In a recent interview with producer Mukul Deora, of Bheja Fry 2 and The White Tiger – the first time producer chats about his first production and shares his views on Bollywood Stars and their big budgets.
Are the top stars to be blamed for inflating budgets? We live in a very expensive city and the cost of living here is phenomenal. If I am a top star, I’d like to live in a nice big bungalow costing Rs 50 crore. In Los Angeles, I’d be happy with a Rs 10 crore house because I’d be happy with the property that I’d manage to get with that kind of money. But in Bombay, that amount is not great money. So the stars ask for this stupid amount and people are even paying them, so why would they settle for less? Let’s just say that in Bollywood, there is more capital than talent.
Stars command a hefty pay cheque, but that doesn’t explain why the writers are underpaid. I don’t know about them being underpaid. At least in my production, the writers I have employed are well paid. In our country, everything is so star-driven, the more visible a face you have, the more money you will make for whatever you are contributing. Visibility is everything. If I am on the billboards all around the city, I will have power. If I am sitting on the backseat writing something, I have less power. That is sad. It should be the other way round or at least balanced. At the same time, you can’t write the public off. They pay for a big movie featuring a huge star written by nobody. The system doesn’t exist in isolation; the public is equally to be blamed.
Is it true that you have bagged the film rights of the Booker Prize winning novel, The White Tiger? Yes, absolutely. There are these two producers from New York – Josh Hart and Patrick – and together we have agreed to do the movie. It’s a long time from now, but yes we have the rights. It will be an English film, no point making The White Tiger in Bollywood.
For the full interview click here