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Susan Sarandon Says Paul Newman Gave Her Part of His Salary to Ensure Equal Pay

Susan Sarandon says Paul Newman gave her part of his salary when they worked together on the 1998 crime drama “Twilight.”

In an interview with BBC Radio 5, Sarandon recalled when Newman helped ensure she would get equal pay. “Emma Stone came forward and said she got equal pay because her male stars insisted upon it and gave up something of theirs,” Sarandon said, referencing a 2017 interview Stone gave. “That happened to me with Paul Newman at one point when I did a film with him ages ago.”

She continued, “When 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.’” Favored nations means all actors will receive the same billing, accommodations, and any other contractual provision as their co-stars.

“He was a gem,” Sarandon added about Newman. Gene Hackman, Reese Witherspoon, Live Schreiber, and Giancarlo Esposito also starred in the film.

“It makes everything more interesting to raise the stakes all around and to have a more diverse cast and to have other points of view,” Sarandon said. “I think anybody that’s with half a brain understands that.”

Popular on Variety

Sarandon’s comments follow multiple industry revelations about the pay disparity between actresses and actors. More recently, Mark Wahlberg donated $1.5 million to the Time’s Up legal defense fund after the large pay gap between him and his “All the Money in the World” costar Michelle Williams was revealed.

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