Going ahead as equals: Benedict Cumberbatch says he will turn down a role if his female co-star isn't paid the same
The Sherlock actor confesses he would decline a role where his female co-star is not getting paid the same
Benedict Cumberbatch has put his foot down when it comes to equal pay in Hollywood. The actor announced that he will turn down any role in which his female co-star is not getting paid the same. In an interview with Radio Times, the actor brought attention to the rising problem.
"Look at your quotas. Ask what women are being paid, and say: 'If she's not paid the same as the men, I'm not doing it,'" Benedict, who came on the show to promote his upcoming latest series 'Patrick Melrose,' said. Not only does Benedict hope to make this a part of his career, he also says that his production company, SunnyMarch will follow the same and make sure that the actresses are paid equally.
"I'm proud that [business partner] Adam [Ackland] and I are the only men in our production company," he said. "Our next project is a female story with a female lens about motherhood, in a time of environmental disaster. If it's centered around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects."
The actor confessed that doing movies that are women-centric is the right thing to do and are also good for business. "Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism," he said. He added that people are ready to see movies with women as well as people of color and it is time that they were given that.
"Half the audience is female. And, in terms of diversity, 'Black Panther' is now the third most successful film of all time," he said. "The audience is there! It's about facilitating platforms for talent. If you do that, the combination is combustible — world-beating. That's what we want to do." Benedict has appeared in movies like "The Imitation Game" and "Dr. Strange," but the female co-stars in that movies were not given the same pay as him.
Benedict later added that he is also open to playing an "objectified man-totty" role in a female-centered film and believes that others should feel the same. "If it's good enough for Chris Pine [in 'Wonder Woman']," he joked, "it's good enough for Benedict Cumberbatch!"