Olivia Colman reveals she’d earn a lot more money in Hollywood if she were a man

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Updated Mar 26, 2024 at 09:42 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

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Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman recently addressed the ongoing issue of gender pay disparity in Hollywood, suggesting that she would receive a higher payment if her name was “Oliver Colman.” The 50-year-old is renowned for her roles in The Crown and The Favourite, both projects where she portrayed former monarchs.

During an interview on CNN with news anchor Christiane Amanpour, Colman expressed frustration with the prevailing gender pay gap in the entertainment industry. The actor pointed out that research indicates women have always been significant box office draws, challenging the outdated notion that male actors command higher pay due to their perceived ability to attract audiences.

Colman’s comments underscore the ongoing challenges faced by women in the entertainment industry, particularly regarding pay equality.

“I’m very aware that if I was Oliver Colman, I’d be earning a f*ck of a lot more than I am… I know of one pay disparity, which is a 12,000 per cent difference… do the maths.”

In addition to addressing the pay disparity, Colman also shared her experience of being cut from the movie Barbie.

During a recent red-carpet interview with IndieWire, Olivia revealed that she never had the opportunity to view the footage herself. However, she candidly admitted that she fully comprehended why the scene was ultimately axed from the final cut.

@indiewire

Olivia Colman told IndieWire about her cut “Barbie” scene alongside Helen Mirren. See our full recap from last night’s “Wicked Little Letters” NYC premiere at the link in our bio. #indiewire #oliviacolman #movietiktok #movietok #redcarpet

♬ original sound - IndieWire

In February 2024, Helen Mirren, who narrates Barbie, revealed that she and Colman shot a scene together that ultimately didn’t make it into the final edit. Although the scene, where Colman played a drunken character vying after Mirren’s role as narrator, was filmed, it was later removed from the movie.

“It was a very funny scene with Olivia Colman sort of playing drunk and us clashing about who is the real grande dame of British actresses,” Mirren shared. “She comes in and tries to take over the role of the narrator, and I had to fight her off,” the actor continued.

Interestingly, Colman was not the only one who didn’t make the cut in the incredibly popular Barbie movie. Alongside actors like Dan Levy, Bowen Yang, and Jonathan Groff, who were all under consideration for roles in the film, director Greta Gerwig also had plans for surprise appearances by Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan. Despite these initial intentions, the final cast and scenes of the movie underwent significant changes during production.

As previously mentioned, Colman’s portrayal of complex characters has earned her critical acclaim and multiple award nominations. In addition to her Oscar-winning performance in The Favourite, she received an Academy Award nomination for her supporting role in The Father.

However, in a recent Forbes report on the highest-paid actors of 2023, Colman’s remarks on gender pay disparity were further highlighted.

The list predominantly featured male actors, with Adam Sandler topping the rankings with earnings of $73 million. While notable female actors such as Margot Robbie and Jennifer Aniston also made the list, the gender disparity in earnings remains apparent.

Now, not to be disrespectful, but it’s widely acknowledged that Sandler’s films typically don’t reach the same level of critical acclaim as masterpieces like The Favourite. Yet, despite this discrepancy in artistic merit, the comedian managed to rake in a staggering $73 million following the success of his 2023 Netflix film Murder Mystery 2 and his stand-up comedy tour.

This discrepancy begs the question: what truly determines an actor’s paycheck? Is it the quality of their work, their box office draw, or something else entirely? Colman’s remarks about gender pay in Hollywood shed light on this issue, illustrating that even esteemed actresses like herself face unequal compensation compared to their male counterparts.

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