Susan Sarandon: 'Paul Newman shared his salary to bridge gender pay gap'

24th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium - ArrivalsFeaturing: Susan SarandonWhere: Los Angeles, California, United StatesWhen: 21 Jan 2018Credit: Adriana M. Barraza/

(WENN) - Susan Sarandon has praised the late PAUL NEWMAN for tackling pay inequality sharing his salary with her when they starred in a film together.

Hollywood's gender pay gap has been a hot topic since 2014, when leaked documents revealed Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams, the female stars of American Hustle, were paid less than their male counterparts.

Susan said that she faced the problem when filming the 1998 neo-noir thriller Twilight, but that Paul gave up a portion of his salary to help bridge the pay gap.

"Emma Stone once came forward and said she got equal pay because her male stars insisted upon it and gave up something of theirs," she told BBC Radio 5 Live in an interview marking International Women's Day. "That happened to me with Paul Newman at one point, when I did a film with him ages ago."

She explained that Newman had, "stepped forward and said 'Well, I'll give you part of mine'. So yeah - he was a gem".

Figures across the movie industry have vowed to stamp out mistreatment of women in the wake of the scandals surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is alleged to have sexually harassed or assaulted actresses starring in his films, and other filmmakers and stars.

But Susan, 71, believes the "casting couch" culture which involves actresses having to sleep with movie executives to win roles will never disappear entirely.

"I don't think it will ever go away," she explained. "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 (people) 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."