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Robin Wright demanded same salary as Kevin Spacey

Published 18/05/2016

Robin Wright
Robin Wright

Robin Wright capitalised on the popularity of her House of Cards character Claire Underwood by demanding a salary increase so her pay would match co-star Kevin Spacey's.

Robin Wright threatened to go public if TV bosses didn't pay her the same salary as House of Cards co-star Kevin Spacey.

The 50-year-old actress is the latest star to tackle the gender pay gap in Hollywood. As she addressed the Rockefeller Foundation in an event on Tuesday night (17May16), Robin opened up about the differences in her salary when compared to Kevin.

"It was the perfect paradigm," she told the audience, according to The Huffington Post. "There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in House of Cards. I was like, 'I want to be paid the same as Kevin.' "

The pair play Claire and Frank Underwood in the hit Netflix political drama. And it was the popularity of her on-screen alter ego that was Robin's trump card in her salary negotiations.

"I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood's character was more popular than (Frank's) for a period of time. So I capitalised on it. I was like, 'You better pay me or I’m going to go public'. And they did."

According to reports, Robin was paid $5.5 million (£4 million) for the third season of the show, while Kevin got $9 million (£6 million). However, her character had a bigger role in the fourth season, for which she is believed to have received the pay increase.

Among Robin's other topics of conversation was how motherhood changed her career. She has two children, 25-year-old Dylan and 22-year-old Hopper with ex-husband Sean Penn, and said that having a family drastically affected how much she earned.

"Because I wasn’t working full-time, I wasn’t building my salary bracket," she explained. "If you don’t build that … with notoriety and presence, you’re not in the game any more. You become a B-list actor. You’re not box office material.

“You don’t hold the value you would have held if you had done four movies a year like Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett did during the time I was raising my kids. Now I’m kind of on a comeback at 50 years old.”

Robin is the latest star to speak about the discrepancies between actor and actresses salaries in Hollywood. Other stars to have debated the topic include Jennifer Lawrence, Patricia Arquette, Lena Dunham and Charlize Theron.

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