Sienna Miller: Chadwick Boseman donated part of his salary for my paycheck

sienna CB

Last year, the film 21 Bridges came out. It wasn’t really a hit or anything, but it was a relatively small-budget action-thriller and it did okay. It starred Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller and JK Simmons, among others. Empire’s latest cover story is devoted to Boseman and stories about his life and work. Empire spoke to former coworkers and Sienna Miller had an absolutely wonderful story of how she came on board 21 Bridges and what Chadwick did to get her paid properly.

As a producer on 21 Bridges, Boseman was instrumental in casting Miller for the role of detective Frankie Burns.

“He produced 21 Bridges, and had been really active in trying to get me to do it,” Miller tells Empire. “He was a fan of my work, which was thrilling, because it was reciprocated from me to him, tenfold. So he approached me to do it, he offered me this film, and it was at a time when I really didn’t want to work anymore. I’d been working non-stop and I was exhausted, but then I wanted to work with him.”

Beyond pursuing Miller for the film, Boseman went the extra mile: fighting for his co-star to receive a higher pay packet for joining the production, to the extent that he donated part of his own salary to increase her fee. “I didn’t know whether or not to tell this story, and I haven’t yet. But I am going to tell it, because I think it’s a testament to who he was,” Miller says. “This was a pretty big budget film, and I know that everybody understands about the pay disparity in Hollywood, but I asked for a number that the studio wouldn’t get to. And because I was hesitant to go back to work and my daughter was starting school and it was an inconvenient time, I said, ‘I’ll do it if I’m compensated in the right way.’ And Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for. He said that that was what I deserved to be paid.”

For Miller, Boseman’s generosity and support was unprecedented in the industry. “It was about the most astounding thing that I’ve experienced,” she says. “That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. 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.’”

[From Empire]

We stan an actual KING. I mean, Sienna Miller is a good actress in *some* things, but for Chadwick to go out of his way to make sure she’s the one cast AND that she’s paid properly, even donating some of his own salary to make it happen? Sienna is right, it’s unheard of in Hollywood and every other industry. Chadwick really was that wonderful to every single person, wasn’t he? He was like an angel on earth.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of ‘21 Bridges’ and Getty, cover courtesy of Empire.

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39 Responses to “Sienna Miller: Chadwick Boseman donated part of his salary for my paycheck”

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  1. Eleonor says:

    This is pure class.
    Rip beautiful soul.

  2. Tom says:

    As if I didn’t already worship him for channeling James Brown in “ Get On Up”.

  3. Scollins says:

    I saw that movie and was very unimpressed by her, I even looked up the cast to see who the crummy actress was. He was good and movie enjoyable and besides talented it seems a very generous soul.

  4. ABritGuest says:

    As if I couldn’t love him more 😭. He seemed such a beautiful and generous guy and colleague. RIP Chadwick

    • Sarah says:

      I agree, how come we have so many terrible people in the limelight and the wonderful ones like this are the ones we lose?

  5. SJ Knows says:

    Sounds like he was a really decent person overall. We need more decent folks.
    RIP, sir.

  6. Mia4s says:

    “ I’ve told other male actor friends of mine that story and they all go very very quiet…”

    Oh I bet they do! Say it louder for the men in the back. 😂

    • Darla says:

      Yeah, I thought the same.

      What a shame to lose a human being like this so early. I want to scream over how unfair it is, but that would change nothing either.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      and it’s the same in the corporate world.

    • Jellybean says:

      Bradley Cooper produced American Hustle, but when there was a huge outcry over how much Amy Adams was paid, he gave the media a BS line about supporting equal pay and he got zero blow back on that and the fact that he did nothing to protect Amy or the crew from DOR’s bullying. Mr Boseman, on the other hand, was clealry a man who walked the walk. A great loss.

  7. Miranda says:

    Honestly, this made me tear up. What a kind, generous, inspirational man. It still stings that we lost him so young and so suddenly.

  8. Noki says:

    And she has been in the industry decades now,so was he getting paid more also?Or he took a cut regardless,either was very classy of him. If veterans like Sienna and Michelle Williams are still being short changed imagine the rest.

  9. E.D. says:

    I hope every male actor and every producer and industry head reads this story.
    Parity for a female lead should not have to come from the generosity of a fellow cast-mate.
    What a truly unique human he must have been.

    • Jellybean says:

      He was a producer, so that is different. A lot of film makers work on a minimum wage to get a project made and actos will sometimes do the same if they believe in a project. But, it was still a good thing that he did.

  10. Ameara says:

    That was so sweet of him 🙂 He was a true class act.

    I remember Emma Stone once said a male co-star did the same for her (she didn’t reveal who it was) and it’s so sad that women have to rely on their co-stars being kind like that.

  11. Bc says:


  12. Stacy Dresden says:

    I am so sad he is gone. How unfair

  13. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    I am glad she didn’t sit on this story. Boseman deserves all of this praise and maybe some other producers will think about this the next time they try to negotiate an actress down from what she is worth.

  14. tempest prognosticator says:

    This is a heartbreakingly good story.

  15. Case says:

    This is so classy and generous.

  16. Lucy2 says:

    I wish she had told this before he passed away, but he probably wouldn’t have wanted that publicity. What a good man.

  17. Godwina says:

    I HATE THAT HE IS GONE SO MUCH, never even mind this SM story.

    Also my mom is about to watch Black Panther and I know she’ll love it and I don’t think I have the heart to tell her…

  18. BnLurkN4eva says:

    This is great. It’s so nice to know that an actor I really enjoyed was such a decent person for real. Lately I have had so many disappointments with actors (male/female) who I’ve enjoyed in the past who have turned out to be truly awful human beings.

  19. Merricat says:

    It’s hard to lose a good human, especially in dark times. CB was a great human.

  20. Mariane says:

    He was a class act. I wouldn’t be suprised to hear that he paid it forward & paid tuitions for other aspiring black actors just like DenzelWashington did for him. RIP😔

  21. Louise177 says:

    Probably going to be an unpopular opinion but Chadwick shouldn’t have had to do it. It’s a great gesture but it’s money out of his pocket not the studio. They aren’t losing anything or taking responsibility. Studios should pay actresses their worth. It shouldn’t be a co-stars responsibility.

    • Case says:

      Totally agree, and I don’t think it’s an unpopular opinion. This was an incredibly classy thing for Chadwick to do, but in any situation, employees should not be responsible for bridging the wage gap themselves or making up for any shortcomings of their employer. It reminds me of a story of how teachers “donated” their sick time to another teacher with cancer so he could go get his treatments. That’s incredibly kind and a lovely story, but the overarching problem that he wasn’t afforded the time to go get his treatments is the real issue.

    • kerwood says:

      I agree with you. Actors shouldn’t have to ‘donate’ to their female co-stars paycheques. Chadwick was a producer so he had something to do with who got paid what but when actors are producers, it’s usually in name only. What I think is truly amazing about this film is that Chadwick made an action film while he was being treated for colon cancer. What incredible strength and determination.

      It’s hard to look at pictures of Chadwick without feeling grief. This loss is just so huge.

    • meloroast says:

      I ABSOLUTELY agree. Can we also remind ourselves that black actors in Hollywood aren’t exactly paid equitably or have the same opportunities as say, oh i don’t know, a beautiful, white actress?? We have heard countless stories of the types of roles CB did NOT take for fear of perpetuating stereotypes etc. So he’s taken a hit historically and now needs to donate part of his salary to Sienna Miller??? Are you kidding me?
      The fact that she took the money is also kinda gross imo.

      • GrumpyDespot says:

        Sexism (and limited roles for women) is a big issue. So is racism. No need to diminish one issue or whatabout it.

    • lucy2 says:

      Why would that be an unpopular opinion? It’s spot on!

  22. ce says:

    Don’t make me cry again!!

  23. emu says:

    What a wonderful guy

  24. Annaloo. says:

    Notwithstanding Sienna Miller is a total waste of money for anything, this was a HUGE thing for Boseman (or any man) to do, and she’s done something useful (for once) by adding to his legacy.

    RIP Chadwick Boseman. They broke the mold and took you too soon.

  25. Regina Falangie says:

    He is a beautiful man inside and out. ❤️

  26. Kari says:

    I’m gonna be honest and say that I’ve also been struggling with it @Meloroast. In fact I don’t think feeling this way is diminishing the sexism in the industry if anything we need to be more nuanced about this conversation. Yes Sienna should be paid her fair due, not going to get into the specifics of whether or not her acting caliber is up to par bc some of these male actors aren’t and still make the big $$. However, her whiteness does play a huge role in her longevity and opportunities in the industry. For me it’s not about discussing racism at the cost of ignoring the sexism in this scenario but seeing how they both historically intersect. And yes, I do feel conflicted on this whole situation bc actors of color are not protected in the same way as white actors.

  27. Courtney B says:

    They were so cute on the Wired video for the promotion of the movie. They were introducing each other to various slang from their respective areas—south for Chadwick not just US generally. I’m still not over his tragic death. It’s just so sad.