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Several times a year, it feels like someone brings up the fact that Hollywood often pays its leading men more than its leading ladies. Sometimes these conversations focus on the pay gap and others focus on experience and branding. As it turns out, acting veteran Susan Sarandon has some thoughts on the matter, and she recently shared them. Here's why Susan Sarandon never complains about how much she is paid to act.
I don't think it matters that Jennifer Lawrence is paid 70 times more than what I am. It's a business that is so subjective and I feel so lucky to be able to earn a living, and this is why to go after pay equality is a really chancy subject -- because if Tom Cruise has a leading lady that's in the movie as much as he is, should she get the same amount of money if she's been in the business a shorter amount of time? And should a character actor that's been in the business for 50 years not get paid more?... There's no equity in terms of value, and who knows how these decisions are made. So you can't apply that to feeling unfair because the whole fact that actors get paid as much as we do is ridiculous. I mean, what a fabulous life. I can't bitch about whatever my pay level is. I don't focus on that.
According to what Susan Sarandon told the Guardian, she's more grateful for the roles she's been able to take on and the money she's been able to earn, than she's mad about making less money than her male co-stars in some of her films or than getting paid. And why should she be mad? Her estimated net worth is in the tens of millions. She's gotten to do Broadway work and has appeared in movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Thelma and Louise and Dead Man Walking. She's been nominated for 5 Best Actress Academy Awards, and won once. She's had a rockin' career.
Susan Sarandon's years in Hollywood have been long and storied and it's marked that she is one of a small pool of actresses who manage to fight and stay in the business well into retirement age. Susan Sarandon turned 70 a few months ago, and she's currently the star of FX's Ryan Murphy production Feud, where she plays Bette Davis. She also has a slew of film projects in the works, including Butterfly in the Typewriter and The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. Sure, maybe she's not getting paid as much as Jennifer Lawrence did for the Hunger Games movies, but Lawrence took a chance by signing on for those films. (In addition, Sarandon's not having to run around and stick with an insane diet and training schedule, either.) Big budget movies can be a big payoff but they can also keep you from taking on other rewarding projects, as Chris Evans has been vocal about during his tenure with Marvel. Life is often a series of tradeoffs.
At the end of the day, Susan Sarandon is not interested in looking back at her career and complaining about what is and isn't fair. Life is a series of ups and downs, and taking things in stride rather than become embittered usually results in a whole lot more happiness. You can watch Feud when it airs on FX on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET and catch what is coming up in the movies world with our full schedule.