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  Entertainment   Bollywood  11 Jan 2021  Penalising heroines?

Penalising heroines?

THE ASIAN AGE. | BVS PRAKASH
Published : Jan 11, 2021, 6:34 pm IST
Updated : Jan 11, 2021, 6:34 pm IST

Given the gloomy box office season, top South actresses skipping film promotional activities compounds producers’ woes.

Film Director Teja
 Film Director Teja

This week, Shruti Hassan left her filmmakers disappointed when she failed to join in on the promotions of her latest film, Krack. Earlier too Nayantara, Pooja Hegde, Kiara Advani, Kajal Agarwal, Anjali, Trisha and Keethy Suresh were called out for missing pre-release events that promote their films.
However, director Teja reasons, “I don’t think it was done on purpose. Shruti probably had other commitments to oblige to. Earlier, top actress Kajal Agarwal had promoted our 2017-thriller Nene Raju Nene Mantri in a big way but couldn’t spare time for her subsequent 2019-movie Sita owing to prior commitments.” Teja also points out that some actresses give interviews but skip promotional events. “Another reason could be that they believe that Telugu films are hero-centric and big stars go all-out to promote their movies, and so sometimes, they imagine they can take things a little lightly,” adds the director.
However, the director is clear that he doesn’t believe in introducing a drastic 10–20 per cent pay cut for actresses ala the Tamil film industry. “I am dead against penalising heroines as they have a limited shelf-life of five to six years; moreover, they are paid peanuts in comparison to the remunerations their male counterparts get,” Teja points out, adding that the Telugu film industry treats actresses as part of its family, although it imports most of them from other states.

Intentionally unavailable?

 

However, glam divas from Bollywood, Kollywood and Mollywood, who pocket pay-cheques varying between `1.5 crore and `3 crore per film, namely, Nayantara, Pooja Hegde, Kiara Advani, Kajal Agarwal, Anjali, Trisha and Keethy Suresh, are among those who have given a miss to pre-release interviews and events. For instance, B-town actress Pooja Hegde attended promotions of her 2020-film Ala Vaikuntapuramuloo but seemingly overlooked her 2019-movie Gadalakonda Ganesh, citing prior commitments. So are these actresses invariably showcasing their ‘selective’ choices?  Producer Vishnuvardhan Induri believes that a lot depends on the terms and conditions enshrined in the mutual agreements between the producer and actress. “If an actress has agreed to spare dates for pre- or post-promotion activities, she has to abide by it; otherwise, it is wrong. Similarly, if there is no such condition in the agreement, then is unfair to blame the actress alone if she chooses to give the promotions a slip,” he adds.

 

Vishnuvardhan talks about B-town actress Vidya Balan who had worked with him for two parts of the NTR biopic. “She gave interviews and attended all promotional events without any fuss. Similarly, I am again working with power-house of talent and professional actress Kangana Ranaut in my upcoming multilingual movie Thalaivi and everything is going well, just as planned,” he tells us.
Nonetheless, he admits that promotions are crucial for a film’s box-office openings. “I do agree that releasing a movie comes a close second to the challenge of making a film. So also I do wish more actresses join promotions to help producers to recover their money in these gloomy days,” he adds.

 

A professional responsibility

Sharing her thoughts about actresses missing promotions these days, young actress Poorna, who is set to romance Nandamuri star Balakrishna in his upcoming movie and doing a female-centric movie, Sundari, talks about how she’s never skipped promotional events in her career. “I can’t talk about others, but I feel it’s a responsibility and a part of my being professional too,” she says. “Undoubtedly, actresses have to spare time for promotions in conventional and social-media platforms and there are no two ways about it.”
Pointing out how actors and actresses become the face of a movie and get more mileage than, say, the cinematographer of a movie, she goes on to admit that heroes usually take the centre stage around a film.
“But actresses have to do their part and share their thoughts about the movie in interviews and attend promotional events to add to the glam quotient and to hype the movie,” she says, further pointing out how box office success also benefits the heroine. “She can then hike her pay and boost her popularity ratings. So you see, a blockbuster brings with it lots of benefits for the glam divas, just as it does for the hero, director and producer.”

 

Vishnuvardhan talks about B-town actress Vidya Balan who had worked with him for two parts of the NTR biopic. “She gave interviews and attended all promotional events without any fuss. Similarly, I am again working with power-house of talent and professional actress Kangana Ranaut in my upcoming multilingual movie Thalaivi and everything is going well, just as planned,” he tells us.
Nonetheless, he admits that promotions are crucial for a film’s box-office openings. “I do agree that releasing a movie comes a close second to the challenge of making a film. So also I do wish more actresses join promotions to help producers to recover their money in these gloomy days,” he adds.

 

A professional responsibility
Sharing her thoughts about actresses missing promotions these days, young actress Poorna, who is set to romance Nandamuri star Balakrishna in his upcoming movie and doing a female-centric movie, Sundari, talks about how she’s never skipped promotional events in her career. “I can’t talk about others, but I feel it’s a responsibility and a part of my being professional too,” she says. “Undoubtedly, actresses have to spare time for promotions in conventional and social-media platforms and there are no two ways about it.”
Pointing out how actors and actresses become the face of a movie and get more mileage than, say, the cinematographer of a movie, she goes on to admit that heroes usually take the centre stage around a film.
“But actresses have to do their part and share their thoughts about the movie in interviews and attend promotional events to add to the glam quotient and to hype the movie,” she says, further pointing out how box office success also benefits the heroine. “She can then hike her pay and boost her popularity ratings. So you see, a blockbuster brings with it lots of benefits for the glam divas, just as it does for the hero, director and producer.”

 

During my tenure in the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) a few years ago, we proposed a 10% pay cut for actresses who skip promotional events. It was implemented for some time, but fresh elections to the Producers Council and the rise of new trade bodies triggered confusion in the industry. We had asked producers to retain 10% of the remuneration to be paid to actresses and settle the amount only after they attended promotional events. I stick to my stand that actresses should promote their movies — it’s professional ethics. They seem to have ample time to inaugurate shopping malls, but can’t spare time to promote their movies, which is unfortunate. — Producer Keyaar, Former TFPC President

 

Tags: film promotions, shruti hassan, public relations
Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad