With critically acclaimed films like Margarita, With a Straw on her filmography, actress Kalki Koechlin has created a niche for herself in Bollywood. The 32-year-old actress has also emphasized on the issues of gender inequality and crimes against women with short films and poignant videos like The Printing Machine and It's Your Fault.
This time, however, Kalki has rather strong words to describe the wage gap issue, which is prevalent in Bollywood. In an interview to the Times of India, the Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani actress said: "You only get paid more than a man if you are Priyanka Chopra."
In the same interview she also revealed what actresses have to face in 'patriarchal Bollywood.' She told TOI: "Bollywood is as patriarchal as our society. I once met a producer who asked me about my age and I said, 30. To this, he replied, 'Don't worry, you still have five years left.' Another producer showed me the exact spot on my face where I needed to get a botox."
"There's a lot of pressure on women in Bollywood. Objectification of women is very predominant, but I am happy that gradually things are changing. Piku and Queen, both women-oriented films, brought a fresh change in Bollywood," she added.
Kalki will be next seen in Waiting, which also stars Naseeruddin Shah, Arjun Mathur and Rajat Kapoor. The Anu Menon-directed film will release on May 27.
Pay disparity has become an on and off discussion in Bollywood of late. Here's what other Bollywood actresses have said in the past.
Deepika Padukone: "I am not unhappy with what I am being paid. For me it's important that I do good work. But I think there should be some semblance when it comes to the current generation of stars. I was talking to a male co-star and he said that instead of increasing the payment for female stars the men should decrease their remuneration but it was just a conversation"
Sonakshi Sinha: "I believe that this gap will be fulfilled soon. One has to earn status and respect. It doesn't depend on whether you are a man or woman. The only difference I see in the industry is the pay disparity. It still exists," she told IANS
Juhi Chawla: "Pay disparity has always been there. It was there during our times too. There was no problem. It wasn't something I got upset about. We just accepted that the male actors would get more than us. But it is alright and it is pretty much the same now. I don't see it going away easily. It won't go overnight," she told PTI
Vidya Balan: "I hope that the disparity in pay scale gets corrected but I really feel that all the actresses will have to get together for that. And decide that we are not going to settle for less," she told PTI