Women pulling in 100 crore films, need equal pay: Pooja Hegde

Producers have now realised that women-driven films are making money.

Women pulling in 100 crore films, need equal pay: Pooja Hegde
Pic Courtesy: Movie Still

Hyderabad: Women-driven Bollywood films raking in the money at the box-office has become a trend, says actor Pooja Hegde, hoping that heroines would now start getting paid as much as their male counterparts.

The "Mohenjo Daro" and "Housefull 4" actor says it's very sad to see the way the industry operates in a way that women are putting in equal amount of effort as the men, but do get paid less.

When pay disparity issue was used to be raised, the argument was that the men are bringing the audience in and they are making the money for the producers, according to her.

"But now, if you look at the trend that's going on female-driven films are doing very well," Pooja told PTI, citing "Raazi" and "Veere di wedding" as examples.

"They (female-driven films) are all doing really well. So, I am hoping that now that the women are also pulling in hundred crore films...I think they are going to get paid as much as the men," she said.

"But we need more female producers also to help us out here...Something that has to be collective effort (to achieve wage parity)," Pooja added.

Producers have now realised that women-driven films are making money.

"2018 definitely belonged to women, and I am hoping 2019 will also be the same. People are making female-oriented films," she said.

Pooja, who has done Telugu films such as "Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava", "Sakshyam", "Rangasthalam", "Duvvada Jagannadham" and "Oka Laila Kosam", said it was a great experience shooting with Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh for "Housefull 4".

"They are so good at comedy. To learn from them was the best thing and I was like a baby on the set like a newcomer because I have not done this before, it was great," she said.

"It was a good experience (working with Akshay Kumar)...So fit, inspiring to see...Comic timing of it, that's something I am learning from him. He (Akshay) is always fun on sets," she said.

Pooja also revealed that she has bagged a Bollywood film, but it is yet to be announced by producers.

She said shooting for Telugu movie "Maharshi" with Mahesh Babu is almost getting done, and it should be ready for release in April.

2018 has been a busy year for her.

"I love being single right now. It's been a crazy year, no time for anything, not even family. It's year of my career, I would say. And I am hoping that this year would be equally crazy," Pooja said.

"God is my godfather. It gets harder and tougher I would say to breakthrough (without godfather) but I think if you are talented, work hard and with a little bit luck, you can reach further," the actress said.

Pooja said her burning ambition is do great films and challenging roles.

"I am learning how to play the guitar. By the end of the year, I really want to be good at playing the guitar, a good guitar player," she added.