- Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty
Jennifer Lawrence recently penned a hotly-discussed essay about the wage disparity in Hollywood.
The essay, which was published in Lena Dunham’s newsletter, Lenny, noted that the actress was paid significantly less than her male co-stars in the movie “American Hustle.” So was her co-star Amy Adams.
Fellow female stars like Jessica Chastain and Rooney Mara have since said they’ve been paid less than male co-stars too, and Sienna Miller said she turned down a role in a play that was offering significantly less than the male lead was given.
Bradley Cooper, who starred in “American Hustle” with Lawrence and Adams in 2013 and negotiated a higher contract than them, was so taken aback by Lawrence’s essay that he told Reuters he wants to begin teaming up with his female co-stars to negotiate fair salaries together before committing to a film.
But not every actor is planning to go as far as Cooper.
Business Insider asked Jeremy Renner, who also starred in “American Hustle,” if he would also be willing to negotiate alongside his female co-stars on future projects. He also was paid more than Adams and Lawrence for his role in the film, according to a Sony email leaked during the hack on the company.
“That’s not my job,” Renner said, while taking part in an intimate press day on Tuesday for the new “One Life/Live Them” campaign he’s doing for Rémy Martin Cognac.
“I don’t know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff,” Renner went on to say.
Adding he fully supports actresses receiving equal pay as actors, he said he’s more focused on his craft than what everyone is making.
“I’m a performer and I know human behavior. When it comes to that sort of stuff I let other people deal with that,” said the two-time Oscar nominee. “I do what I’m good at, that’s what I focus on.”
It should be noted that actors and actresses are rarely involved in the negotiating process and leave the deals to agents, managers, and lawyers.
- Francois Duhamel / Sony Pictures
This is evident, as most of the actresses who have spoken out recently about the wage disparity issue have noted that they only learned about how much more their male actors were paid long after they worked on the film.
Cooper also told Reuters, “Usually you don’t talk about the financial stuff, you have people.”
Lawrence, who Forbes named 2015’s world’s highest-paid actress with $52 million (Robert Downey Jr. was the highest-paid actor in 2015 with $80 million), said in her essay that she learned how much Cooper, Renner, and the other male actors made on “American Hustle” through the emails leaked following the Sony hack. And that she wasn’t mad at Sony, which released the film, but herself for giving up too early in the negotiation process.
“But if I’m honest with myself,” she went on to write in the essay, “I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.’ At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.'”