01 August 2011

Can I Get Pregnant?


That’s what the pregnancy clause entails - an actress can't get pregnant during the making of the film. The clause hit national headlines a few weeks back, no thanks to Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, who gallantly announced his ‘soon-going-to-be grandfather’ status on Twitter. Is that fair – the clause? I have thought long &hard about it. Strip me of my feminism & put me in the shoes of the producer/director/company that invests crores into a venture as risky as the movie making business, I would say YES. It is right about fair.

Acting and modeling are professions unlike any other. They are hugely dependent on how you look. An actor’s (male/female) job is to look a certain way in the films he/she has agreed to work on. Physicality, body language, weight, dressing, health, safety everything matters a great deal for the entire duration of the film. How can an actor, 4 months into her term, be expected to perform the tasks given to her which includes smoking, drinking, extensive travelling, outdoor shoots that requires you to be away from home for long periods of time so on & so forth? No producer in his sane mind would want to do that. Why would he? God forbid, should there be an untoward incident, an accident or any unfortunate event, who will pay? Don’t we all know that film making is as much about art & creativity as it is about making money. And so it should be.

Hollywood is known to have a clause for such sticky situations. They mandate that the lead actors don’t indulge in high risk activities like skiing, horse riding, flying planes or racing cars. And this is clearly understood & perfectly adhered to by one & all. Their logic is simple & straight-forward: If you slip, you pay. That’s professionalism.

Are actresses no naïve not to know that, it is for their physical beauty, that they charge a fee which runs into a couple of crores? Professional that she is, why did Aishwarya wait for so long & then abruptly let her father-in-law announce the news to the world? Shouldn’t the director/producer know this critical piece of information directly from her or at least from her PR personnel & well in advance, & not through a social networking site? Even during the promotions of the film in Cannes, she was reportedly already carrying, & yet went about the whole shindig with happy abandon, while the poor director & producer remained clueless about the shock that was to befall them shortly afterwards.

Are we saying she herself wasn’t aware of the situation? That to me is an outrageous assumption. Even teenagers know that a pregnancy can be confirmed within a month of missing your cycle (no…not the one you ride!!). Don’t we know OTC (over the counter) pregnancy test kits, for as low as Rs 50, are easily available in every medical store worth its name in every nook & corner of a city especially like Mumbai? These days, just as unwanted pregnancies can be terminated, they can be planned well in advance too. And if an unplanned pregnancy did take place, an actor should take the producer/director into confidence.

I don’t understand why career-minded women would or should have a problem with the clause? The multiple zeroes in their coveted pay check, the media attention, the fame, the benefits, the fan following, the instant recognition, the free lunches, the party invites, the luxury, the glamour – all this is offered to them on a platter thanks to a profession that puts a premium on looking good. They don’t seem to be complaining about of any of that!!

34 comments:

  1. nice post chechi.
    She already earned more and now she can think abt family life.

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  2. Analytical mind at work.
    Even I did not understand why she did not tell her co-workers who were dependent on her completely.
    First of all, there is over the top hype about her in the media. She should have been sympathetic towards people who had invested on her. Poor Bhandarkar had his dream project entrusted on the plastic beauty. They are just selfish. What else can I say?

    I laughed a lot on 2 jokes on the news. Let me share them
    1) So, there is at least one hit successfully from Abhishek! ;)
    2) Aish acted 3 movies with Abhi, no success. She acted one movie with Rajni and you know the consequences. :-D

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  3. They are very much used to the 'image'(ofcourse,media involves in it) and they can never think to come out of it...I think

    But I feel woman is always a woman and should be a mother who takes care of family when she have no necessity to earn!(my opinion hope no offence meant)

    Btw,good article :)

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  4. very nice....loved reading it, well to be honest its just not the actresses alone but many corporate career oriented women also exchange the same ideology of giving more importance to work

    as you have put up the case for Ash, as you know the bachan family are kind of superstitious, religious whatever you call them , so these people have that 3 month period where they keep mum and didn't mind paying the bond breaking price instead....also they were more careful this time as they got this baby after lotsa of prayers and darshan here and there

    Becoming a mother is a most beautiful experience every women wants to experience when that they decide and when they do it might be too late

    good blog post dear

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  5. I think that she must have definitely told the director. Of course, she has been trying for a long while to have a baby. I don't think all these debates are actually attributed to her. She would be pretty comfortable to let go of any role as any professional would. In my opinion, all this controversy is just media generated nothing else.

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  6. nice post....... no one can guess about it correctly...... What can we say.....it's their life, their decision....

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  7. by "no one can guess about it" I mean about the tricks and news from celebrities...(and not about the pregnancy..lol:-))

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  8. @Jidhu: yes Anniyan :) she has earned enough & more already

    @Spicy: d first joke - LOL

    @Gowthami: of course not...no offense :)

    @ Bhavna: ohh so d 3 month ban on announcing 'gud news' is for religious reasons hmmm & d producer pays for it :)

    @ Rachna: right Rachna, now she'd be ready to let go of d role. But i feel thats coz she hasnt put her money into d venture.
    If she really wanted to "let go of d role" she shouldn't have gone so far ahead into the making of d film in d 1st place.
    Ya true ...everything today is media generated - films, politics, religion, health scares...cant really escape the media, can we?

    @ Sneha: hahha...ya pregnancy bit neednt be guessed...oh btw, u r first time here, welcome! :)

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  9. YEs so true what you say moreover of all the people aishwarya Rai should know this she being a beauty queen and all.. I am sure they would have had a contract with her.. Moreover as you said she is not a actress , she is a beauty queen who got films because of that Not the toehr way round ..

    But all this media and all who knows what the real truth is have any bollywood controversaries ever found the truth they are made out to gather publicity now the moview she was in has already got so much publicity, people know aboout it ..

    good post :)

    Bikram's

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  10. @ Bikram: yes Biggg B.
    and there we've Abhishek advising d world on family planing & saying his baby was "before" 3G...these people i tell you ....:)

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  11. I actually agree with Bhavna.I too felt that she had been covering up the pregnancy till her 3 months were up.Maybe she had miscarried a couple of times as they had been trying for a long time.Women especially when its their first are all hyper about their pregnancy.When my sister conceived the first time,she announced the very moment and miscarried the next month.So second time round,she waited for a whole 4 months to go by.Who knows,might be anything..but she should have avoided movies for a while there....she has crores of Rs under her belt.Letting go of a few,shoulodnt have been a problem.

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  12. well said..
    People who earn money with their looks can not suddenly get all emotional and put other peoples money in the drain.It just does not feel right.

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  13. I am not a believer of having a clause in the contract for not getting pregnant but showbiz has it's own rules. I think Bachchans are well versed with all of them. Director will surely cry when his project is effected. It's human nature. Also, everybody plan their baby. If you're committing to a project and you are making huge amount of money, signing a contract should not be a problem. I bet she would surely do it for a hollywood project.

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  14. @Suzy: if she hadnt signed & shot huge portions of that movie, i'd have no probs with her hiding her preg. but like u said, crores under her belt & then she does a disappearing act ....

    @varsha: absolutely!

    @Saru: u r right Saru. @ d end of d day its about one's commitment to a project involving crores.

    m so glad u girls caught exactly what i was trying to convey. :)

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  15. Pregnancy is such a personal thing and each of us will have our own way and timing when we should inform the external world. While I choose to tell the same day I came to know, other would want to wait 3-4montsh before announcing. In Aish's case there is definitely a media hype, who knows whom all she would have discussed on the same. Also she could work in some role as late as 6-7months when it really start showing. I think media should not even discuss these things and make it look complicated. Are we not judging her again? its tough when people give unwanted advise to a mother. Sorry for the long rant..

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  16. @weourlife: preg is a personal choice. agree. 100%. no 2 ques abt it.
    but an actress's (whoever she may b) job isnt like any other. there's a huge investment banking on her. let her not tell any1 abt her preg till 7 month,8month whatever but when a project is dependent on her, she must take the direc/prod into confidence

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  17. Agree with you Sujatha... And LoL on the jokes by Spicy Sweet Sahana. :):)

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  18. @Ashwini: Ya i know...Sahana'sjokes :))

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  19. Every profession has its own set of demands and work rules, i guess being a celebrity who demands a premium based on one's physical appearance, then anything which would change it should have been informed about to people concerned at work! simple as that!

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  20. Have u read that article by Madhur Bhandarkar?

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  21. @CreativeMama: haha u summed the entire post in just a para!! those were exactly my thots too when this whole pregnancy clause thing came up

    @Preethika: NO. Has he written on this? i thot he was too depressed to express himself. I would like to read what he had to say. Can u tell me where i can find the article?

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  22. @Preethika: well i got hold of the article.
    copying the link here for others to read too

    http://www.mid-day.com/entertainment/2011/jul/050711-Madhur-Bhandarkar-Heroine-controversy-Aishwarya-Rai-Bachchan-pregnant.htm

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  23. Well written post. This was really unfortunate for the producers.

    In other cases when applying for a job, there are people who don't disclose this fact. After accepting the appointment letter, they break the news. Mostly it is the fear of losing the opportunity. I always wondered why people look for a change immediately before they are getting married or after being pregnant. Both are stressful times when there are a lot of changes in your life and also lifestyle. These are times, they should not burden themselves with additional changes.

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  24. @Nona: Right Nona. d whole view that its my life n i'll decide...whatever doesn't hold ground when what u choose to do or not do affects others so intimately.

    That was a good instance u gave there of job applicants concealing facts

    Thank you for running by my post n adding value to it thru u thoughts

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  25. Hi Sujatha.
    I'm not saying Women should continue to be just the "Child bearing machines" as Hitler said. Women have excelled in Professional fields. All said and done, they should know that they have to give equal importance to their family life as well, and Not just remain Money minded.

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  26. @Ashwini: Hitler actually said that ?!! aaarrghhg

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  27. Yes Sujatha. I remember reading that in my History.

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  28. Looks like a publicity stunt to me. Generally, people are the last ones to get any news. All the stakeholders get to know it immediately.

    Destination Infinity

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  29. @Rajesh: how nice of you to read one of my older posts. thank you Rajesh

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  30. The celluloid wants only one thing when it comes to acting; it is beauty & professionalism. That's why they are paid more and there is no room for emotions and misgivings. Inspiring post!!!

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  31. @Sriram: professionalism is a must.

    thanks for reading an older post Sriram :)

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  32. Read the Madhur Bhandarkar article.. I feel bad for him.. and highly unprofessional on the part of the bacchans and aishwarya!!! Glad you put this together here!

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  33. @Jenny: yes. conceived in Feb & didn't reveal till May/June. sad esp when so many crores are riding on your back. guess, she was greedy for one last role/hefty cheque before the baby came out.

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