In a move that would make Claire Underwood proud, actress Robin Wright has revealed how she demanded equal pay on House of Cards.
The Huffington Post reports that the 50-year-old actor told an audience at the Insight Dialogues in NYC on Tuesday that she told the creators of the hit Netflix show she wasn't willing to settle for anything less than what her co-star, Kevin Spacey was banking.
"I was like, 'I want to be paid the same as Kevin,'" said Wright, who was referring to Spacey who plays her menacing onscreen husband, Frank Underwood.
Wright, who is a producer and occasional director of the the political drama, was addressing the wider issue of pay imbalance in show business when she divulged the tidbit.
"It was the perfect paradigm. 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,'" said Wright.
"I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood's character was more popular than [Frank's] for a period of time. So I capitalized on it. I was like, 'You better pay me or I'm going to go public,'" Wright said.
Adding gleefully: "And they did."
Of the actual figures The Huffington Post reported:
Spacey was reportedly making $500,000 per episode for his work on the series back in 2014, before season 3 of the show debuted. At the time, insiders said that number might move up to $1 million, making him one of the highest-earning TV or streaming actors. Last year, Forbes reported that Wright made $5.5 million for her work on the show, which would be around $420,000 an episode.
Wright also noted that female actresses taking time out of work projects to raise kids is a significant factor in keeping the wage gap so wide.
"Because I wasn't working full time, I wasn't building my salary bracket," she said of the time she spent rising her children. "If you don't build that, with notoriety and presence, you're not in the game anymore. You become a B-list actor. You're not box office material.
She went on: "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."
- PuzzlesThe Australian Women's Weekly February Issue Online Entry
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