pay equity

Olivia Colman Says She Would Make More If She Were ‘Oliver’

“Wicked Little Letters” Special Sydney Screening - Arrivals
Photo: Don Arnold/WireImage

Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman is getting real about Hollywood pay disparities. Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on The Amanpour Hour about her new film, Wicked Little Letters, Colman said that despite research suggesting that women have always been big box-office draws, male actors are still paid more. “They used to say, ‘They draw in the audiences,’ and actually, that hasn’t been true for decades,” she said. “But they still like to use that as a reason to not pay women as much as their male counterparts in our industry.”

Asked whether she had experienced pay disparities herself, Colman confirmed that she had. “I’m very aware that if I was Oliver Colman, I’d be earning a fuck of a lot more than I am,” she said. “I know of one pay disparity which was a 12,000 percent difference. Do the maths.” She made similar comments in February on the Radio Times podcast, noting that “if you’re doing the same job as someone else, you get paid the same money and it’s a legal requirement. I don’t know why we’re still having to discuss it.”

While she didn’t reveal the projects she had personally experienced pay disparities on, we certainly hope one wasn’t The Crown, in which she took on the role of Queen Elizabeth after a major controversy over Claire Foy’s being paid less than co-star Matt Smith despite playing a significantly larger role. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen,” producer Suzanne Mackie said at the time.

Colman’s interview came just weeks after Taraji P. Henson made headlines for addressing the race- and gender-based wage discrimination she has faced throughout her own career. “I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do, getting paid a fraction of the cost. I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over,” she said during a sit-down with SiriusXM. Here’s hoping that as actresses continue to speak out, Hollywood will make some long-overdue changes to achieve fair pay.

Olivia Colman Says She’d Make More If She Were ‘Oliver’