She is the true blue “bold and beautiful” actress, who courageously speaks her mind and stands up for her rights. Aindrita Ray, who has garnered acclaim for some great films with more than 25 hits in her career so far, is a voice to reckon with. An instrument of change, she has forced people to think about that oft-hushed debate which is an open secret — the pay disparity in a ‘male-dominated industry’ by raising valid questions over remuneration between male and female leads.
In an exclusive interview with the Bengaluru Chronicle, the actress also opens up on the equality issue, questioning why a female actor’s career is subjected to age and relationship status.
“It was during a Niruttara movie event, I casually spoke about what is happening in the industry. The issue of difference in pay between male and female actors has always been there, Hollywood included. However, my main concern is that the difference is so huge. I am aware of all my female colleagues who just get paid between 5 to 10 per cent of what the male actor gets paid for, in crores,” says a candid Aindrita.
The pay issue is a hornet’s nest that she has no qualms disturbing. The actress who has currently signed two more Kannada films, also challenges the other open-secret. “Age and relationship status is another matter which is so crucial to survive in this industry, especially for a woman. I see a change in Bollywood, where actresses like Kareena Kapoor, Tabu, and even Madhuri Dixit, are accepted and doing well even after their marriage, and are in their early 30s or 40s. With male actors like Rajinikanth, and others usually acting with much younger actresses, you do not see them facing such impediments. In the south, the age and relationship status of a female actor becomes such a major issue. It is very unfair and biased,” she reveals.
Aindrita admits that despite frequently raising her voice to set such wrongs right, not much has changed, adding that even now most producers run away the moment she asks for remuneration. “I am happy that at least raising such issues has resulted in some big reactions though it is obvious that neither the producer nor the male actors have expressed any concern on such matters. Why would they even bother?” she questions.
On upcoming projects, Aindrita Ray has signed two more big budget Kannada films, details which she currently cannot reveal, and Niruttara directed by Apoorva Kasarvalli stars Rahul Bose, Kiran and Bhavana which talks about four parallels in a story.
Honesty is a motto she lives by and she also continues her support for causes close to her heart. Aindrita recently shot for a video album for rapper Chandan. “I liked his initial work, and when I expressed it on social media, he thanked me. I will always support good work. I did not charge anything, as the whole idea was to nurture unique talent. Working on the album 3 Peg was great, which is shot well and has gained popularity with a good number of views and is also being played frequently in various pubs in the city,” adds the girl who’s game plan is to see equality for actors — regardless of gender.