Actor Bhumi Pednekar has said that although the industry is changing, she has faced prejudice multiple times in the past. The actor, whose most recent film is the box office hit Bala, added that she was once paid just 5% of what a male co-star with a similar number of hits got.
She told Pinkvilla in an interview, “In the early years, it used to be a huge problem. I’m not going to compare my pay to somebody’s who has been in the industry for so many years. I can’t be someone who’s not able to attract a large audience but expects a crazy pay. There has to be a logic behind it. I have been in a situation where I was paid 5% of what my male actor got, even though we had the same number of hits and our career graphs have been similar.” She added, “Things have changed tremendously. There’s this wave of films that’s led by female characters and it’s empowering to be a part of these.”
The actor’s brownface appearance in Bala received a lot of online flak. But Bhumi had a response to that as well. She said, “Everyone has faced bullying. I have been fatshamed since I was a kid. I was always a chubby kid. Everything is a problem. If you’re too short, it’s a problem. If you’re too tall, it’s a problem. Hairy, not hairy, fair, dark, – everything is an issue.”
Bala is doing wonders at the box office, having crossed the Rs 50 crore mark in just four days of release. The film continues Ayushmann Khurrana’s streak of success after the likes of Dream Girl, AndhaDhun, Badhaai Ho, Article 15, and other films. Bhumi will next be seen opposite Kartik Aaryan and Ananya Panday in Pati Patni Aur Woh, another film that has been involved in a controversy. Her previous films include Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Sonchiriya, Saand Ki Aankh, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, and a segment in the anthology film Lust Stories.