Bollywood hottie Priyanka Chopra has reportedly got paid a whopping Rs 9 crore for acting opposite Tollywood star Ram Charan Teja in his Bollywood debut, Zanjeer. While this sum pushes her to being the highest earning actress in Indian cinema today, her remuneration is a distant dream for her colleagues down south.
Till date, Aishwarya Rai is reported to have pocketed the most in a South Indian film, taking home a cool Rs 6 crore to star opposite Rajnikanth in Endhiran: The Robot. While this still is the benchmark for girls down south to beat, the rest seem to have made progress in their own way.
After the girls in Bollywood, the actresses who are reportedly being paid big bucks are from Kollywood and Tollywood. Since the two industries share a symbiotic relationship, the heroines command an equal price and popularity in both. Goan beauty Ileana, for instance, is said to have been paid the most for her Tamil film Nanban – she was reportedly paid Rs. 1.5 crore.
Nayantara, who has signed on four films after nearly a year, is also rumoured to have been paid the same amount for her comeback films.
Local girl Trisha is said to be commanding a price of Rs. 1.2 crore, which makes her the highest paid actress from Tamil Nadu. Others in the one crore plus club are rumoured to be Anushka and Kajal Agarwal.
Samantha too is reportedly earning over a crore in Telugu cinema, while Tamanna and Taapsee Pannu are inching their way up. While Tamil and Telugu film industries have actresses earning big sums, their not-so-flamboyant counterparts in Kerala and Karnataka lag far behind. While the topmost paid Kannada heroine till date is supposed to be Nayantara, who reportedly got paid over Rs. 50 lakh, Kannada girl Ramya (Divya Spandana) earns over Rs. 40 lakh for her Kannada films.
A producer from the Kannada film industry says, “The budgets of some of the biggest Kannada and Malayalam films are still one-tenth of the big budget Tamil and Telugu films. The Telugu and Tamil films have a big overseas audience today just like Bollywood.”
In Malayalam, Bollywood and Kollywood imports are said to fetch salaries that are between Rs. 20 to Rs. 30 lakh, but the highest paid local girl currently is Kavya Madhavan, who’s said to be getting Rs. 17 lakh per film.