Are new actors getting too pricey too early?

While several industry bigwigs feel that there is a drastic paucity in the number of fresh faces entering the industry, the real picture could be quite different.

Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor
Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor

While the likes of Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor, Siddarth Malhotra, Ayushmann Khurrana, Vidyut Jamwal, Ranveer Singh, Sushant Singh Rajput, Aditya Roy Kapur, Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra and the others have been bagging multiple offers with big banners, lesser-known filmmakers or small budget films are finding it tough to rope in known actors/actresses.

Ranveer Singh Sushant Singh Rajput
Ranveer Singh and Sushant Singh Rajput

With in-house talent management companies and mentors doubling up to handle the accounts of the young brigade, they have become almost inaccessible to smaller directors and producers.

Aditya Roy Kapur Siddharth Malhotra
Aditya Roy Kapur and Siddharth Malhotra

A source from the industry says, “It is a never-ending tale for filmmakers. Stars seem to be more interested in knowing who the producers will be and vice-versa. All the new actors who have become overnight stars now even refuse to meet filmmakers until and unless they have powerful backing.”

Ayushmann Khurrana Vidyut Jamwal
Ayushmann Khurrana and Vidyut Jamwal

Let’s go camping
Newer actors like Ayushmann and Sushant Singh Rajput have been picked by Aditya Chopra and many other big banners that also manage these stars. Naturally, they are more available to their mentor groups rather than working outside the camps. The source adds, “Even newbies like Varun, Siddharth and Arjun Kapoor are only working on co-productions by Karan Johar or Ekta Kapoor or Anurag Kashyap. In this scenario, no one can even approach them.”

Parineeti Chopra
Parineeti Chopra

Up, up and away
Piggybacking on the clout of these big banners, the young bandwagon also seems to have hiked their acting fees overnight. And those sky-rocketing don’t seem to fit into the scheme of things for smaller filmmakers. Says an industry insider, “The moment Aashiqui 2 became a hit, Aditya Roy Kapur was signed on by Yash Raj Films, thus shutting the doors on individual directors. The small filmmakers who want to go to the next level struggle to make films as even actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui or Rajkumar Yadav are demanding a huge price.”

Nawazuddin Siddiqui Rajkumar Yadav
Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rajkumar Yadav

Passing the buck
However in defence of the newbies, another source points out that these astronomical figures are thrown at the small-time filmmakers not by the actors themselves, but by their agencies. A filmmaker, who recently worked on a critically acclaimed film, says on conditions of anonymity, “I wanted to make a bigger film next but could not get access to the stars. The price quoted was much beyond the price I estimated. It’s the talent management agencies that are taking the final decisions.”

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