Bollywood, please stop being gold diggers-Entertainment News, Firstpost

We will not take names here. But there are horror stories about Bollywood superstars and their stingy ways on set and on location. One of the A-listers, known for his intensity and his superhero frankness, even makes the producer pay for his chewing gum on the sets. Another who is married to a female superstar, orders 4-5 different dishes for lunch, eats a little and takes the rest home.

A top producer-director with a no-nonsense attitude reveals A-list actors are the biggest anger-throwers. “They charge between 90 crore and 180 crore. This is their base rate. And that’s still not enough. The producer must pay for his gas daily and pay the costs of his driver and make-up artist. Even chewing gum and cigarettes are charged on production.

These aren’t isolated cases of one or another A-lister determined to squeeze every penny out of producers. Most actors behave this way.

“Even those who bring their ghar ka dabba sometimes order expensive Chinese or Thai food to take home. God knows what they do with it,” reveals a production controller.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui talks to me about star tantrums. “We used to hear that Rajesh Khanna and Raj Kumar were arriving late. But aaj ke superstars koi kam nahin hain (today’s superstars are equally inconsiderate).

Of Khan’s three superstars, two of them are known to be punctual, considerate and very picky about their spending. A third is well known for his notorious delay. This Khan is coming for a shift from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. He then has lunch with his friends, takes a nap. The first shot is taken with this superstar around 5 p.m. only. After a few shots, he shouts pack up.

How are films made in such hostile conditions? Where is this team spirit that the actors of the past shared? Superstars were known to work for free. Amitabh Bachchan didn’t charge a penny for Sanjay Leela Bhansali Black. Temperamental as it was known, mega-superstar Rajesh Khanna was known to drop his price at the peak of his stardom for producers in need.

Among the current A-listers, who was the last to lower their price for a cash-strapped producer?

The starry authoritarian has brought the Telugu film industry to its knees. All work stopped on August 1. Now the Telugu industry has reopened. But the stars have been given a clear directive on cutting costs.

The Telugu Film Producers Council, citing increased production costs post-pandemic, said: “All performer compensation must include staff, local transport, local accommodation, special food, etc. The amount is to be finalized by the producer on a role/film basis. The producer shall not directly pay any amount related to the artists, except for the amount agreed with the artists themselves. »

A similar directive must be activated in Bollywood before it is too late. While Rome burns, the Neros plays the violin.

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has written about Bollywood long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.

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