Yes, the pay gap is real — even in Hollywood, when so much currency hinges on awards love.
On Wednesday night’s episode of “Chelsea,” host Chelsea Handler was joined by Hilary Swank, Connie Britton, Ava DuVernay and Miss USA Deshauna Barber for a “women’s dinner party” to chat about, amongst other things, what it’s like to be a woman in the entertainment world. “Selma” director DuVernay shared some of her own experiences as a woman in the directing field — including a tidbit about how “making the jump” for female directors can be so, so different for male directors — before Swank chimed in with her own stories.
Swank readily admitted she only made $3,000 for her role in “Boys Don’t Cry” — a shoestring-budgeted indie from Kimberly Peirce that won Swank her first Oscar — but that’s not the real kicker here. Swank also shared that after she won her second Oscar (for “Million Dollar Baby”), she was offered the leading female role in a film opposite a popular male actor who hadn’t had much in the way of critical success (read: he definitely hadn’t won two Oscars, but he was “hot”), but who was still slated to receive a paycheck twenty times fatter than Swank’s.
Had she taken the role, Swank would have pulled in just $500,000 to the unnamed actor’s $10 million cut. She didn’t go for it, and the part went to another rising starlet who, presumably, didn’t complain about the inequity.
Connie Britton sums it up best, gasping, “What are you talking about?” when Swank shares the story. Preach, Britton. Check out the clip (via Vulture) below.