Robin Wright is now being paid the same amount as Kevin Spacey, her costar on Netflix’s House of Cards. But it took her asking for it and the actress negotiated her salary in a way that would make her House of Cards’ character, Claire Underwood, proud. Both actors also serve as producers of the show.
Wright shared her gender pay gap story during an event hosted by Rockefeller Foundation in New York on Tuesday, as Huffington Post reports. During “Insight Dialogues,” which hosts conversations with activists, Wright conversed with Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin about wage equality and politics as well as her new documentary, When Elephants Fight, which addresses the crisis in Congo involving the effects of corporations mining for minerals that are used in consumer electronics.
“I was like, ‘I want to be paid the same as Kevin,” Wright said. Wright’s character, Claire Underwood, is married to Spacey’s U.S. President Frank Underwood. The couple are equally cunning as they are conniving in their political and personal pursuits on the show.
“It was a perfect paradigm. There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in House of Cards,” Wright said.
The call for wage equality has been on the minds of many in Hollywood. Last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission expanded its investigation into gender discrimination in Hollywood following ACLU’s request to examine whether gender discrimination was contributing to the lack of female directors, as Associated Press reports. Jennifer Lawrence recently addressed how she made less than her American Hustle male costars in Lena Dunham’s “Lenny Letter” and Bradley Cooper promised to team with lead actresses he’s costarring with when negotiating pay.
Spacey was making $500,000 per episode in 2014, according to TV Guide. Meanwhile, Forbes reported that Wright made $5.5 million, which would put her around $420,000 an episode around that same time frame.
“I was looking at statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time. So I capitalized on that moment. I was like, ‘You better pay me, or I’m going to go public,'” she told the audience. “And they did.”
House of Cards Season Four premiered on Netflix in March.