A male and female actor should get the same fees: Shah Rukh Khan


Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan is usually one to refrain from controversial comments but the actor has always shown respect and love towards women, whether his family members, his co-stars and women in general.

In a recent interview with Economic Times, SRK shared his two cents on the plaguing issue of pay disparity between the two genders in the entertainment industry. When asked if the female actors are getting their due in Bollywood, Khan replied, “It’s a male-dominated industry. You can’t shirk it away or ignore it. I would love it to be different. There should be no disparity. A male actor and a female actor should get the same fees — why is it different, I don’t know.”

He continued, “But I would also add that no actor — male or female — should over-estimate their performance. No individual — be it director or actor — should burden the film’s expense by charging an amount that goes beyond the performance of the film’s opening weekend.”

Apart from that the actor was also asked if he’d like to foray into Hollywood considering many of his colleagues have. To this he responded, “They have to look at me; I can’t look at them. I look at the moon every day but I don’t reach for it. It started with Om Puriji and now Priyanka, Irrfan and so many others are doing it…But I have never been offered an opportunity. I don’t even know if I am good enough to do it — I think my English is a little weak.”

He further added, “My own attempt is to make Indian films watched at that level. Again, not taking away from the greatness of anything that others have achieved, I’d like Tom Cruise to say one day that ‘I’ve been given a chance in a Hindi film’. Man, that will be wonderful. Christopher Nolan would say that there is a producer in India who wants him to make a film. InshAllah, that will happen.”

On whether he will be donning the director’s hat, Khan said, “I’m lonely enough as an actor. The director’s job is the loneliest in filmmaking as they are the only ones who know what their film is speaking. So perhaps I’m not ready for that kind of loneliness as yet.”

He continued, “If I am to direct, then I have to write as well, which will take me a couple of years. I’ve been trying to write a book for the last 20 years and I haven’t finished that. I’m a little lazy, but in small ways, I do participate in designing the action.”

“I don’t know how to say ‘okay’ to something. I always feel it can be better — I have trouble letting go. A director’s job of just saying okay and moving on stresses me; how does this person know it’s okay? I will keep on doing things and until I get to understand that it is okay to say okay, I’ll not be a director.”