Jessica Chastain Won’t Take Roles Until She Knows What Male Stars Are Earning

During a recent interview with Variety, Jessica Chastain revealed she will not accept roles in films unless she knows what her potential male co-stars will be earning. Here are some of the highlights:

On her approach to taking roles: “I’m not taking jobs anymore where I’m getting paid a quarter of what the male co-star is being paid. I’m not allowing that in my life.”

On wanting pay equality: “Women need to step forward and demand they’re fairly compensated for their work. You have a scale to measure it by, because the big agencies know what the male actors are getting paid. So when they’re negotiating, they should feel empowered. They can come forward and say, ‘This is 2017. We’re not doing this anymore.’”

On how she’s been treated in the past: “In the past, what I used to do — this is terrible — a movie would come to me with an offer. They wouldn’t want me to do my deal until they cast the male actor. They would wait and see what they had left over, even if they’d come to me first. And so I stopped doing that. Now, if someone comes to me and has an offer but wants to wait, I’m like, ‘Goodbye.’ If you want me in your film, do a favored-nation clause. Don’t determine my worth based on what’s left over.”

On turning down roles if they don’t offer equal pay: “There was something huge that I recently turned down. For me, it wasn’t about the money; it was an old-fashioned problem of the wage gap. I turned it down, and they didn’t come back. I remember afterwards I was like, “What did I do? Maybe it was a mistake.” But it wasn’t, because everyone in the studio system heard what I did. So what you’re doing is creating a reputation: Don’t bring Jessica something where she’s not being fairly compensated compared to the male actor. Even though I lost that film, I’ve created a boundary. I drew a line in the sand.”