LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Bradley Cooper applauded his frequent co-star Jennifer Lawrence on Wednesday for speaking out about Hollywood’s gender pay gap and said it was high time to start fixing the problem.
Cooper, speaking to Reuters at a promotional event for his latest film “Burnt,” said it was “fantastic” that Lawrence had taken up the cause and that her popularity gave her a great “platform.”
“Would people listen if another woman said it?,” he asked.
Lawrence won an Oscar for “Silver Linings Playbook” and was named as the world’s highest-paid actress last year by Forbes, with an estimated $52 million in earnings.
She unleashed a no-holds barred attack on the wage gap on Tuesday in an essay, entitled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Co-Stars,” for Lena Dunham’s Lenny newsletter.
In the past, Lawrence said she had worried about being labeled a spoiled brat when negotiating movie deals. But that changed after she discovered, through leaked Sony Pictures emails last year, that she had been paid millions less than any of her three male co-stars, including Cooper, for her role in 2013’s “American Hustle.”
“I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early,” Lawrence said.
Cooper, who Forbes said earned $41.5 million in the past year, said he had been shocked to discover what Amy Adams was paid for “American Hustle,” which won her a best actress nomination.
“She worked everyday on that movie and got paid nothing. It’s really horrible actually, it’s almost embarrassing,” Cooper said.
Adams “should have been paid more than everybody” for her work on the film, Cooper added, saying he hoped Lawrence’s essay would “allow people like Amy to also speak up.”
In his own bid to address the pay gap, Cooper said he has begun teaming up with female co-stars to negotiate salaries before any film he is interested in working on goes into production.
“I don’t know where it’s changing otherwise but that’s something that I could do,” Cooper said.
“Usually you don’t talk about the financial stuff, you have people. But you know what? It’s time to start doing that,” he added.
Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Tom Brown