Brahmastra director Ayan Mukerji commented on speculation about Ranbir Kapoor not having charged a salary for starring in the fantasy drama. Brahmastra has been touted as the most expensive film in the history of Hindi cinema, and Ayan said that virtually the entire budget was funneled into making it a high-quality experience.
In an interview with Komal Nahta after the release of the film, Ayan said that everybody involved had to make sacrfices to see it across the finish line. Produced on a reported budget of Rs 410 crore, Brahmastra has had a particularly long road to release. It was first announced in 2014, and began filming in earnest in 2018. It was released in theatres earlier this month to mixed reviews.
When Ranbir was asked if the rumours about him not having charged any money for the film are true, Ayan said that he’d like to answer the question, as talking about it could be ‘awkward’ for Ranbir. The director said, “The truth is that the film has been made because of a lot of personal sacrifice. It is true that the amount that Ranbir would make as a star actor, he didn’t take anything for the making of Brahmastra. This is a very, very big thing, because it would not be possible to make this film”
Ayan comment doesn’t make it clear if Ranbir refused a salary appropriate for a star of a film this size, or if he make zero rupees. Nor does it indicate if Ranbir is making money via a backend deal. The backend deal entails the actor taking a part of profits instead of charging a fee for the film.
Ayan continued that even Alia Bhatt was paid a ‘small amount’ for the role, since she was locked in to a deal that was made nearly a decade ago, when she wasn’t the respected star that she is now. “When she joined the film, this was 2014, she only had a couple of releases. She isn’t the star that she is today. The amount that was fixed for Alia in this film was not a very big amount, but even that small amount, by the time we completed the film, even Alia said that all of it has gone into the making of the film.”
The box office figures for Brahmastra are disputed. While Dharma Productions has said that the film has made more than Rs 360 crore, Bollywood Hungama says the film has made Rs 355 crore