Belfast Telegraph

Natalie Portman: Ashton Kutcher was paid three times more on No Strings Attached

Natalie Portman has said her No Strings Attached co-star Ashton Kutcher was paid three times more than she was for the romantic comedy.

The Oscar winner said the huge pay disparity was the result of an inflated asking price for her co-star, based on his perceived worth.

She told Marie Claire: "I knew and I went along with it because there's this thing with 'quotes' in Hollywood ... His was three times higher than mine so they said he should get three times more.

"I wasn't as pissed as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it's hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.

"Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar. In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar."

The extremes in the gender pay gap in Hollywood were highlighted in 2015 during the Sony hack, when leaked documents revealed the salaries of some of the biggest stars working for the studio.

American Hustle star Jennifer Lawrence learned she was making significantly less than her co-stars Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale.

Portman's regret that she went along with the pay gap echoes Lawrence's sentiments when she wrote in Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter that she was angry at herself rather than the studio for the pay gap.

She wrote: " When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn't get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself.

"I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn't want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don't need. (I told you it wasn't relatable, don't hate me).

"But if I'm honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn't say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight.

"I didn't want to seem 'difficult' or 'spoiled.' At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the internet and realised every man I was working with definitely didn't worry about being 'difficult' or 'spoiled'."

Portman, who will soon be seen playing the former first lady in the Jackie Kennedy biopic Jackie, will next take on the role of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

She has insisted the film be directed by a woman, telling the magazine: "I don't think women and men are more or less capable, we just have a clear issue with women not having opportunities.

"We need to be part of the solution, not perpetuating the problem."

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