Veteran actor Ananth Narayan Mahadevan who again got recognition for his work in highly acclaimed web series, Scam 1992 is still leaving with his past disappointments. This is because the actor is yet not paid for his 2017 released film Aksar 2.
The erotic thriller released on November 17, 2017 starred Zareen Khan, Gautam Rode and Abhinav Shukla. The actor is fed up of asking producer Shyam Bajaj for the payments. The veteran actor yesterday put a Facebook post where he shared a poster of Aksar 2 and the caption was ‘CELEBRATING THREE YEARS….OF HUMILIATION by the producers’. The actor also replaced the tagline from ‘How often do you see the trap?’ to ‘How often do you not get paid??’
Talking to the media house Ananth said, “I was supposed to be paid Rs. 35 lakhs. I have been paid Rs. 20 lakhs till date. They kept promising for 3 years that they’ll pay up the balance amount. Every time I contacted Mr Shyam Bajaj, he kept saying that he’ll pay. And then he tried to avoid it. I ended up as a nervous wreck. It was very humiliating. If somebody would have told me to direct a film for free, I would have graciously done it. But they kept fooling me. They claimed that ‘let’s finish the Mauritius schedule. Otherwise the film will get stuck’ and ‘let me release the film first and then I’ll pay’. Also, the film is your baby too. You don’t want it to get affected in any way. And of course, I did trust. In fact, he didn’t even sign a contract with me. He managed to bypass all that very cleverly. Now I realize that it was all very well planned so that they don’t have to pay me my remuneration. Very sad state of affairs!”
Ananth had also worked with the Bajajs in films like Aksar (2006) and Aggar (2007). Ananth said, “I have worked with them earlier, with Aksar and even in Aggar. That’s the reason I trusted them. I was paid properly then and on time. So I thought they’ll not cheat me. And I had agreed to work for such a paltry sum that it’s even shameful to tell the public.” He added, “Every time, they used to give me a small amount through a cheque.”
Mahadevan also told the media, “I have nothing to do. I approached a lawyer but he said that since I don’t have a contract, we can’t do anything about it. The lawyer went and spoke to them. They then continued with their excuses like ‘we’ll let you know, ‘we’ll talk after Diwali’, ‘we are sick’ etc. They have got a hundred excuses to give me. So finally, I decided to go public. I realized that if they humiliate me like this, I’ll humiliate them too. I know I am not going to get the money. So I’ll at least hit back and wound them before I die.”
Talking about other cast and crew member’s payment he said, “All the actors were paid. The makers had to; otherwise they won’t dub or promote the film. But the director is always left high and dry,” and then added, “Everybody has been paid except me, the DOP and the assistants.”
He finally added, “Let me see how they can reply now that I have named and shamed them in public. I feel they won’t have a reply.”