If you’ve had any glancing relationship with movie industry press over the past little bit, you already known that issues of income equality and career opportunities for women in film are big topics. And it’s only growing in importance the more big names continue to talk about it. Jennifer Lawrence kept the conversation going with her recent essay, and Jessica Chastain provided another example of how the scales can be widely unbalanced.
Chatting with Huffington Post, the actress revealed that on Ridley Scott‘s “The Martian,” her payday was far less than what you might think. “I’ve actually never said this, I think, so here we go….” Chastain said. “….someone wrote an article once that said I made a certain amount of money for ‘The Martian.’ I made less than a quarter of that in reality. And so people are already saying, ‘Well, she’s making a lot less than her male co-stars because she’s making this.’ I made less than a quarter of that in reality, so there is a huge wage gap in the industry.”
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Chastain was likely referring to a tabloid report that she pocketed $7 million for the sci-fi hit versus $25 million that Matt Damon was paid (it should be said, both figures already seem wildly exaggerated). But even using those numbers as a ballpark, that means she earned less than $1.75 million on the movie, certainly much less than Damon, even if you use a conservative estimate for this salary (I’d probably guess it was closer to $15 million in reality).
Either way, Chastain illustrates what the wage gap would looks like, and even accounting that Damon is arguably a more marquee name, and obviously has a leading role in the sci-fi movie versus her supporting turn, the twice Oscar nominated actress is certainly being undervalued in this scenario.
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