Once Rajinikanth asked for Rs. 1 crore for a film in the late 80s to thwart a producer from signing him but the producer had gleefully extended him the pay cheque and signed him. Rajinikanth was totally surprised by this act.
Thus, the tradition of salaries in crores was ignited in Tamil cinema. Till then, actors were drawing salaries only in Lakhs. Rajinikanth became the first actor to be paid in crores in the history of Tamil cinema. Now, almost all the heroes draw salaries only in crores.
The trend has changed so much that heroes think only in crores and about five to ten crores the moment any of their film becomes a big hit. Jiiva has been known for his moderate salaries. He has been drawing nothing more than Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 1.6 crore. His latest remuneration is Rs. 1.60 crore for the film Mugamoodi directed by Mysskin.
When new producers approached him for signing him in their films, he had increased his remuneration to Rs. 3 crore. This has shocked Director SP Jananathan who gave him a huge break in “Eee.” This was not expected after the failure of Rowthiram and Vandhaan Vendraan. Sources say it may be to thwart or it could also be a real expectation. The salary trend, as many consider, is not advisable for the Tamil film industry in the long run.