Though actresses typically get paid less than their male counterparts, at least one tentpole is bucking the trend.
Sources say Rogue One: A Star Wars Story protagonist Felicity Jones was, by far, the highest-paid castmember. Coming off her best actress nomination for The Theory of Everything, Jones was able to negotiate for a seven-figure upfront salary to play Rebel fighter Jyn Erso. Her other castmates, including Diego Luna and Ben Mendelsohn, took home significantly less, not cracking mid-six figures.
“She knows her worth,” said one knowledgeable source.
For Jones, it might be something of a watershed moment in an industry known to pay actresses less than their male co-stars. One of the more egregious examples was famously revealed thanks to the Sony hack when it became clear that American Hustle stars Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams took home smaller paychecks than their actor cohorts Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale (all five were used equally in billboards and posters to sell the film). It prompted Lawrence to pen the essay “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co?Stars?” in Lenny, the feminist newsletter from Lena Dunham and her Girls co-showrunner Jenni Konner.
“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself,” Lawrence wrote.
Still, the reversal might begin and end with Rogue One. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has said no matter how well the first stand-alone Star Wars performs at the box office, there won’t be a sequel. Reps for castmembers confirm that they also have been told by Lucasfilm that there will be no sequel.
But in a intriguing twist, possible plot spoiler here, Jones has one sequel option in her contract, according to sources. How it will be used remains a mystery, with speculation surrounding perhaps a young Luke Skywalker stand-alone in the future.
In September, before Kennedy made her statement that Rogue One is a one-and-done property, Jones told THR in a cover story interview that a sequel was a possibility: “It’s set up for one. I mean, there’s a number in the title,” she said.
Regardless, for now, the paycheck Force is with Jones.