Robin Wright demanded — and got — equal pay to Kevin Spacey in ‘House of Cards’

Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey in 'House of Cards.'. Netflix

Robin Wright‘s character on Netflix’s House of Cards, Claire Underwood, is as tough as nails and arguably more hardcore than Kevin Spacey’s lead character, Frank Underwood.

So it’s no surprise (and it’s perfectly in line with her character) that Wright demanded the same pay for her work as Spacey receives, and, of course, she got it.

Wright, 50, aside from being the lead female actor in all 52 episodes of House of Cards, is a producer and occasional director of the show.

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As reported by The Huffington Post, Wright was speaking at a Rockefeller Foundation event called “Insight Dialogues” when she got into her salary on the Netflix show.

“I was like, ‘I want to be paid the same as Kevin,'” said Wright. “It was the perfect paradigm. There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in House of Cards,” said Wright, who had previously talked about pay discrepancies between men and women.

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“I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time. So I capitalized on it. I was like, ‘You better pay me or I’m going to go public,'” Wright continued. “And they did.”

Business Insider reported in 2014 that Spacey was making $500,000 per episode. Last year, Wright was listed by Forbes as making $5.5 million for her work on House of Cards (which equals about $420,000 an episode), so she must have gotten the pay raise in the last 12 months.

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Wright said at the Rockefeller event that having children (with then-husband Sean Penn) definitely impacted her box-office power.

“Because I wasn’t working full-time, I wasn’t building my salary bracket,” she told the crowd. “If you don’t build that… with notoriety and presence, you’re not in the game anymore. You become a B-list actor. You’re not box-office material.”

“You don’t hold the value you would have held if you had done four movies a year like Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett did during the time I was raising my kids,” she asserted. “Now I’m kind of on a comeback at 50 years old.”

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Wright is the latest high-profile celebrity to speak out on equal pay in Hollywood. Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence and Best Actress Oscar winner Patricia Arquette have voiced their opinions on the matter in the past year.


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