Producers’ Mindset Has to Change: Kareena on Age Gap in Bollywood

The actor spills the beans on age gap and pay disparity in the film industry.

2 min read

From Kriti Sanon to Richa Chadha, many Bollywood actors have spoken about the pay disparity that exists in the industry. The latest to join the bandwagon is Kareena Kapoor. Acknowledging the problem Kareena said that the times are changing. With more women like Anushka Sharma and Deepika Padukone turning producers the gulf is gradually narrowing.

On age gap and women being criticised for romancing younger men, the actor said, “Producers’ mindset has to change.”

Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

I know you have been asked about the disparity, but I really want you to understand this that a lot of female actors have said that even when they star opposite male actors who have the same experience in the industry as them. Still there is a pay gap and the negotiations are always awkward when female actors are concerned. So, in your experience, have you felt that when a female actor negotiates pay with producers, the space and environment are very different?

Kareena Kapoor: Of course. But I feel now with people changing - with Anushka becoming producer and Deepika has become a producer - the conversation is slightly different now. Because producers are also left with no choice and to involve the heroin on board, you know, to get the kind of kickback it is they are bringing in that amount of revenue. So, I think now the entire milieu has changed. And the atmosphere that was slightly uncomfortable earlier, I feel they’re getting used to that, which is a good thing.

Taking this question forward, age gap is also one thing we have been addressing. All of us are talking about it, actors have been talking about it. A 50-year-old gets to romance a 21-year-old, but a 50-year-old actress doesn’t get to romance (a younger actor) because it looks odd. When Aishwarya did ‘Aye Dil Hai Mushkil’, Aishwarya and Ranbir’s age gap is not more than 5 or 6 years, but even then she faced a lot of criticism for romancing a younger man.

It is always a criticism whenever it comes to an older woman or in the film we are always showing this is a relationship between an older woman and a younger man. They have to justify it.

Kareena Kapoor: Of course. But not with a man. But hopefully when I’m also older, I’ll definitely do that kind of part and break that norm. I’m hoping to do that also. Because, why not? That should be the case. Some people do fall in love. Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are different generations, but they fell in love. Saif and me are different generations. But we fell in love. So what? What is the big thing? But here, the producers’ mindset has to change.

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