Emma Stone Reveals That Her Male Co-Stars Have Taken Pay Cuts for Her


Emma Stone is getting real about the behind-the-scenes workings of pay equality in Hollywood.

In a cover story for Out, the Academy Award winner revealed that some of her male co-stars have taken pay cuts to even the playing field between the sexes.

"In my career so far, I've needed my male co-stars to take a pay cut so that I may have parity with them. And that's something they do for me because they feel it's what's right and fair," the La La Land star said during the interview. "That's something that's also not discussed, necessarily—that our getting equal pay is going to require people to selflessly say, 'That's what's fair.'"

As Stone prepares to take on the role of tennis player Billie Jean King, who plays a match against ex-champion Bobby Rigs in Battle of the Sexes, she says she's luckier than most women in the industry when it comes to securing a fair paycheck: "If my male co-star, who has a higher quote than me but believes we are equal, takes a pay cut so that I can match him, that changes my quote in the future and changes my life. And this is Billie Jean's feminism, and I love it—she is equality, man: equality, equality, equality."

While the star didn't specifically name her male peers who stepped up to the plate, the Aloha actress concluded that not one, but multiple men have advocated for justice.

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"We are all the same, we are all equal, we all deserve the same respect and the same rights," Stone said. "And that's really what I've been so grateful for with male co-stars—when I've been in a similar-size role in films, and it's been multiple people who have been really incredible and said, 'That's what I want to do. That's what's fair and what's right.'"


That's actually the thing that gets me into myself each day. [LAUGH] [MUSIC] I think what worried me the most was just losing track of the characters when the musical numbers came in. That somehow, they'd feel like Different people because they were singing and then go back to being who they were in the scenes. I think at the beginning I was really trying to nail down what the tone was going to be. And I couldn't fully understand what was going to be anamorphic and what was going to be a bit more grounded and realistic I think that Damien balanced that incredibly well. It's sort of bridging that gap and making sure that the people singing those songs were the same people in the scenes that you saw before hand and that you didn't lose track of these characters and their Relationships, that that was in service of the story and not vice versa. Musicals are a hard sell for today's audiences. That kind of full fledged idea of people breaking into song because their emotions inspire them to, is something that I love, but not everyone loves as much as I do, so The challenge for this movie was to try to kinda make that feel accessible and relevant. You know, initially my character was younger. We changed him to being someone that was more, or maybe it was once an optimist, but not had become cynical, and was really on the verge becoming a bitter person. But the finger of fate intervenes, and he This love that he finds kind of keeps him from becoming the worst version of himself. Going to dance rehearsal each day was really wonderful, and Mia's not a dancer, she's an actress. But I think physically it did something that was kinda freeing and got me out of my head, even though it is so technical. So it's one of those Sort of this because it's very technical but you're trying to sort of let go and be free within it. Nice work, by the way. What? With this? Yeah, doing that. I've actually been practicing that for a very long time. [LAUGH] It's pretty effortless. Thank you. Well, I think Emma and Ryan were the perfect actors for the roles. I think it's their emotions and their behavior that really just Just carries an audience, even an audience that is not normally into musicals, through the movie. So, it's a huge burden on their shoulders to, like, create that through line, but that's what I need, and that's what they did. One, two, three. [IN UNISON] Thanks Damien. [LAUGHS]
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