Hilary Swank broke out with her Oscar-winning role in 1999’s Boys Don’t Cry, but despite her success, the actress wasn’t paid as highly as you might imagine.
During an episode of US comedian Chelsea Handler’s show Chelsea, the star opened up about the Hollywood pay gap, and her own experience in an industry that notoriously pays less to women than men.
Watch the video here. Story continues after.
At 24 years old, Hilary was paid just $US 3,000 (just more than $NZ 4,000) for her Academy Award-winning role in Boys Don’t Cry. She revealed that her pay wasn’t even sufficient enough to cover health insurance.
And there’s more. Swank then shared another story with dinner party host Chelsea Handler and fellow guests Ava DuVernay, Connie Britton and Miss USA Deshauna Barber — this one was about income inequality.
The Million Dollar Baby revealed that after her second Oscar win, she was offered a part alongside a male lead who had recently become “hot,” but had no critical acclaim. He was paid $10 million and she was offered $500,000.
Sexism is a huge talking point in Hollywood. Actress-of-the-moment Jennifer Lawrence penned an essay on the pay gap, saying: “All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.”
Last year, the New York Times also created a cover featuring 100 women in Hollywood taking on sexism that permeates the entertainment industry.