Actress Jessica Chastain says before accepting any role in the film she always makes sure to ask the producers and concerned people about how much her male counterpart is getting paid for the same movie. In an interview with Variety, the Oscar-nominated actress spoke candidly about how she negotiates her contracts to make sure her wages are on par with her male co-star.
“I’m not taking jobs anymore where I’m getting paid a quarter of what the male co-star is being paid. I’m not allowing that in my life. What I do now, when I’m taking on a film, I always ask about the fairness of the pay. “I ask what they’re offering me in comparison to the guy. I don’t care about how much I get paid; I’m in an industry where we’re overcompensated for the work we do. But I don’t want to be on a set where I’m doing the same work as someone else and they’re getting five times what I’m getting,” Chastain said.
The 40-year-actress says she may be losing a lot on money by not accepting some offers but she is glad that she has created a “boundary”, which will educate people in how to treat female actors. “There was something huge that I recently turned down. For me, it wasn’t about the money; it was an old-fashioned problem of the wage gap. I turned it down, and they didn’t come back.
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“I remember afterwards I was like, “What did I do? Maybe it was a mistake.” But it wasn’t, because everyone in the studio system heard what I did. So what you’re doing is creating a reputation: Don’t bring Jessica something where she’s not being fairly compensated compared to the male actor. Even though I lost that film, I’ve created a boundary.”
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