Pandemic-induced pay cuts may be a reality for many, but Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar isn’t one of them. On June 14, the bankable actor slammed a news report which claimed that he had reduced his remuneration significantly for his upcoming film ‘Bell Bottom’.
In a tweet dripping with sarcasm, he wrote: “What waking up to FAKE Scoops feels like!” To drive home his point, he also shared the link of the article that carried the alleged false news. The news report quoted an industry source claiming that ‘Bell Bottom’ producer Vashu Bhagnani will now cough up Rs300 million lesser than the original actor’s fee.
The article quoted an anonymous source and said: “‘Bell Bottom’ was supposed to release in the month of April, however, due to the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the release has been deferred. The delay was not accounted for and also resulted in a spike in the budget of ‘Bell Bottom’. Being primarily a film that caters to the tier 1 and 2 cities, Vashu Bhagnani wanted to keep the budget in check and hence, he requested his leading man, Akshay to scale down his acting fees by Rs30 crores, as the rise in budget aside, there looms a lot of uncertainty on the release too. If theatrical, it’s a given that the film wouldn’t earn what it would have in a normal scenario.”
The article goes on to comment on how gracious Kumar was to the producer’s request towards slashing fees.
But Kumar isn’t buying it and didn’t display any grace when slamming them for wrong reportage.
The self-made actor has always spoken about how bankable he is at the box-office and how he values money more than film awards. He had famously opened up about how several organisers of Bollywood awards had suggested that they would hand over an award if he performed at the event for free. But Kumar was not into barter and preferred to just be paid handsomely for his moves on stage.
Earlier in the day, Kumar’s upcoming project ‘Prithviraj’ also ran into trouble with a right-wing group demanding a change in the title as they found it offensive to the Hindu ruler. They wanted the makers to reflect the full name of the revered Hindu emperor.