In the past couple weeks as a result of leaked e-mails in the Sony hacking scandal, there have been rumors circulating about private dealings in the film industry. One of these leaked e-mails apparently shared all of the actor’s earnings in American Hustle which starred, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, and Amy Adams, and claimed the women earning much less than the men. Lisa Kudrow recently spoke out about this rumor, and was not happy about it.
Kudrow currently stars in HBO series, The Comeback which explores the modern day entertainment industry. The show touches on topics such as how women are treated in the industry. So in light of the season finale, Kudrow spoke to E! News about the concepts explored in her show and how it relates to current Hollywood drama. Kudrow specifically brought up American Hustle and the current discussion surrounding it. She said:
"Recently I was hearing that Jennifer Lawrence was paid the least of any of the men [in American Hustle]. Does that mean Amy Adams, too? Well, oh, that's weird? Why does that happen? Those women are not the draw? People are coming to see Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale? I mean, if that's a fact then that's a fact, but is that a fact? I guess is my question."
Kudrow brings up a very important point, because Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence played big roles in the film, and there were almost definitely people going to the theaters to watch them on screen. Yes, the men too. But it is highly doubtful that most people were only coming to see Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale, especially with the popularity of actresses such as Adams and Lawrence.
Not to mention, snagging J Law for a film should not a cheap pursuit. Every year she becomes more desirable, and with her name attached, it can almost guarantee a blockbuster hit. This year alone the actress starred in two huge hits, including X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part - 1. And despite the difficulty many actors have after starring in popular series films (i.e. Harry Potter), Lawrence has had no problem balancing The Hunger Games franchise with other critically-acclaimed films such as Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. Her fame goes far beyond The Hunger Games and this year she was the highest paid actor in Hollywood. So why was she paid less than her male counterparts in American Hustle?
Well, in Kudrow’s interview she hints at the problematic ways Hollywood treats women. When asked if it has gotten any better over the years, Kudrow simply replies:
"In TV, definitely. There have always been roles for women in TV. And women who are the leads of shows. Always. In TV."
And she’s right, we are seeing it more and more in TV, with powerful female-driven shows such as Orphan Black or Orange is the New Black. Not only are those shows being made, but they are also incredibly popular. It becomes worrisome for film though, when a leading actress such as Jennifer Lawrence may have been taken advantage of. Kudrow’s question needs to be answered. Are people only going to the theater to see leading-men? Being the highest grossing actor of 2014, Jennifer Lawrence proves that is probably not the case.