Kangana Ranaut Says I Am Underpaid Compared To My Male Co-Actors

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“It’s not easy to maintain the lifestyle of a top actress. The car they expect you to drive, the house you live in. I’m in show business and can’t live like a yogi. These are the expectations from an actress, but they underpay you and how can you afford that lifestyle?” says Kangana Ranaut as her film Rangoon is going to hit the theaters on 24th February. 29 year old and three time national award winner actress Kangana is known for talking her heart and mind out straight. She says diplomacy is not her best suit at all and she doesn’t have a god-father in film industry and claims to be a self-made woman. The actress recently was surrounded by controversy because of her alleged relationship with Hrithik Roshan. On the leaked emails she had said, “I felt naked, cried for nights.”

Also in a previous interview she said she wants to have babies, maternal instincts have stated kicking in and it is hard not to share it.”I think I have been fairly independent, but when you are in your late twenties, somewhere your maternal instincts start kicking in and you start to get that feeling very badly: ‘I want to have babies’.” “I never thought I would talk like this, but it gets really hard not to share it. I am hoping to see that day.”

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She lives life on her own terms and conditions after all and that is the thumb rule for her. But it seems this thumb rule is not applied to her professional life at all . Now in a recent interview the actress says, she is underpaid compared to her male co-actors though she works harder than them and give more hours in a day to the film she is committed to than her male co-actors. She gets candid about money, her sense of finance and not getting paid equally to her male co-stars.

“Money is like everything else in life. Extremely significant, yet insignificant. We feel like we own it, but just like time and space, it moves. You have to be very stupid to hold on to money. Circulate it, enjoy it… do something with it. Money shouldn’t be lying dead somewhere, while you keep hoarding it.”

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My mother used to say, ‘You’ll only get Rs 100 for your sanitary pads.’ Well, that’s not pocket money. I have strict parents, but my great grandfather, Sarju Singh Ranaut, spoilt all of us kids rotten. He was a retired army man, freedom fighter and minister, so he got a lot of pension. He gave me Rs 20-30 every day. For a Class 5 student, that was a lot of money.

When I moved out and lived as a paying guest, I got Rs 5,000. There were five of us living in a house and I paid Rs 2,000 as rent. I never saved any money. I had expenses like rickshaws, junk food, coffee, so I felt like I was always running out of cash. Before the month ended, I needed more money.

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What seems irrelevant to my parents, isn’t to me. They think the money I spend on clothes is obscene. But I find their generation bizarre on many levels. They may have financial problems but they spend so much on weddings. They take loans to project a certain lifestyle. So to each his own and I’m not judgmental. We have to co-exist in our contradictions. But I can’t tolerate a waste of resources like food and water. Leaving the tap on or throwing away a lot of food in the trash — that’s disheartening.

I’m underpaid. The male stars do four-five shifts and act like they’re working in a factory. They give six hours a day to a film, I give 18 hours. I give better results, but when you don’t get that appreciation, it’s disheartening.

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It’s not easy to maintain the lifestyle of a top actress. The car they expect you to drive, the house you live in. I’m in show business and can’t live like a yogi. These are the expectations from an actress, but they underpay you and how can you afford that lifestyle? Now I can support myself, my family and fund my small dreams. I don’t have to do things that make me seriously unhappy like dance at weddings, do item songs or represent stupid brands like fairness creams.

I didn’t start out to be the highest paid actress with this huge house and flashy cars. I can do without all this. What’s important is that I’m the artiste that I am today.

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I do have a house and certain investments, but I’m not stocking up for the future or anxious about it. I’ve done it all myself without anybody’s help. I probably have one of the most fascinating rags-to-riches story you’ll come across. So it’s not frightening to start from scratch.

I’m working on dreams, not saving up for them. I don’t dream of buying a jet. My farm, the TV room in my house – these are dreams, but I have the resources for them.

Kangana’s next release is Rangoon co-starring, Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor, is scheduled to release on 24th February.
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