Natalie Portman Reveals the Surprising Male Co-Star Who Made Three Times Her Salary
The gender pay gap continues to be a problem, even for top-paid Hollywood actresses like Natalie Portman. In a new interview, Portman, who was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in awards season favorite Jackie, called out the “crazy” disparity between her salary and that of a certain male co-star — who earned three times what Portman did back in 2011, despite the fact that she was an Oscar-nominated actress on the verge of securing the statue for her role in Black Swan.
Portman is featured on the cover of Marie Claire UK’s February issue (via The Daily Mail), in which the actress makes a pretty shocking revelation: Ashton Kutcher, as in that Ashton Kutcher, earned three times more than Portman for the 2011 rom-com No Strings Attached…just in case you weren’t already baffled enough about Portman’s decision to star in such a basic rom-com.
What makes the revelation even more shocking is that Portman was an executive producer on No Strings Attached — she helped make the forgettable rom-com possible, and yet her contributions were deemed less valuable than Ashton Friggin’ Kutcher.
Portman adds that she knew about the disparity at the time, but she didn’t say anything “because there’s this thing with ‘quotes’ in Hollywood.” Noting that an actor’s quote is the highest amount they’ve been paid for a previous project, Portman explains that since Kutcher’s quote was three times as much as her own, she was told “he should get three times more.” That same year, Portman won an Oscar for her role in Black Swan; meanwhile, Kutcher appeared in another mediocre, forgettable rom-com: New Year’s Eve.
Though she concedes that “it’s hard to complain” about salaries when actors already earn so much money, Portman says, “I wasn’t as p***ed as I should have been.” The actress, who is also producing and starring in an upcoming biopic about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, went on to note that the gender pay gap in Hollywood is symptomatic of a larger ongoing problem in the US. “Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar,” Portman says, “In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar.”
For successful actresses like Portman, battling the gender pay gap isn’t not greed— it’s about equality, fairness, and setting an example that would, hopefully, trickle down to other industries.
Still, it’s hard to imagine that we live in a world where executives seriously though Ashton Kutcher should make three times more than Natalie Portman for doing anything.