'I wasn’t as upset as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy'
5 times actresses were paid less than their male co-stars
News broke yesterday that British actress Claire Foy, who played a young Queen Elizabeth in the first two seasons of Netflix series The Crown, was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith for her role as the monarch.
Foy, 33, won a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for her portrayal of Britain's monarch in the 1950s and 1960s. Smith, 35, was not similarly honoured.
The show's producers have insisted that the same issue won't be the case when Olivia Colman takes over as Queen Elizabeth in the show, but, in light of this, we take a look at five other cases where actresses were paid less than their male counterparts:
1. Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg, All The Money in the World (2017)
After actor Kevin Spacey was ousted over allegations of sexual misconduct, the film needed to complete reshoots with actor Christopher Plummer. While director Ridley Scott initially told The Guardian newspaper that all actors involved did the reshoots for free, it came to light that actor Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5m for the extra work, while his co-star Michelle Williams was paid just $1,000 – a 1500th of what he had been paid.
Michelle Williams appears in a similar amount of scenes as Wahlberg (maybe slightly less, but not by a factor of 1500) and she's been nominated for four Academy Awards, while Wahlberg has been nominated twice.
2. Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
Diane Keaton wrote in her memoir Then Again about the pay disparity for the 2003 film. The actress explained that she didn’t get royalties for the rom-com, while her co-star Jack Nicholson, who had a smaller role, did. When he heard about the disparity, he reportedly wrote her a cheque from his earnings.
3. Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams versus Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner, American Hustle (2013)
It was leaked during the Sony hack in 2014 that the two actresses in the David O. Russell film were paid less than their male counterparts.
Lawrence was already an Oscar winner, while Adams had been nominated for an Oscar four times. The duo reportedly earned 7 per cent of the back-end profits (aka, royalties) from the film compared to the 9 per cent male co-stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner earned.
4. Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, No Strings Attached (2011)
Despite being an Oscar nominee prior to signing on for the film, Natalie Portman still earned less than co-star Ashton Kutcher in the rom-com. In an interview with Marie Claire UK, she said, “Ashton Kutcher was paid three times as much as me on No Strings Attached. I knew and I went along with it because there’s this thing with ‘quotes’ in Hollywood,” she said. “His [quote] was three times higher than mine, so they said he should get three times more. I wasn’t as [upset] as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.”
5. Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)
In 2015, it was reported that Charlize Theron had negotiated her salary to match her co-star Chris Hemsworth after finding out that he would be making more than $10 million. “I have to give them credit because once I asked, they said yes. They did not fight it. And maybe that’s the message: that we just need to put our foot down,” Theron told Elle UK in the summer of 2015.