Actress Robin Wright who stars alongside Kevin Spacey in Netflix hit series “House of Cards” is speaking out about her experience with the gender wage gap, and how she successfully demanded to be paid the same as her male counterpart.
“I was like, ‘I want to be paid the same as Kevin,’” said Wright, who plays Claire Underwood, the sinister counterpart and co-conspirator to Spacey’s President Frank Underwood on Netflix’s popular show. Wright is a producer and occasional director for “House of Cards.”
“It was the perfect paradigm. There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in ‘House of Cards,’” said Wright, who had been talking about the problem of equal pay for women more generally.
“I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time. So I capitalized on it. I was like, ‘You better pay me or I’m going to go public,’” Wright said with her trademark blinding-white grin. “And they did.”
It’s almost like Robin made a Claire Underwood power play right out of the script and got exactly what she wanted.
Spacey was reportedly making $500,000 per episode for his work on the series back in 2014, before season 3 of the show debuted. At the time, insiders said that number might move up to $1 million, making him one of the highest-earning TV or streaming actors. Last year, Forbes reported that Wright made $5.5 million for her work on the show, which would be around $420,000 an episode.
The fourth season of the series debuted in March and delved even more deeply into Claire’s character. She truly seemed to strike out on her own, sparring with her equally formidable mother and plotting behind Frank’s back in her quest to become a political force in her own right. What’s more, Claire seems never to remove her four-inch stilettos, sparking an avalanche of think pieces across the Internet.