Our Bollywood heroines need a reality check far more than a pay cheque. Their remunerative demands are not only staggering but also quite amusing in how ridiculous they appear considering their limited box office clout.
Think Shraddha Kapoor. When was the last time she had a hit? Her last two films have been box office disasters. And yet her price on Bollywood’s rate card is a staggering Rs 8 crores. Yes, you heard right. That’s how much this actress—of Rock On 2 and Ok Jaanu fame—wants as her fee to act opposite Bahubali star Prabhas.
This, the producers of Prabhas’ next project Saaho discovered when they approached Shraddha. Says a source very close to the development, “We wanted a Bollywood actress opposite Prabhas to give Saaho a pan-India look. The heroine has a fantastic role in Saaho. We wanted someone beautiful, Indian and emotive. Shraddha Kapoor was our first choice. She heard us out and was almost jumping with excitement during the narration.”
Then she quoted a price that had the Saaho team running out of Shraddha’s residence as fast as possible.
“She wanted Rs. 8 crores. We were shocked. We don’t pay that kind of money to actors in Telugu cinema. But she wouldn’t budge. She was like, ‘I love the script and I’d love to work with Prabhas. But the price remains unchanged.’ We fled.”
The producers then tried Disha Patani, who played Dhoni’s deceased beloved in the bio-pic with a career as dead as her character. “She had started her career in Telugu cinema. So we thought she would be keenly interested in the project as it stars Prabhas,” says the source.
To their surprise she not only played hard to get, she asked for a fee that had the producers reeling.
“Disha Patani who started her career in our Telugu cinema wouldn’t meet us. When she finally did she said she’d let us know. Later she had her team members inform us that she liked the script but would want Rs. 5 crores for her fee. We want to know which Bollywood producer pays Disha Patani that kind of money, and for what?’ says the irate source from Saaho, adding that they met several other Bollywood actresses including Kriti Sanon.
“But nothing worked out. We are now done with Bollywood actresses. With Prabhas in the project we don’t need them. We will cast a Telugu actress,” says the source.
Shraddha Kapoor and Disha Patani remained unavailable for comment.