Rooney Mara on Gender Pay Gap: "It’s Just a Reality of the Time We Live In"
"I’m just grateful to be getting paid at all."
Rooney Mara has become the latest actress to weigh in on the issue of women being paid less than men for their work in front of the camera.
In the wake of Jennifer Lawrence's essay for Lena Dunham's Lenny newsletter, in which Lawrence sounded off about being paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle, Mara admits that she too has been paid significantly less than her male co-stars.
Mara — who's had starring or significant roles in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Side Effects, Pan and the upcoming Carol, opposite Cate Blanchett — told The Guardian that the pay disparity is "frustrating" but she's also "grateful to be getting paid at all."
"I’ve been in films where I’ve found out my male co-star got paid double what I got paid, and it’s just a reality of the time that we live in," the actress said. "To me, it’s frustrating, but at the same time, I’m just grateful to be getting paid at all for what I do."
Indeed, Mara thinks that some perspective is needed, particularly compared to what people in other professions are paid.
"It’s not fair, but I think about how much teachers are getting paid, or other people who are doing jobs that are so much more important than what I do, and it’s kind of hard to complain about it," she told The Guardian.
Mara adds that the real issue, which Lawrence also touched on, is the language being used to describe female actors who voice strong opinions about their careers. Lawrence said she was concerned about "coming across as a brat," using the same term that producer Scott Rudin used to describe Angelina Jolie in one of the emails leaked in the Sony hack.
"To me, the thing that’s more unfair than the pay is the terminology that’s used to describe actresses who have a point of view, and want to have a voice in their life and their career, and what they choose to do," Mara told The Guardian. "I’ve been called horrible things. If a man was acting in the same way that I was acting, it would just be considered normal. To me, that’s the thing I find so frustrating is calling women spoiled brats and bitches. We just want to have a voice in our life, and I don’t think that’s anything that shouldn’t be encouraged in any human."