Susan Sarandon: Paul Newman gave me some of his salary to close a film pay gap

Hollywood actor Paul Newman once gave up a portion of his salary to top-up co-star Susan Sarandon’s lower fee, the actress has revealed.

The pair worked together on 1998 neo-noir thriller Twilight, which also starred Gene Hackman and Reese Witherspoon.

After the negotiation term Favoured Nation – which ensures each actor in a film is paid the same as their co-stars – was only applied to the two men in the film, Newman volunteered some of his fee.

Film star Paul Newman (Chris Bacon/PA)

Sarandon told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Emma Stone once came forward and said she got equal pay because her male stars insisted upon it and gave up something of theirs. That happened to me with Paul Newman at one point, when I did a film with him ages ago.”

She added Newman had “stepped forward and said ‘Well, I’ll give you part of mine’. So yeah – he was a gem”.

The actress, 71, also said she believes there will “always be a casting couch” in Hollywood.

“I think what will go away is the unwanted exchange, but I think that giving yourself sexually, or being drawn to power and wanting to have sex with someone that’s in power is also a choice.”

“What we don’t want to have is being exploited and to have the Harvey Weinsteins of the world holding it over your head and holding it over your project – that is the most despicable.”

Newman died aged 83 in 2008.


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