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Kathleen Turner, famed for playing tough-talking women, says that paying actresses less than actors in Hollywood movies is “based on an archaic model” that has to change.
Adding her (famously gravelly) voice to the equal-pay debate championed by Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, Turner says Hollywood studios are living in the past.
“Up until the last 15 years, [the studios] felt that the majority of money was controlled and spent by men, and therefore they would buy more tickets for men’s films,” Turner tells The Hollywood Reporter. “This is no longer true. In the U.S. now, in 40 percent of households, it’s the woman who is the major breadwinner. She controls the money. I think [the studios] are going to have to adjust to this.”
Speaking during the 52nd edition of Turkey’s annual International Antalya Film Festival, the actress — famous for her starring roles in 1980s blockbusters Romancing the Stone and The War of the Roses and for voicing Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit — said this outdated idea that women earn less and have lower spending power fed into the studio system, leading to systematically lower pay for actresses.
In the current stage of her career, Turner is not being guided by any notion of traditional gender roles. She currently is planning her own stage play based on William Shakespeare’s King Lear and plans to play the title role. She also is returning to television and is set to appear next year in an episode of Universal Television’s religious-cult drama The Path. When asked about her dream role, the Oscar-nominated actress says it would be Regina Giddens in Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes. The character famously was played by another straight-talking Hollywood legend, Bette Davis, in William Wyler’s 1941 classic.
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