Hollywood star Susan Sarandon has revealed that Paul Newman once gave her part of his salary. In a BBC interview, the 71-year-old actress said that she found out two male co-stars in a 1990s film were being paid bigger salaries than her. When she mentioned it to Newman, one of the co-stars, he said: “Well I’ll give you part of mine.”
“Emma Stone once came forward and said she got equal pay, because her male stars insisted upon it and gave up something of theirs”, Sarandon says. “That happened to me with Paul Newman at one point, when I did a film with him ages ago. He stepped forward and said, ‘Well I’ll give you part of mine’. So, yeah, he was a gem.”
The act of generosity is believed to have happened when the pair starred together in the 1998 film Twilight, alongside Gene Hackman and a young Reese Witherspoon. The announcement will come as no surprise to fans of Newman, who was known for his extensive charity work and kind nature. Newman’s food company Newman’s Own donates all post-tax profits and royalties to charity, which has reached more than US$485 million since its creation in 1982. He also founded SeriousFun Children’s Network, a summer camp program for children with major illnesses, and the Safe Water Network, which develops sustainable water outcomes for communities in need.
Sarandon added that she believes there will always be some kind of casting couch in Hollywood. “I think what will go away is the unwanted exchange. But I think that giving yourself sexually, or being drawn to power and wanting to have sex with someone that’s in power, is also a choice”, she said. “What we don’t want to have is being exploited and have the Harvey Weinsteins of the world holding it over your head and holding it over your project. That is the most despicable.”