya Balan Rs 9.5 crore per film.

Among the unmarried actresses, for a film Katrina Kaif earns Rs 11 crore, Shraddha Kapoor Rs 9 crore, Anushka Sharma Rs 8 crore, Alia Bhatt Rs 7.5 crore while Parineeti Chopra and Sonakshi Sinha make Rs 5 crore each.

But two things must be taken into account while studying these reports. First, all the figures above are unofficial. To save on income tax, most actors accept their fee in declared and undeclared amounts. The amounts above are rumoured, but quite reliable. Second, the taste of the Indian audience is changing. With the success of more mature films, people may start accepting heroines of plots played by married women as well. The gender disparity in the income of actors and actresses will then narrow or end.