Natalie Portman was paid three times less than her co-star Ashton Kutcher when the pair made ‘No Strings Attached’.
The Oscar-winning actress admits she should have been more annoyed than she was at the huge division in their pay checks on the 2011 romantic comedy, but she finds it hard to complain because even her more modest salary was still "a lot".
In an interview with the new issue of Marie Claire magazine, she admitted: "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.
"Your quote is the highest you’ve ever been paid. His was three times higher than mine so they said he should get three times more. I wasn’t as p***ed as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy." And Natalie – who is expecting her second child, a sibling for five-year-old Aleph, with husband Benjamin Millepied – insists the problem of the gender pay gap is far bigger in Hollywood than any other industry.
She said: "Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar. In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar."
The actress’ next movie project will see her play Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and thinks it was important to have a female director, Mimi Leder, at the helm of the project.
She said: "I don’t think women and men are more or less capable [as directors], we just have a clear issue with women not having opportunities. We need to be part of the solution, not perpetuating the problem. As this story is specifically about gender discrimination, I was like, how dare we not hire a female."