Charlize Theron has urged her fellow actresses “not to be so polite” when asking for equal pay.
The Snow White and the Huntsman actress spoke at 100 Conversations, an event inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela, at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles at the weekend. According to editors at The Hollywood Reporter, during a conversation with Kweku Mandela, the grandson of the late President of South Africa, Charlize recalled the moment when she demanded equal pay to her co-star Chris Hemsworth, acknowledging that she felt confident in doing so at that point in her career.
“I am in a position where I could put my foot down and say, I want equal pay to my male co-star, who I had billed another movie with,” she told Mandela’s grandson. “We were doing a sequel, we had done it together, why not?
“What was interesting about it was I had a studio that said all right. And I was like, oh? We just need to say this? We just need to not be so polite about it and say what we want?” she added.
Several high-profile actresses including Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Williams have reportedly been paid significantly less than their male counterparts, despite their considerable draw at the box office.
However, Oscar winner Charlize admitted she believed she “deserved” the same Money as her male co-stars.
“I felt lucky,” she confessed, before correcting herself to say, “No, I didn’t feel lucky. I deserved that and I asked for it.”
The Atomic Blonde star also shared her thoughts on the #MeToo movement, which was founded to combat sexual harassment and misconduct, and urged women to support one another to keep the momentum going.
“The amount of traction and the amount of women who are being empowered by other women to step forward and actually speak their truth, I know in my life I’ve never seen anything like that,” she confessed. “This is a rock rolling down a mountain really fast, and I’m quite enjoying watching it.”