"I shouldn’t have to beg for it" Samantha opens up about pay disparities and mental health in Film Industry

(This article is authored by Alar)

Samantha Ruth Prabhu who recently impressed the audience with her performance in The Family Man 2, and Yashoda is all set to play the legendary princess Shakuntala in Gunasekhar’s upcoming historical drama Shaakuntalam. The film is based on the famous play Abhignyana Shakuntalam by Kalidasa, which tells the love story of Shakuntala and king Dushyanta of the Puru dynasty.

The film also marks the Telugu debut of Malayalam actor Dev Mohan, who will essay the role of Dushyanta. The actress as a part of her promotional efforts, has been in conversation with several media portals, where she has shared her thoughts on various topics, including her mental health and the issue of pay parity in the film industry. In a recent interview, the actress reportedly revealed that she has been learning how strong she is, mentally.

Samantha revealed that she has been facing some health issues and how she overcame them with her mental strength. She said, "In the past couple of months I have been learning how hard life can be and explained how I understood the difficulties. Myositis is still not completely cured. I am still taking treatment for it. But I have recovered from the previous damage. I will recover completely from this disease soon."

The actress also spoke about the pay disparities in the film industry and how she is fighting for it. She in an interview with PinkVilla, said, "I am fighting hard, not directly…it’s not like I am fighting to be paid equally, I want it to be a byproduct of hard work and success. People should just come and say, ‘Yes, we want to pay you this much’. I shouldn’t have to beg for it. I believe that comes with an incredible amount of hard work."

The actress reportedly also said that the fact that she was getting paid to work and get busy with acting was the only thing that kept her going during her treatments. The actress also expressed gratitude to the film's director and the other actors who had waited patiently for her return and provided her with the necessary support.

Shaakuntalam is produced by Neelima Guna under Gunaa Teamworks and distributed by Sri Venkateswara Creations. The film has a star-studded cast including Mohan Babu, Jisshu Sengupta, Madhoo, Gautami, Aditi Balan and Ananya Nagalla in supporting roles. The music is composed by Mani Sharma and the cinematography is by Sekhar V. Joseph. The film is scheduled for a theatrical release on April 14, 2023 in five languages - Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi.