In a recent interview with Filmfare, Vidya Balan opened up about turning 40, body-shaming and about her movies, The Dirty Picture and Kahaani becoming the first female-centric movies to enter the 100-crore club.
Balan shared, "I didn’t say that I want to be the first female actor to do commercially successful women-centric films. It just happened."
Modest, a little reductive to say it "just happened" but okay.
She was then asked about the wage disparity in Bollywood and had a very confusing answer, coming from her. We expected better.
"I cannot compare my fees with that of the male actors because I’m doing films where I’m pretty much whole and sole. Other actresses, who work with male superstars, are in better position to comment on that. But are these girls not demanding more? Are they not getting more? Of course they are," she says.
"It’s still a while before we get equal pay but you also have to consider other factors. If the man is the central character and is going to bring in the audiences, then obviously he will get paid well because he’s proved his box-office worth. When we women begin to prove ourselves more and more, people won’t be able to deny us our pound of flesh," she said.
It's disappointing a trailblazer like her would say something so ignorant. Women will only get to "prove" themselves more when they're given the opportunity; men have already done so because they've been running the show and still are.
You have to write the meaningful characters meant for women and studies have shown that women-led films are even beating their male counterparts at the box office so no reason why filmmakers can't take the risk (if you can even call it that) of casting women as leads.