Ishqbaaz's Nakuul Mehta feels he is underpaid; says 'Can settle for less money, not less of human experience'

Nakuul Mehta opens up on a number of myths related to television. He says that he feels underpaid based on the value he brings to the projects. Read on.
Ishqbaaz's Nakuul Mehta feels he is underpaid; says 'Can settle for less money, not less of human experience'Ishqbaaz's Nakuul Mehta feels he is underpaid; says 'Can settle for less money, not less of human experience'
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Nakuul Mehta is a man of wise words and known for being one of the most articulate celebrities that we know. The actor who has been one among the rare sane voices in the industry was recently a part of a panel at FICCI Frames where stars from the small screens were called upon for an insightful discussion. Apart from him, Drashti Dhami, Iqbal Khan, Kriti Kamra, Namita Dubey and Vivek Dahiya among others also shared the panel. 

The stars opened up on their introduction to the industry, their first projects and how they have evolved since and apart from that, they also discussed the pay cycle. Yes, popular notion is that lead actors on television receive huge pay cheques. Opening up on this, while Namita said that she feels the system is fair given that actors enjoy seasonal employment and are there dazzling the screens as long as the show is running, Ishqbaaaz actor Nakuul had a nuanced response to it. 

While reiterating that the distinction being made amongst artists based on the medium they work in is a concept he would never understand, Nakuul touched on the aspects why it is imperative for actors to be paid based on the responsibility they shoulder and the hard work they put in. He said, "At the end of the day, it is business. And we are not paid for just the day but also the months of waiting."


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Also Read: Nakuul Mehta: TV is powerful; onus is on us to ensure it doesn't continue to be the 2nd cousin to Bollywood

Adding that just like doctors acquire proper education to practice, actors too work and polish their crafts for years to be able to stand where they are. "And it is only fair that we make money worth our hard work. Today, I still don’t own a luxury car even though I can easily afford it. And it is only because I don’t want my EMIs to ever come in between my choice of work,” added Nakuul.

Opening up on how working for 15-16 hours on a daily basis for a TV show is considered normal, Nakuul emphasised why he doesn't follow this and added that he doesn't want to lose out on human experiences only because of work. “I have made it clear that I will never follow that. It doesn’t let me bring the best out of me. So, I work only for 10 hours and I don’t work on Sundays. Money is the third point of conversation, the first is that I ask for 15 days of leave in a year. I am okay settling for less money but not less of human experience. I need to also live a normal life," Nakuul elaborated. 


3 years Over 750 Episodes Over 1000 shifts 99999 litres of sweat & blood (Subtle exaggeration) And Infinite love Last two weeks of Ishqbaaaz until we air our finale episode on 15th March. It's difficult to contain the myriad of emotion running inside of me and yet words elude me. If I was to ask the lad in the picture, circa 2015 (at the pilot shoot of IB) if the journey was everything he had imagined, he'd reply with an even more emphatic smile, today. I take the liberty to say this on behalf of the entire cast & crew, that we gave it our all. There were no half measures. We tried, we did, we failed, we succeeded. There were hard days, and then there were great days but the greatest of 'em all was to just be on set each day doing what we all loved doing. All I feel right now is overwhelming gratitude for all the lives who collaborated on this epic journey and the ones embraced this as your own. (Read: all of 'you', my gangsta's) It's our last one week filming on the sets of Ishqbaaaz and I can't wait to celebrate each of these with the rest of you, my partners on this journey. #IshqbaaazForever

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On a concluding note, he shared, “And as the lead, it’s not just about you but also the 150 lives that are involved in making the show. So actors on television are not just paid for the skill that they bring but also the attitude. It is a huge responsibility if you want your show to run for a long time. The kind of professionalism and value I bring to any project is unique and I have no qualms in saying that I am quite underpaid based on that."

Nakuul was last seen in the show Ishqbaaaz which will be airing its last episode tonight, March 15, 2019. 

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