Jessica Chastain Praises Jennifer Lawrence for Pay Dispute Essay
Entertainment| | By Sara Wilkins
Jessica Chastain was “disappointed” with the criticism leveled at Jennifer Lawrence after she opened up about Hollywood’s gender wage gap.
The Hunger Games actress hit headlines in October following the publication of a missive she wrote for Lena Dunham’s Lenny newsletter, titled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?” In the article, Lawrence blamed herself for failing to demand a fair wage for her work on acclaimed comedy drama American Hustle.
“I got mad at myself,” she wrote. “I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early… I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.'”
Lawrence was paid significantly less than her male co-stars and the revelation only emerged during the Sony Pictures hacking scandal in late 2014, when cyber crooks leaked the studio’s private documents online.
At the time of Lawrence’s op-ed, Chastain was among the female celebrities who championed her candid confession, taking to Twitter to write, “Yessssssss! Get it girl xx (sic).”
However, the Interstellar beauty admits she was dismayed to read some of the backlash linked to her fellow actress’ article.
“It was incredible,” Chastain gushed to Haute Living magazine. “I loved her op-ed… and I was really disappointed after she wrote it that she got criticism. Sometimes people have that attitude where, ‘You’re an actress making a lot of money, how dare you complain?’
“We’ve kind of been programmed to be grateful that we’ve gotten this job, so don’t rock the boat. I don’t think that’s fair. Jennifer Lawrence coming out and saying that was really important.”
Meanwhile, Chastain used her latest interview to dismiss speculation of a rivalry between herself and the 25-year-old, who beat the Zero Dark Thirty star to the Best Actress Oscar in 2013.
“There has been a stigma out there that women don’t work well together,” she said. “I’ve never seen women like this. I know also during Oscar season (2012-2013) media, because they were trying to get headlines and get clicks, were trying to fabricate a fake rivalry between Jennifer Lawrence and myself and I immediately came out and said, ‘This is a media myth that has to stop.'”
Chastain went on to insist championing her fellow females is all the more important to further the issue of diversity and equal pay for women everywhere.
“The women I know are not like this and I cheer for women to succeed because I know when an actress succeeds that means there’s going to be that many more roles for women because an audience is going to demand it,” she argued.
Chastain, 38, is helping to pave the way for female filmmakers by teaming up with Freida Pinto, Queen Latifah, and other stars for the We Do It Together non-profit organization, which is aimed at embracing female empowerment in film and TV.