Susan Sarandon says that her former co-star, the late Paul Newman, once gave her part of his salary so that she would get equal pay to him.
In an interview with BBC 5, Sarandon shared a story about how Newman, who starred opposite her in 1998’s Twilight, opted to take a pay cut after he heard that she was being paid less than him and another male actor.
“Emma Stone once came forward and said she got equal pay, because her male stars insisted upon it and gave up something of theirs,” Sarandon said. “That happened to me with Paul Newman at one point, when I did a film with him ages ago. They said it was ‘favored nations,’ but they only meant the two guys. He stepped forward and said, ‘Well I’ll give you part of mine,’ So, yeah, he was a gem.”
Sarandon also discussed her thoughts on the current movement to stop sexual misconduct in Hollywood during her interview. While Sarandon said that she thinks there will “always be a casting couch,” she hopes that the dialogue happening now will mean that exchanges are consensual and safe.
“I think what will go away is the unwanted exchange,” she said. “But I think that giving yourself sexually, or being drawn to power and wanting to have sex with someone that’s in power, is also a choice. What we don’t want to have is being exploited and have the Harvey Weinstein’s of the world holding it over your head and holding it over your project. That is the most despicable.”