In 2005 Hilary Swank’s star was well and truly ascendant. She had just nabbed her second Oscar (Best Actress for Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby) and had made a name for herself balancing out critically-acclaimed movies with popcorn-perfect box office fare.
Not bad for someone who was homeless when she first moved to Hollywood, and only made $3,000 for Boys Don’t Cry, the film that nabbed her her first Oscar. (A sum that, incidentally wasn’t even enough to qualify her for health insurance.)
But despite her status as one of Hollywood’s new heavyhitters – appearing on the cover of magazines, fronting campaigns for beauty brands – in the mid-00s Swank was the victim of Hollywood’s gender pay gap.
The two time Oscar winner and critical darling told Chelsea Handler yesterday that she was once offered $500,000 for a role in a movie opposite a man who was “hot” but had no critical chops, for which he was being paid $10 million.
Your girl Hilary turned down the role and its paltry paycheque – and rightly so – and it was later offered to an upcoming actress who was paid only $50,000.
It seems no actress is immune from Hollywood’s gender pay gap… Even Hilary Swank.