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Women are not paid peanuts anymore but are certainly not paid as much as men are for TV: Pallavi Joshi

In an interview with Nation Next, Pallavi Joshi speaks about Marathi Cinema and the huge remuneration gap among the male and female actors.
Pallavi Joshi

Actress Pallavi Joshi, widely known for her television shows like Antakshari, Aarohan, Alpviram, Talash, etc, is extremely selective about the roles she plays. Shes no longer fond of today’s daily soaps, as she feels there’s no quality content left in them. In an interview with Nation Next, Pallavi Joshi speaks about her first ever television daily soap – Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai’ (which brought her back to television after almost a decade), Marathi Cinema and the huge remuneration gap among the male and female actors.


You had returned to television in a daily soap  – Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai – on &TV after a long hiatus. Would you call it as your comeback

Not really, because I’m not planning to do any more television. I signed Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai? because I liked the story and because it was a finite show. I knew that the commitment was not going to stretch beyond four to five months. I hate doing daily soaps. I had stopped working in between because I didn’t want to do television, as I wasn’t getting good offers. I invested my time in my family rather than doing any bad show.

Hows your experience of working in the daily soap Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai after working in weekly shows like Aarohan, Alpviram, Talash, Imtihaan, etc? What has changed in the television industry since the 90s

Working in a daily soap is a terrible experience! We don’t have stories anymore unlike we had in the 90s. The format has changed completely. We don’t look forward to working on literature or focusing on great story telling, or authors whose books can be adapted. Any character can suddenly turn into a naagin (female snake) or a dayan (witch) in a daily show! When we did weekly shows, we had a time frame with a definite story line, which we were extremely happy with.

You said that daily soaps are not your cup of tea. What made you go ahead with Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai?

It was the only daily soap that I’ve done in my life because the story fascinated me. I loved my character. I could see a flow of characters. Most importantly, it had a beginning and an end unlike today’s daily soaps; rather serials, which keep revolving around something that doesn’t make sense. Today, everything changes as per the audiences taste. New storylines are brought in. I was hopeful that such kind of a thing wouldn’t happen with the show I was working in, because I was told that the people involved didn’t care for ratings (TRPs). They just wanted to make a project, which would be remembered for generations to come. Unfortunately, when we were at the fag end of the show, we too started doing the same thing.

For a fastidious actress like you, this is the most opportune time in Marathi cinema and TV, as very interesting projects are being made in both the industries. Still we don’t see you doing any Marathi serials or films after your last film Rita. Why?

I did a Marathi movie ?Prem Mhanje Prem Mhanje Prem Asta’ in 2013 with Mrinal Kulkarni. It’s not that I wasn’t offered films; it’s just a matter of choice. I’m selective because if I’ve done a movie like Rita, I don’t want to redo a similar movie. When you perform well, people want to cast you in the same role multiple times. That I can’t do.

You had once pointed out that women actors are not safe while working. As an executive member of the CINTAA (Cine and Television ArtistsAssociation), what are you doing for the womens safety during work hours

Not just female actors, even male actors should be safeguarded during working hours. There are no concrete steps that one can take to ensure womens safety but we have taken producers in our loop. Only members can work in the shoot. We ensure weekly visits to the sets to cross check every member with their identity card. If any untoward incident happens, CINTAA takes the responsibility.

You said that you wouldn’t work with the best of directors if you were being paid peanuts. We can see that the erstwhile male dominated TV industry has now become women-centric with the pivotal characters being women. Are women still paid peanuts in television industry?

Women are not paid peanuts anymore but are certainly not paid as much as men are in the Hindi TV industry. There’s still a lot of difference in Sakshi Tanwars remuneration and the remuneration of male actors like Ram Kapoor and Ronit Roys remuneration. Marathi movie stars are still paid peanuts more so because of the low production budget. Lets not talk about Marathi stars because they are treated like lepers! A Hindi industry actor, for instance, at Balaji Telefilms Limited, gets paid anywhere between 17-18 lacs per episode.

Even Bollywood is opening up to women-centric films like Queen, Highway etc. Has the remuneration for women increased there also?

Not yet. Have you ever seen Kangana Ranaut or Deepika Padukone charging 30-40 crores per movie?

While your film Budhha in a traffic jam (directed by your husband Vivek Agnihotri) got a standing ovation at Mumbai International Film Festival, it didn’t do well commercially. Haven?t the times changed in Indian cinema?

The film was just being screened during the afternoon hours in a lot of theatres. It was a very small release; you can’t compare it with a Bollywood blockbuster! A typical Salman Khan film would be released in 4000 prints across India unlike ours, which had just 150 print releases. We were no way in that league. Whatever box office collections we had acquired over the weekend for the afternoon show were very good. We didn’t have box office success on our mind when we released the film. We screened our film in all the IITs, IIMs and other premier institutes even before it’s release. The idea was to reach out to as many people as possible just to make them aware of the evil happenings around them in the society. We shot the film in 2011 but because of the producers indifferent approach towards the film, we had to release it in 2016 by fielding in more investors. Sooraj Barjatya was supposed to get involved with us for the film but because of the movies bold content, he couldn’t release it under Rajshri Productions. Had Rajshri Productions released the film, a wrong message would have been passed to its viewers.

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‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hain’ actress Mohena Kumari tests positive for coronavirus




Nation Next Newsroom | Uttarakhand

Actress Mohena Kumari, who acted in the popular television show, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai has tested positive for coronavirus. Mohena Kumari, is married to Suyyesh Rawat, who is the son of Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj, who tested positive for COVID-19 along with six members of his family on Sunday. The entire family is currently hospitalized.

In an interview with ETimes, the actress confirmed the news and said that she is doing fine now. The actress said, Yes, the news is true. Seven from our family have tested positive for COVID-19 but we are doing fine now. Right now, we are in the hospital. My brother-in-laws latest report has come negative, so hes fine now. There are other people too apart from the family. We had very mild symptoms and we thought it must be because of the change in weather.

Also read: Hindustani Bhau files complaint against Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor for disrespecting Indian Army

The actress added, Coronavirus is such that it spreads like a wild fire. First my mother-in-law got it but her symptoms were so mild that we couldn’t figure it out. It is our second day in the hospital, everyone is showing the signs of recovery and we will be fine soon. We are in quarantine now and getting treatment.

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22-year-old reality show winner Mebiena Michael dies in road accident




Nation Next Newsroom | Karnataka
In a tragic incident, 22-year-old  actress Kannada Mebiena Michael died in a car accident while she was on her way to her home in Madikeri on May 26 evening.
Mebeina Michael

In a tragic incident, 22-year-old  actress Kannada Mebiena Michael died in a car accident while she was on her way to her home in Madikeri on May 26 evening. The accident took place near Devihalli in Karnataka.

Mebiena, who won the Season 4 of reality show Pyaate Hudugir Halli Life,’ was accompanied by friends in her car when suddenly the car rammed into a tractor, which was taking a turn. The passengers were immediately rushed to Adichuchunagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Hospital. While her friends are showing signs of recovery, Mebiena unfortunately succumbed to her injuries.

Expressing shock and grief over her demise, host of Pyaate Hudugir Halli Life, Season 4, Akul Balaji tweeted, Shock to hear the sudden demise of one of my favourite contestant and winner of PHHL 4.. Mebiena, soo young and full of life, cant digest the fact.. my prayers for her family to ger over the tragedy.

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Veteran TV actor Ashiesh Roy admitted in ICU, asks for financial help on Facebook




Sneha Shah | Mumbai
Veteran television actor Ashiesh Roy has been admitted at a hospital in Mumbai for dialysis and asked for financial help through a Facebook post.
Ashiesh Roy

Veteran television actor Ashiesh Roy has been admitted at a hospital in Mumbai for dialysis and asked for financial help through a Facebook post. Roy took to Facebook to share sharing two updates on May 17, mentioning that he was in the ICU and needed money urgently for dialysis.

In the past few years, the 55-year-old actor has been admitted to hospital several times due to his various health issues. Back in January, the actor was hospitalised for water retention.

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta took to Twitter, urging film associations to raise money for Roy. Mehta wrote: Actor Ashish Roy (Bond) is seriously ill, on dialysis and in the ICU. He has appealed for financial help on FB. I’m doing all I can to help. Can industry associations also help the ailing actor??

Also read: I was physically and mentally tortured by Nawazuddins family: Aaliya Siddiqui on filing for divorce

Mehta, who directed the film Aligarh, tagged Sushant Singh, General secretary of Cine and TV ArtistesAssociation (CINTAA) and Ashoke Pandit, Chief advisor of Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE).

Roy has been active in entertainment industry since the late 1990s. Over the years, Roy has starred in shows like Sasural Simar Ka, Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi?, Jeannie Aur Juju, Baa Bahu Aur Baby, Mrs And Mr Sharma Allahabad Wale, and Tu Mere Agal Bagal Hai.

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