Evan Rachel Wood: ‘I was married to an actor, he always got paid more than me’

Evan Rachel Wood has a new interview with The Wrap in which she reveals that she recently was given pay equity on Westworld and that it really touched her. You can see the video on The Wrap’s site and it gave me a lump in my throat. Evan explained that she never was paid the same as her male counterparts, that she’s made about the same amount of money for years, and it sounded like she expected that but did try to ask for more. HBO recently worked to ensure that the actresses on their shows were paid equal to the actors, and this was in part was due to Reese Witherspoon’s initiatives with the network. The Wrap had some quotes from HBO President Casey Bloys, who said that they’re making sure actresses have pay equity, particularly for shows that run more than one season. If only all networks (cough Netflix) would follow suit. Here’s some of what Evan said, and she also revealed that the pay equity was for season three, not season two which premieres this Sunday.

I have never been paid the same as my male counterparts. I think I’m just now to the point where I’m getting paid the same as my male co-stars.

How did you find out?
I was just told that, you know, ‘Hey you’re, you’re getting equal pay.’ And I was like [gasp]. And I almost got emotional/ I was like, ‘I have never been paid the same as my male counterparts … Never, never.’

I was married to an actor for years and he always got paid more than me. I actually worked more.

I’ve made pretty much the same amount of money for years. I’m not saying I’m in like dire straights, I’m very lucky. I’ts more about if you’re getting paid fairly or if you’re getting paid less simply because you’re a woman. That’s not fair.

I found out… I’m always fighting for that. And I have turned down projects — “Westworld,” it’s like, I get it [the pay differences] a little more. It’s like, ‘Well, you’re Anthony Hopkins or Ed Harris.’ But I think now we’re all doing equal amounts of work and really hard work.

This is the first time that somebody made a point of it. ‘You’re getting this, you deserve it.’ That was nice.

[From video on The Wrap]

Rachel Brosnahan and Alison Brie were on the couch during that interview and they were nodding and agreeing for the most part.

Evan was married to Jamie Bell from 2012 to 2014 and they have a son together, who turns five in July. (I don’t think they’ve ever revealed his name because they made a point of not telling the press and I can’t find it.) Imagine that Jamie Bell always made more than Evan when she worked more and was arguably the bigger star. It’s mind boggling but it’s not surprising.

I will never forget the day in the late 90s when a male manager at a tech firm took me aside and told me candidly that I was making less than the male contractors and that I should ask for more money. This was after I had interviewed for another job and was about to leave. I asked for more and got paid more at that job and on future assignments, but I never would have considered it if I wasn’t told it was an option. Like Evan, it was something that I took for granted and I didn’t even realize the extent of it. At least we’re having these conversations now, but given all the work our mothers and grandmothers did the pace of change seems glacial.

How does this woman make green eyeshadow look good?



photos credit: WENN

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23 Responses to “Evan Rachel Wood: ‘I was married to an actor, he always got paid more than me’”

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  1. moon says:

    She got the most air time on WestWorld, I understand if they paid Ed Harris and Sir Anthony more if we’re arguing seniority, but it’s shameful if they paid James Marsden more than Evan.

    • SK says:

      Yeah she is without a doubt the STAR and the most central character – although Thandie got up to an equal level with her in the second half of the season and I believe they’ll be equal in season 2. I can totally get Ed and Anthony being paid more initially but from Season 2 there should have been parity if not more to the ladies who carry the show and are the heart of it all with their extraordinary acting.

  2. Rhys says:

    I still think it was Evan Rachel Wood who was the lead in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” 😀

  3. BlueNailsBetty says:

    More and more I’m convinced suits were created so Evan could rock them. She even makes that beige suit look amazing.

  4. Jillian says:

    The color and the length of her hair looks great.

    I haven’t seen Westworld, any good?

    • Harryg says:

      It’s okay. The original movie already said it all. The TV series is unnecessarily complicated.

    • Carnivalbaby says:

      I love Westworld. Cannot wait for season two. The complications were fun for me.

    • pupax says:

      Westworld is amazing. Just go into it cold, don’t read about it or watch trailers, just take the ride.

  5. Dee says:

    I love her. She’s so talented. She dated the singer of a band I know and she was soo kick ass. I hate that west world show though.

  6. AB says:

    Any men who would do to her wife what she did to him would be destroyed by the media and would have to change his career. but because she was a woman everything was OK. And before their break-up I didn’t know her so it’s not surprised that she earned less than him.

  7. Digital Unicorn says:

    I work in digital as a contractor and when i was perm (salaried) I also got paid less than the men who has less experience than me and when i asked to get paid the same I was told by my male manager and female Head of HR that i was getting market rate even after I proved i was getting way below market rate. Since I went freelancing I am getting paid market rates but the pay disparity still exists as men who push for a rate increase gets it, where if i do I get told the usual BS about limited budget blah blah.

    • Kelly says:

      I work in tech sales and one previous company I worked for, there was a guy on my team who had a similar quota but who had a much easier territory than I was assigned. I always outperformed him by 25-30% each quarter. Guess who got the promotion and pay raise? They didn’t even advertise the opening, they just offered it to him. It’s one of the reasons why I left that company. Paying men more just because they’re men is disgusting.

      • Tosca says:

        Thank you for posting this. Something like this happened to me, as well (new guy with less experience, who routinely underperformed, got the larger office when it opened up, without any discussion, and he was assigned bigger money clients from the day he started). I made my disatisfaction known, and walked. The male management was shocked and embarrassed, but they tried to make excuses instead of make change. It’s been over a year, and it still makes my blood boil.

        We need to be vocal when we see this discrimination, and we need to leave if it isn’t rectified. The one thing I do feel good about is that I know my female coworkers were cheering me on, and I hope I inspire them to stand up for themselves in the future.

  8. Pass The ERA says:

    OK people, long time lurker here…
    We need to shift the conversation about pay equity in two ways:
    1) We have to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Right now the onus for discrimination falls on women to prove that their boss/company “intended” to discriminate against them. It is nearly impossible for plaintiffs to prove this in court. The only way to change the burden of proofs in the Courts is to pass the ERA so that sex and gender fall under “high scrutiny” in the same way that religion, race and national origin do. If you live in Illinois and you have a Republican state representative, call their office and tell them to vote for the ERA. Do it today! If you live elsewhere, find out if your state has ratified the ERA and if it has not, get involved. We are citizens of the United States and we DESERVE to be treated equally!
    2) Talk about your salary to your friends, family and coworkers. Stop the secrecy. It only benefits your employer. Talk about your negotiation strategies with your friends and family. Ask about how other people negotiated, including men. If you get a job offer, talk to the most powerful person that you know, the best negotiator, and get their advice on how much you are worth and how much to counter. Have these conversations, have them often, and listen, listen, LISTEN. Brag about the women you know who are good negotiators! Offer to introduce your friends to them. When people do a bad job negotiating, name and shame them! Concern troll your friends and family about their negotiation skills and how much they value their labor. The only way we change behavior is by putting a moral value on it. Right now, women still secretly cling to outdated Victorian values of modesty and being quiet and not taking up too much space. How women’s labor is valued is still linked to social mores of a previous century. Screw that and call out your friends, your sisters, your cousins, your daughters, your mother, your coworkers and people you barely know on the internet out for being bad negotiators and for undervaluing themselves.

  9. Talia says:

    I’m al for equal pay. But that point about Antony Hopkins brought an association with a bottle of high-end liquor: a good bottle of whiskey that’s 10 years old (and amazing) is still cheaper than the one 18 years+. You got the drift. It’s not all just about the amount of shooting days.

    • Lex says:

      The matter in HW is infintely more complex as what really is equal work?

      What is equal experience? Is doing 1 blockbuster equal or more than doing 10 indie films? Or vice versa? What about box office numbers? Should instagram followers play a part?!?

      Some frat bro who appears in Fast & Furious films should make more than someone else with awards and critical acclaim but who appears in ‘indie’ films?

      Then what about screen time? Billed as supporting or main but if the supporting has more screen time, what then? Do we pay them for the actual filming hours (scenes get cut often) or the hours they end up on camera?

      It’s very hard to justify worth in HW and there are many factors at play but nearly all of them are used to pay women and minorities less than white men. Even where the ‘pay’ is equal, there are other deals that happen to ensure someone comes out on top. Back end deals, housing allowances, assistants being paid for etc.

  10. lucy2 says:

    The way Westworld started and ended last season, and the way it’s advertised, I’d say she’s the main character – or as close as you can get in an ensemble. If she was paid less than Marsden, that is SOOOO wrong. She’s also done numerous projects with HBO, if anything with that relationship, you’d have thought they’d pay her more right off the bat.

    I know of Jamie Bell, but I don’t know if I’ve seen him in anything since Billy Elliott. The idea that he was making more than her is confusing.

    She is gorgeous and I love her style. That suit is great.