Natalie Portman reveals Ashton Kutcher got paid three times more for No Strings Attached

Perhaps the saddest thing about Oscar-winning actor Natalie Portman's revelation that co-star Ashton Kutcher was paid three times as much as her for their 2011 rom-com No Strings Attached is how resigned she is to that being the case.

In an interview with the British Marie Claire, the 35-year-old actor said the pay disparity was "crazy" but that she was reluctant to complain because she was already being paid a large amount.

Still, three times as much for equally-matched leading male and female roles is a jarring insight into the extent of the gender pay gap in Hollywood.

"I knew and went along with it because there's this thing with 'quotes' in Hollywood," she told the magazine. "His was three times higher than mine so they said he should get three times more.

"I wasn't as pissed as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it's hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy."

She went on to explain that Hollywood's pay gap is hugely out of whack with the national average.

"Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar. In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar."

The gender pay gap has been a hot topic in Hollywood in recent years since Patricia Arquette made an impassioned speech about the issue when accepting the Oscar for best supporting actress for Boyhood in 2015.

Later that year, Jennifer Lawrence also aired the issue after the Sony hacks revealed she had been paid far less for American Hustle than her male colleagues.

"I didn't want to seem 'difficult' or 'spoiled,'" Lawrence said over failing to fight for better pay at the time in an essay for Lena Dunham's Lenny newsletter. "At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the internet and realised every man I was working with definitely didn't worry about being 'difficult' or 'spoiled'."

Most recently Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Felicity Jones told Glamour  magazine: "I want to be paid fairly for the work that I'm doing. That's what every single woman around the world wants. We want to be paid on parity with a man in a similar position. And I think it's important to talk about it."

Portman, who is widely tipped to score an Oscar nomination for her role in the Jackie Kennedy biopic Jackie, also told Marie Claire that she insisted her next film be directed by a woman.

On the Basis of Sex is about US Supreme Court Justice and women's right advocate Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"I don't think women and men are more or less capable, we just have a clear issue with women not having opportunities," she said.

"We need to be part of the solution, not perpetuating the problem. As this story is specifically about gender discrimination, I was like, how dare we not hire a female."

Jackie opens in Australia on January 12.

The story Natalie Portman reveals Ashton Kutcher got paid three times more for No Strings Attached first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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