Kangana Ranaut, who is gearing for the release of her woman-centric film "Rajjo", rues how female actors don't get their due in Bollywood - either in terms of credit or in monetary terms. In fact, the "bold" and beautiful talent says women don't even make a third of male actors' remuneration in tinsel town.
The young National Award-winning actress is known to speak her mind, and she spoke uninhibitedly when asked how leading male actors hog all the limelight away while actresses are left sidelined.
In an interview with IANS, Kangana said: "It's not that if 'Chennai Express' did well, it was only because of Shah Rukh (Khan). It was also because of Deepika Padukone's credibility".
"Forget the credit, they (male actors) take all the money as well. We don't get paid even one-third of what male actors get. It's not so much about the money, but it's about (being a) woman," added the 26-year-old.
Bollywood's A-list male actors reportedly mint around Rs.30 crore to Rs.40 crore per film, while a top-rated actress may make only approximately Rs.8 crore per movie project. The disparity is vast.
Citing an example of her forthcoming women-centric movie "Queen", she said that even if the film manages to make Rs.300 crore, she won't be able to match the remuneration of her counterparts.
"When it comes to paying us, they (filmmakers) wouldn't want to, just because I am a girl. This is very unfair.
"I think our generation has the responsibility to bring women of the industry to a position where they not only get respect but in every way they should be respected and their graph should be respected," said the 26-year-old.
Kangana comes from a non-film background. Despite that, the Himachal girl has carved a niche for herself with her performances in "Gangster - A Love Story", "Woh Lamhe" and "Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai". She even won the best supporting actress National Film award for her portrayal of a doomed ramp model in "Fashion".
If she feels that the industry fails to appreciate a woman's career graph, even her own parents are unable to do so. They only enjoy the attention they get because of being her parents, says Kangana.
"They are not exposed to cinema or any other art form. For them, life is about having a job, respected family, and good status in society. That's all they care about.
"What I don't really like sometimes is the fact that they enjoy all the wrong things of my profession - like the attention they get for being my parents. They love that, but they never look at the graph and technical part of my profession. They don't even look at it as an art form," she rued.
"They find shoots very boring. I think they are very basic people, so they fail to enjoy intellectual pleasures of the world. They find fun in useless matters, which I think should be ignored," she added.
But Kangana isn't complaining. The "high-headed" girl always does what she feels is right.
"I am a very bold person. For seven to eight years, I was not in touch with my parents. So I took the responsibility of every decision and no one can dictate me. My parents understand that," she said, and added how making bold choices in real life is not easy.
"Being bold on the screen is not dangerous, but when it comes to your opinion and choices (in real life), that boldness is a lot more dangerous."
Kangana is currently busy promoting "Rajjo", releasing Friday. She plays a nautch girl and says it's a special film for her as "you get such roles only once in your career".