When Bollywood's highest-paid actor was a villain, charged 10 times more than Shah Rukh, Salman, Aamir, Sridevi, Madhuri

A villain was charging Rs 1 crore per film when top stars like the Khans and Sridevi did not get more than Rs 10 lakh

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When Bollywood's highest-paid actor was a villain, charged 10 times more than Shah Rukh, Salman, Aamir, Sridevi, Madhuri
This villain was Bollywood's highest paid actor

In the early 90s, Chiranjeevi famously became the first Indian actor to charge Rs 1 crore per film, when he beat reigning superstar Amitabh Bachchan to that mark. Soon, actors like Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth also joined the ranks. But among the entrants of this 1-crore club was a villain, who was briefly India’s highest paid actor even, charging much more than even the Khans.

The villain who charged Rs 1 crore per film in the 90s

Amrish Puri was the biggest villain in Bollywood for over a decade in the 80s and 90s. In 1987, he gave the iconic Mogambo in Mr India, one of the most iconic films and villains in Indian cinema history. Over the next few years, the veteran actor excelled in negative in a bunch of films. In the 90s, in an interview, Amrish Puri revealed that he was charging Rs 1 crore per film. While it was initially assumed that he charged the amount for Mr India, he actually upped his fees to a crore years later. This made him – briefly – the highest-paid actor in Bollywood, ahead of the three Khans even.

Amrish Puri in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

How Amrish Puri charged more than top heroes and heroines


In the early 90s, the top actresses of the time, such as Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi, charged around Rs 10-12 lakh per film. Amrish Puri was charging 10 times as much. At the time, Amitabh Bachchan was on a sabbatical from films having retired temporarily. This meant that the leading stars of the industry were Sunny Deol, Sanjay Dutt, and the youngsters – Shah Rukh, Salman, and Aamir Khan. In the first few years of their career, even the Khans did not charge more than Rs 10 lakh a film, making Amrish Puri again 10 times as expensive as them. Amitabh Bachchan eventually returned to films in 1996 and the Khans hiked their fees by 97-98 to overtake the veteran villain, meaning that no villain was ever again the highest-paid actor.

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