Natalie Portman: Ashton Kutcher was paid three times as much as me

In the February cover interview with the British edition of Marie ClaireNatalie Portman reveals that Ashton Kutcher made three times as much as she did for the 2011 romantic comedy No Strings Attached.

"I knew and I went along with it because there's this thing with ‘quotes’ in Hollywood,” she recalls. “His [quote] was three times higher than mine so they said he should get three times more. I wasn't as (mad) as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it's hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.”

But like Jennifer Lawrence wrote in her famous Lenny Letter essay, Portman says pay equity in the entertainment industry is far behind compared to the economy at large.

“Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar,” she told the magazine. “In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar.”

At the time Paramount announced plans for No Strings Attached in March 2010, Portman had already filmed her Oscar-winning role in Black Swan, but it would not premiere until that fall's Venice Film Festival. But it's not like she didn't have hits under her belt; the Star Wars prequels and 2005's V for Vendetta, had all opened at No. 1.

Kutcher's most recent film at that point was Killers, an assassin comedy co-starring Katherine Heigl, which cost $75 million to make but opened to $47 million and an 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But he had also been in the star-packed Valentine's Day, which had opened at No. 1 that February, breaking even the first weekend with $52.4 million. His other No. 1 films include 2004's The Butterfly Effect and 2003's Cheaper By the Dozen.

"I don’t think women and men are more or less capable," Portman argues. "We just have a clear issue with women not having opportunities. We need to be part of the solution, not perpetuating the problem."

Kutcher's representatives did not reply to a request for comment made by the Associated Press.

USA Today


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