Jessica Chastain reveals how she makes sure she gets paid as much as male co-stars

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Elle Griffiths
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Jessica Chastain has revealed how she makes sure she is paid as much as her male co-stars in the ruthless world of Hollywood. 

The Zero Dark Thirty star said she is now in a position where she refuses to take roles where she is offered considerably less than the leading man.

Speaking to Variety, she explained: "I'm not taking jobs anymore where I'm getting paid a quarter of what the male co-star is being paid. I'm not allowing that in my life.

“What I do now, when I’m taking on a film, I always ask about the fairness of the pay. I ask what they're offering me in comparison to the guy.”

Acknowledging her financial privilege as a Hollywood A-lister, the 40-year-old actor added that it wasn’t an issue of money, but of equality.

"I don't care about how much I get paid; I'm in an industry where we're overcompensated for the work we do,” she said. “But I don't want to be on a set where I'm doing the same work as someone else and they’re getting five times what I'm getting."

Chastain also revealed that, in the past, industry execs had done deals with her only after they had secured the male talent – paying her with what was left over from that.

But experience and her rising star power means she no longer tolerates this practice. 

“Now, if someone comes to me and has an offer but wants to wait, I'm like, 'Goodbye.' If you want me in your film, do a favoured-nation clause. Don't determine my worth based on what's left over.”

The Interstellar star also divulged that she had recently turned down an, unnamed, “huge” role over the issue and word had got out about the incident around Tinseltown.

But, far from regret the decision, she argued that it had bolstered her credentials.

“Even though I lost that film, I’ve created a boundary. I drew a line in the sand. The power of ‘no’means you’re educating people in how to treat you.”

Hear that Hollywood? Don’t mess with Jess. 

Images: Rex Features