When No Strings Attached was released in 2011, Natalie Portman was an Oscar nominated actress that had received much acclaim throughout her career for her performances in films such as Leon, Closer and V For Vendetta.
On top of that she was also the female lead in the Star Wars prequels which are among some of the highest grossing movies of all time.
Ashton Kutcher meanwhile, after making his name in That 70s Show, went on to star a series of terrible romantic comedies. Some successful at the box office, some not. In any case, one would not expect Kutcher to be earning more than Portman for No Strings Attached. Particularly not three times as much.
“Ashton Kutcher was paid three times as much as me on No Strings Attached,” she bluntly told Marie Claire. “I knew and I went along with it because there’s this thing with ‘quotes’ in Hollywood."
“His [quote] was three times higher than mine, so they said he should get three times more. I wasn’t as pissed as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy."
“Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar. In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar.”
What's even more damning is the marketing team for the movie also agreed that Portman was the bigger star of the two, as they put her name as top billing on all of the promotional materials for the film. Here's the poster for example.
Portman is not the first actress to reveal that they didn't earn as much as their male co-stars. Jennifer Lawrence of course wrote an essay about her disappointment to be paid much less than Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper for American Hustle.
However the disparity of pay in Portman and Kutcher's case truly is the worst we've come across yet.