Bollywood does not allow for a 'pregnant' pause

Bollywood does not allow for a 'pregnant' pause

A few years back, there was a huge controversy between Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar over his claims that he signed his upcoming film Heroine with the actress but the truth that she was in the family way, was hidden from him. This came as a great shock to him, because an artiste who was pregnant could not act in a film and definitely could not be presented as a heroine. 

More recently, Vidya Balan also quashed rumours of her pregnancy, clarifying that  she did not see any possibility of starting a family in the next two years. But what is the compulsion that stops an actress from getting married or pregnant during or before shooting any film. Is it simply their personal desire or has it more to do with their contract with the producers?

Even an ‘unemployed’ actor like Esha Deol following her marriage with a high-profile businessman said she would not be doing ‘Dhoom-type’ roles again. It is quite another matter that the poor lady is still waiting for producers to come to her with films. But, one wonders what made her express here reservations, post-marriage, for Dhoom-type roles? Why is it that actresses can’t or refuse to wear skimpy clothes and do steamy scenes after marriage? It is a known fact that Kareena Kapoor Khan won’t do another Fevicol as she is married to Nawab Sa’ab (Saif Ali Khan) now.

And that is why before taking the ‘saath pheras’, actresses take up their dream roles as and when they come their way. Even their contracts have some clauses which doesn’t allow them to get married or have kids. As Chandramani Roy, ad-maker and casting director, said, “These contracts are made by the producers. For example, if a film has some bikini scenes, how can a producer afford to have a pregnant heroine? Even if the actress commits to resume shoot post her delivery, things are uncertain. There is money involved, technicians might take up other work and who knows about the circumstances after a year?”

These contracts are made on mutual agreements and work well with newcomers or those who are not established. One cannot command Salman Khan or Kareena Kapoor Khan about their scenes or costumes. Same is the case with the 100-crore club queen Sonakshi Sinha. In a recent interview with a leading newspaper, her father and veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha said that her contract papers are made according to her wish and no one can force her to do any scenes or wear certain kind of clothes. 

“When you reach that level where you have given back-to-back 100-crore hits, you can demand all these things. Like if Deepika Padukone demands fashion stylist and costume designer Anaita Shroff Adajania for her films, the producer will have to get her onboard. Nowadays, she is even asking for a share from the film’s profit,” added Chandramani.

The contracts are made involving the two parties and their lawyers. There is also a clause ‘oath of secrecy’ or ‘non-disclosure agreement’. Under this, one cannot share anything about the script or what is happening in the set. They can’t even upload any picture. Everything is done keeping the director, producer or their PR team in the loop.

Anuj Tyagi, an associate director, shared, “Everything is mentioned in the contract. What kind of scenes they are going to have, like violent love-making scenes, nude scenes, everything. The contract also includes the marketing and promotion days. Even if the producer and the actress are good friends, there are few points which they will have to religiously follow.”

“Aur shaadi  ke baad actresses ka utna craze nahi rehta hai. They will not do bed scenes, they will not wear certain costumes. So, that is why there are such contracts. And also, there is a huge difference between having a husband or a boyfriend. Breaking up with a boyfriend will not make so much of a difference as being ‘divorced’ will. It is also easier to get work out of a single woman than a married woman. Wahan ethical, non-ethical waali baat aa jati hai.”

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