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Susan Sarandon says Paul Newman once gave her part of his salary

Paul Newman: pay equality advocate?

In an interview with BBC 5 on Thursday, Susan Sarandon revealed that the late, Oscar-winning actor and philanthropist gave a portion of his salary to her after they discovered she was being paid less than her male costars, Newman and Gene Hackman, in the 1998 film Twilight. “He stepped forward and said, ‘Well I’ll give you part of mine,'” Sarandon recalled of Newman. “So, yeah, he was a gem.”

Newman, who died in 2008, won the Best Actor Oscar for his turn in the 1986 film The Color of Money and was also known for his political activism.

» Rolex once owned by Paul Newman fetches $17.8M at auction

Sarandon said Newman and Hackman benefited from the “favored nations” agreement, in which a producer and actor jointly ensure that costars are paid the same, while she was left out. Yet Sarandon received second billing on the Robert Benton-directed film, ahead of Hackman and behind Newman. (All were treated as equal leads.)

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Sarandon was on hand to promote her new film Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story . During the BBC interview, she also weighed in on the #MeToo movement, predicting that the “unwanted exchange” of the casting couch will go away. “But I think that giving yourself sexually, or being drawn to power and wanting to have sex with someone that’s in power, is also a choice,” she added. “What we don’t want to have is being exploited and have the Harvey Weinsteins of the world holding it over your head and holding it over your project. That is the most despicable.”

See more from her BBC5 interview here.

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