Robin Wright has described how she had to fight to be paid the same amount as co-star Kevin Spacey on the hit Netflix drama House of Cards.
In a move that some would qualify as manipulative and very Claire Underwood-esque Wright told an audience at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York that she basically had threatened studio bosses with going public unless they agreed to equal pay – which they did.
Ms. Wright, who plays a calculating first lady to Mr. Spacey’s equally ruthless President Frank Underwood on the Netflix drama, explained that she that she’d learned the two characters were equally popular with viewers.
Mr. Spacey was making $500,000 per episode in 2014, according to reports, making him one of the highest-paid actors on TV. That year, Ms. Wright won a Golden Globe Award for best actress for her work on the show. In 2015, Mr. Spacey won for best actor. That year, Forbes reported that Ms. Wright’s earnings — $5.5 million — were beginning to catch up to Mr. Spacey’s.
There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in ‘House of Cards,'” said Wright. The actress also addressed the personal issues she faced in Hollywood and how after taking some time off to be a mother, she had to rebuild her career.
“Because I wasn’t working full time, I wasn’t building my salary bracket. If you don’t build that … with notoriety and presence, you’re not in the game anymore. You become a B-list actor. You’re not box office material,” Wright explained. “You don’t hold the value you would have held if you had done four movies a year like Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett did during the time I was raising my kids. Now I’m kind of on a comeback at 50 years old.”