Separating the very real Robin Wright from her fictitious Claire Underwood character on the hit Netflix series, House of Cards isn’t easy.
It’s hard to imagine another actress playing the calculating, but ruthless puppeteer to actor Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood. The two compliment each other perfectly, and apparently, they laugh together on set all day long, according to her recent interview with The Edit. One would assume that when it comes being paid what they are worth, the two actors would be on equal footing, right? But the 51-year-old actress explained that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I was told that I was getting equal pay and I believed them, and I found out recently that it’s not true... so that’s something to investigate.” Herein lies another problem women have to face in the final frontier of wage gap bias: being outright lied to. As more women in Hollywood come forward with tales of tales of battling the wage gap, the idea that those negotiating on their behalf would be less than forthright is disconcerting. Scary even.
Wright’s reasoning as to why she should be paid the same amount as her co-star, Spacey, was inarguably spot-on. “Claire and Francis are equivalent as far as their power, their union and the plot. I may not have as many scenes or words as Francis, but Claire doesn’t need to verbalize as much. Francis is an orator, a poet, a demonstrator. Claire is an [ego] that sits in the back and directs him, but they are partners on the same plane.” Not to mention Wright has been working in Hollywood for just as many years as Spacey.
In an interview with Britain's ES Magazine, actress Rose Byrne offered a smart, yet rarely heard response to Hollywood’s pay gap problem. “My decisions around what I do, why I do it, financially, are personal," she said to the magazine. "And I think those questions are really for the producers — why are you paying women less? I feel like actresses often get lumped with these questions, and it’s like, sure, there’s disparity, but you should ask the people in power — they’re the ones who have the responsibility and the power to change stuff."
Season 5 of House of Cards will be available on Netflix May 30. You can also see Wright star alongside Gal Gadot and Chris Pine in Wonder Woman this June.
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