When it comes to playing smart, there’s nothing stopping anyone in showbiz. And even the leading ladies are no exception to this rule. Kollywood heroines today tend to keep quiet with their signings, fearing the prospect of losing the project to a competitor. And the bigger the production is, the lesser likely is the chance of an announcement coming from the girl’s side.
A top actress, on the basis of anonymity, says, “When we are in talks with a big project, it also means there are others who are vying for the same role. There have been instances in the past where people have taken cuts in their pay packages, just to be a part of a bigger production. Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong in it. It is a competitive industry after all.”
It is no wonder that we’ve seen many heroines deny their being part of a project even though they’ve been roped in, until they finish their first day of shoot. Recently, we saw how Taapsee refused to confirm her being part of director Vishnuvardhan’s next alongside Ajith, Arya and Nayanthara, despite the makers confirming it. As did Richa Gangopadhyay, who hasn’t confirmed her being part of Gautham Menon’s bilingual production and the Telugu film Saar Osthara, despite the makers claiming she has.
An industry insider points out, “We have always seen the competitive streak with the leading ladies, whether it is the case of the top heroines or newcomers. Who can forget the Trisha-Nayanthara fight? Remember Nayan took away the film Sathyam from Trisha’s kitty for her losing out on Kuruvi earlier to Trisha.”
And there’s also the case of heroines who up their price to try to fit into the league that they want to be counted in. Amala Paul is one such case. She was reported to have charged 15 lakh for her hit Vettai and has now increased that number to a much bigger amount today, with her being in the reckoning for many big films.
With well-oiled PR machineries, heroines have learnt to plug themselves for big projects as the ones being ‘considered’ as frontrunners even when that’s not the case. With everything being fair in this business, quite literally, could our fair maidens be far behind?
Most prevalent practices
Undercutting – There have been instances where heroines have taken a cut of nearly 50 per cent to be part of a big banner film that is being talked about in order to beat their closest competitor from landing the role.
Free association – Many heroines float around a rumour that they have been approached for a film that’s gaining buzz to evince their interest indirectly.