In the last two-and-a-half years, Deepika Padukone has delivered one hit after another – Cocktail, Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express, : Ram Leela, Happy New Year, Finding Fanny, Piku and Bajirao Mastani. Her misses (read Kochadaiiyaan and Tamasha) are few and far in between. And now that she has proven her consistency, rumours are rife that she has upped her fee from Rs 10 crore to Rs 15 crore for a film. But the question is: Is it a wise move?
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Ask producer Ramesh Taurani, who gave her Race 2, and he says, “Deepika has evolved astonishingly. With each performance, she has something new to offer.”
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As Deepika readies to foray into the international circuit with XXX series with Vin Diesel, one can’t forget how she had almost walked out of Taurani’s Race 2 in order to bag a film in the Fast & Furious series. However, the producer has clearly put history behind him.
Talking about her 'fee hike', Taurani is quick to point out, “An actor's fee depends on the recovery model of a film and the budget on which it will be shot. Younger actors, including Deepika don’t want to put a question mark on a film’s commercial viability by demanding unreasonable fees. She is a very accommodating actor.”
While Taurani chooses a diplomatic stance, trade analyst Amod Mehra is certain that the actress is justified in charging a hefty amount. “Deepika deserves more than what she’s charging. She has proved that she’s versatile, commercially reliable and extremely professional. And such artistes should be weighed in gold,” he says.
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Director Siddharth Anand, who worked with her on her second Hindi film Bachna Ae Haseeno, has seen her meteoric rise in Bollywood. “Deepika has proved that she’s a true blue director’s actress. How else do you do justice to the vision of directors as versatile as Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Imtiaz Ali and Shoojit Sircar? She’ll pack in so many more surprises in the years to come,” he adds.
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And if you have what it takes to set the cash registers ringing, then filmmakers will be willing to meet your demands.
Echoing this, another trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “Deepika is the most bankable and consistent heroine today. If she has upped her fee, it’s worth it.”
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There’s no denying that the actress has proved her mettle – be it in terms of performances or box-office results. So it won’t be surprising if filmmakers line up outside her house – hefty fee or not.
Amod sums it up saying, “Today, Deepika is the Amitabh Bachchan of heroines. She’s No.1 to No.10 in the female category.”
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