Within 24 h of Telugu film star Mahesh Babu saying he will not work in Bollywood, a filmmaker from the Hindi cinema industry has reacted dismissively. Producer Mukesh Bhatt opened up about Mahesh Babu’s ‘Bollywood cannot afford me‘ remark, saying there was nothing wrong with what the Telugu film star said.
During Adivi Sesh’s press meet yesterday, the Sarileru Neekevvaru actor had said, “Bollywood can’t afford me.” This caused a huge uproar on social media, with many jeering at Bollywood for its generally anti-Hindu content at a time when Telugu cinema is producing one film after another that upholds the mores of India’s ancient civilisation.
Mahesh Babu ruffled a few feathers when he said that he wouldn’t waste his time in Bollywood, an industry that he thinks cannot afford him.
Speaking with India Today, Mukesh Bhatt said, “If Bollywood can’t afford his price, then very good. I wish him all the best. I respect where he comes from. He has talent and he has an ‘X’ value for the talent that he has generated over the years. He is a very successful actor and keeping to his requisite of what he wants to get in terms of gratification of our films, if Bollywood cannot work to his expectations, then there is nothing wrong with it. I wish him all the best. Each one to its own.”
Mukesh Bhatt asked why anyone should be “offended by anybody’s price tag? If I have to work for somebody for free, it is my choice. If I am charging Rs 100 crore for something, it is my choice as well.”
“Having said that,” the filmmaker continued, “there is no fixed price in our industry. I have worked with an actor who worked for half the price of how much he originally quoted and visa-versa. Here, directors, actors, heroes, and their fees change person-to-person based on our associations. This industry is a dispensary of human emotions — it is not a mortal industry. Various factors determine the pricing of an actor, director, or film. It depends on his [the actor’s] relationship with the makers or his desire to work with a particular filmmaker.”
“Sometimes, it so happens that if an actor has a desire to work with a very successful director and when it happens, the actor ends up working for free or some people just go out of their way to do things. I respect that emotion and we work on those emotions,” Mukesh Bhatt said.
On the recent fracas between Telugu film actor Kiccha Sudeep and Hindi film actor Ajay Devgn over whether Hindi was the national language of India, Mukesh Bhatt said, “I don’t think we should go into that. I don’t cater to this nonsense of national language. India is a diverse country and that is the beauty of this country. It’s the uniqueness of India. That is the strength of India and it should remain strong and healthy.”