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Chadwick Boseman Took A Huge Voluntary Pay Cut For "21 Bridges" So Sienna Miller Could Be Paid Equally, And 13 Other Famous Men Who Demanded Better For Their Women Costars

King behavior. 👑

Much like the rest of the world, Hollywood and the entertainment industry are plagued by gender inequality when it comes to pay, representation, and treatment.

Amanda Seyfried was once paid 10% of her male costar's salary, and Halle Berry completely reimagined the Bruised script for a middle-aged Black lead
Dominik Bindl / Getty Images / Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for ABA / BuzzFeed / Via Getty

Even huge stars like Amanda Seyfried aren't always paid equally to their male counterparts, and legends like Halle Berry are creating their own opportunities for better representation of women in film.

In 2019, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media found that "for every two speaking male characters, there's one female speaking character, and that there's an appalling amount of hypersexualization of female characters, even in G-rated movies, and the female characters are very often narrowly stereotyped, hypersexualized or not really integral to the plot."

Additionally, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that "if you look at the raw gap between what men and women are paid in Hollywood at that 'superstar' level, it’s an over $2.4 million difference." Taking factors such as the amount of time spent filming, stunt work, and level of experience into account, they still found that the wage gap was about $1 million.

However, not every man in Hollywood is content to sit back and let the disparity continue — some of them actively use their privilege and power to uplift the women they work with and demand better for them:

1. Chadwick Boseman gave up a significant portion of his own salary so his 21 Bridges costar, Sienna Miller, could be paid what she "deserved to be paid."

"21 Bridges" lead actors
Brad Barket / Getty Images for STXfilms

As a producer on the film, Boseman was also the one who offered the role to Miller in the first place. He made the decision to lower his own salary after the studio refused to meet her asking price.

She told Essence, "He said, ‘You’re getting paid what you deserve, and what you’re worth.’ It’s just unfathomable to imagine another man in that town behaving that graciously or respectfully. In the aftermath of this, I’ve told other male actor friends of mine that story and they all go very, very quiet and go home and probably have to sit and think about things for a while. But there was no showiness. It was, ‘Of course I’ll get you to that number, because that’s what you should be paid.’"

2. When Lauren Ridloff, who is deaf, had to film a scene with her eyes closed for Eternals, her costar, Harry Styles, asked if he could tap her shoulder to cue that the director called cut so she wouldn't have to wait for her interpreter to run over.

"Eternals" actors
Karwai Tang / WireImage / Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Recording Academy / Via Getty

Ridloff told Entertainment Weekly, "I was like, 'Yeah, thank you!' That's just who Harry is. He just watches out, and he thinks: 'What can I do?'"

3. In 2016, Emmy Rossum refused to sign on for the eighth season of Shameless unless she was paid more than her costar, William H. Macy, to make up for how much less she'd been paid in previous seasons. Macy himself fully supported her request, telling TMZ, "She works as hard as I do; she deserves everything."

Leon Bennett / WireImage / Via Getty

He later told People, "It’s a no-brainer. ... It’s just sort of obvious. Emmy is in most of the scenes, she works harder than anybody else; she’s a brilliant actress. She’s the glue of the cast.”

4. When Michelle Rodriguez threatened to drop out of The Fast and the Furious over a cheating storyline she refused to do, her costar, Vin Diesel, sided with her and helped get the script changed.

"Fast and Furious" franchise stars
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Universal Pictures

Rodriguez told the Daily Beast, "Vin was the first one to pull me to the side while I was crying, and he just looked at me and said, ‘I got your back. Chill out and let me handle this, and you’re right — it makes me look bad anyway.’"

5. After WarnerMedia decided to release King Richard in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time, thereby lowering the amount the cast would earn in theatrical returns, star and producer Will Smith personally paid his costars — including his onscreen daughters, Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton — bonuses to help make up for it.

"King Richard" actors
Jeff Spicer / Jeff Spicer / Getty Images for Warner Bros.

At an Elle Women in Hollywood event, Singleton said, "[Smith] made sure that everyone felt comfortable and safe and had a great time."

The bonuses weren't the only time Smith showered his King Richard costars with generosity, though. Layla Crawford called him "such a generous and sweet person."

King Richard actors
Jerod Harris / Getty Images / Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images

At the Elle Women in Hollywood event, Crawford said, "He gave us Polaroid cameras and different treats all the time. ... He also gave us iPhone 12 Pro Max gifts in boxes. We ripped them open and everyone started crying. I literally cried my eyes out — it was the best gift ever."

6. WandaVision director Matt Shakman employed Elizabeth Olsen to consult on the design for her new Scarlet Witch costume because "she knows what she has to do better than anybody, having done this for years now."

WandaVision director and star
Rich Fury / Getty Images

He told Entertainment Tonight, "I mean, it's one thing to look amazing. It's another thing to actually function."

7. As someone "who understands the largeness and the expectations that are there," Samuel L. Jackson helped take the pressure of joining the MCU off Brie Larson while filming Captain Marvel.

"Captain Marvel" actors
David M. Benett / Dave Benett / WireImage / Via Getty

He told Entertainment Tonight, "Part of my job being with her is to tell her, 'Look, create this character that you want and make her as dynamic as you want her to be. And Marvel takes care of the rest.'"

8. When Meghan Markle was accused of bullying her royal aides, her former Suits costars, including D.B. Woodside and Patrick J. Adams, quickly defended her character and praised her for the kindness she showed them over the years.

"Suits" caors
Michael Loccisano / Getty Images for Churchill Downs / Shane Mahood/USA Network / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Woodside told Entertainment Tonight, "I'm going to say this because this is one of those things that's really, really made me angry. ... Meghan went out of her way to always see how I was doing, to just talk to me when we didn't have any scenes together, but we might just be on set at the same time...it bothers me so much what's happening to her because I know that what they're saying is untrue."

On Twitter, Adams said, "Meghan Markle and I spent the better part of a decade working together on Suits. From day one she was an enthusiastic, kind, cooperative, giving, joyful and supportive member of our television family. She remained that person and colleague as fame, prestige and power accrued."

9. Gilmore Girls was Alexis Bledel's first acting role, so costar Edward Herrmann took her under his wing and mentored her.

"Gilmore Girls" actors
Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Bledel told Vulture, "Ed was so knowledgeable about theater, TV, and film, and what I remember most is how he would share so much of this knowledge. He loved talking about it, so we had those long Friday-night dinner scenes where we’d be sitting at a table all day, and he would share so much."

10. When Good Day Sacramento criticized Cara Delevingne mid-interview for seeming "irritable" and asked her if she'd read the John Green book her movie Paper Towns was based on, Green wrote a blog post calling out just how sexist such questions were.

"Paper Towns" author and actor
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

He wrote, "Cara has read the book (multiple times) but the question is annoying – not least because her male costar, Nat Wolff, was almost always asked when he'd read the book, while Cara was almost always asked if she'd read it...Cara Delevingne doesn't exist to feed your narrative or your news feed  —  and that's precisely why she's so fucking interesting."

11. In Us, writer/director Jordan Peele challenged harmful tropes and stereotypes that are often used to depict Black women in horror movies.

Jordan Peele directing Lupita Nyong'o on set
Photo Credit: Claudette Barius / ©Universal/courtesy Everett / Everett Collection

Peele told the Hollywood Reporter, "The way I look at it, I get to cast Black people in my movies. I feel fortunate to be in this position where I can say to Universal, ‘I want to make a $20 million horror movie with a Black family.’ And they say yes.”

He's continued to create opportunities for Black women both on camera and behind it, such as tapping Nia DaCosta to direct his remake of Candyman.

director
David M. Benett / Dave Benett / Getty Images

On a SXSW panel, Peele said, "...for so long in the industry had these baseless ideas that Black people can't open movies overseas, these myths that are brought on by systemic racism. It's a self-perpetuating prophecy. If you give people opportunities then, they have opportunities to succeed..."

12. When racist trolls harassed Kelly Marie Tran to the point that she deleted her Instagram, her Star Wars: The Last Jedi costar John Boyega called them out on Twitter, writing, "If you don't like Star Wars or the characters, understand that there are decisions makers, and harassing the actors/actresses will do nothing."

Star Wars actors
Rich Fury / Getty Images

He continued, "You’re not entitled to politeness when your approach is rude. Even if you paid for a ticket!"

A year later, Star Wars fans jumped to Tran's defense when they interpreted a statement Boyega made to Variety as him calling her "weak." However, he swiftly clarified his intent and apologized on Twitter, writing, "In no way was I referring to Kelly when I made my comments, although the interviewer mentioned her given the topic. ... I was really speaking from my own perspective throughout this franchise. Sometimes I’ve felt strong and sometimes I’ve felt weak. Badly worded though. I apologize."

13. The original script for Cruel Intentions wasn't a great fit for Reese Witherspoon, so director Roger Kumble spent a week rewriting her character's lines with her to transform it into a role she'd be proud to play.

Cruel Intentions actor and director
Amy Sussman / WireImage / Mark Mainz / Getty Images / Via Getty

He told Entertainment Weekly, "There's no way the movie would have its success if it weren't for [Witherspoon's] talent as a writer."

14. And finally, after body language expert Mandy O’Brien posted a video criticizing Brie Larson's presentation in interviews (accusing her of "trying to dominate" her male costars and giving Chris Hemsworth "bedroom eyes" so he would "validate her"), her Avengers: Infinity War costar Don Cheadle called out O'Brien's sexist take on Twitter and called the video "some of the funniest stuff I've ever heard."

"Avengers: Endgame" actors
Aaron J. Thornton / FilmMagic / Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images / Via Getty

Cheadle said, "Brie was trying to keep her ponytail behind her because her hair stylist kept flying in and fixing it. She’s actually being over accommodating. Amazing."

What's your favorite example of an actor standing up for one of their costars? Let me know in the comments!