These Actresses Were Paid Shockingly Low Wages For Their Iconic Roles
Wonder Woman’s pay discrepancies may not be as bad as you heard, but across the board, actresses have a long way to go in achieving equal pay.
You may have heard that Wonder Woman is currently kicking ass and taking names at the box office. But did you also hear that the female-directed runaway success—which has earned a cool $500 million worldwide, according to Forbes—also reportedly paid lead actress Gal Gadot very little? We say reportedly because, well, it’s all a bit unknown.
But what is known is the shockingly low salaries that some of Hollywood’s best actresses have been granted in the past. Not cool!
While a tweet from journalist Lauren Duca said Gadot received only $300,000 for Wonder Woman, compared with Henry Cavill’s $14 million superhero debut, Buzzfeed sources have said Gadot was paid “at least” as much for the film as Cavill was paid for Man of Steel. While neither star’s salaries have been confirmed, Gadot’s alleged $300,000 actually matches what Deadline says Chris Evans was paid for Captain America.
Gal Gadot made $300,000 for Wonder Woman as compared to Henry Cavill's $14M for Man of Steel. The most compelling DC villain is the pay gap.— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) June 20, 2017
Now that Wonder Woman is a hit, Gadot’s probably going to get some sweet, sweet back-end pay (as in a percentage of the profits of the film,) so there’s that. But spare a thought for these other actresses, whose salaries were so low, they will go down in history as being screwed up.
Lindsay Lohan - The Canyons
After a string of bad career choices and some even worse PR, the once high-earning Lohan took on a role in acclaimed director Paul Schrader’s low budget The Canyons for only $6,480 according to The Telegraph. Bret Easton Ellis-scripted or not, that’s very little moola.
Oprah Winfrey - The Color Purple
That’s right. Even one of the richest (and coolest) women in the world was paid a stingy amount in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple. She took on the now-iconic role of Sofia for just $35,000. For shame! Oprah even scored an Oscar nominee for her stirring portrayal. More money would surely have been nice too, though.
Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle
When the Sony hacking incident went down, one piece of information that came to light was Jennifer Lawrence’s salary for American Hustle. It turns out that while her male co-stars were given a back-end of 9 percent, she was given only 5 percent, a.k.a. nearly half of what Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper were earning. Booo!
Jessica Chastain - The Martian
While speaking with The Guardian in 2015, Chastain said the media had exaggerated her salary for The Martian; it was less than a quarter lower than reports suggested. It turns out that while she was paid $1.75 million for the role, her co-star Matt Damon made a reported $15-25 million for the same film. WTF.
Gillian Anderson - The X Files
Not even reboots of your favorite ‘90s TV shows are safe from gender-based wage inequality. Gillian Anderson told The Hollywood Reporter that it took her three seasons of The X Files' initial run to get a salary equal to David Duchovny’s. And when the show was being revived by Fox? She was offered “half” of what he was to come back on board. But Scully knows her worth. She turned down the original offer, only re-accepting it when it was equal to her co-stars. That's how it's done.
Words: Jerico Mandybur
Photo: Warner Bros.