Actor Taapsee Pannu recently defended Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor Khan after the latter was criticized for reportedly demanding a hefty sum to play Sita. The 3 Idiots star recently landed in hot waters after it was reported that she asked for INR 120 Million to play the role of goddess Sita in the upcoming film Ramayan. Pannu shared in an interview that she believes Khan is in the right to demand a higher salary for what may be a rather demanding role, reported Hindustan Times. She stated that the criticism is a result of rampant sexism in the industry and that a man would not be subject to the same if he were to ask for a high salary to play a role.
Speaking to Bollywood Bubble, the Thappad actor explained, "If it would have been a man in that position, who would have asked for a particular amount, it would have been looked upon like, 'iski market badh gayi hai (his worth has improved)'. Like that guy has really achieved big success in life. But because a woman is asking for it, she's called 'difficult', 'too demanding'. It's always like that."
She continued, "You'll always read about this problem issue of hiked salary with women. But why not? She is one of the biggest female superstars we have in the country. If she commands a certain salary for her time, it's her job. Do you think any other mythological characters that are played by men, do you think they do it for free? I don't think so."
Apart from the salary demand, people were also incensed over the supposed consideration of an actor married to a Muslim man to play the role of the deity who is married to the Hindu god Ram. The Jab We Met actor is married to actor Saif Ali Khan and the couple have two children together.
The writer of the film denied the rumours, claiming that no such casting choice had been made. When asked by entertainment portal Spotboye about the reported casting decision, he said, "No, no, no." Citing a different source, the entertainment outlet added, "Kareena is not suited to the part at all. It must have suited some marketing brains somewhere to suggest she's playing Sita as her husband is playing Ravan in another project. Also, the hefty fee that she is supposed to have asked for a role that she has not been offered, sounds impressive but far-fetched in this day and age of an economic recession." Saif will be playing the role of Ravan in the upcoming Adipurush.
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