Emma Stone works with men who treat her as their equal. Without mentioning names, the newly minted Oscar winner divulged to Out magazine how her male movie co-stars agreed to take pay cuts on their previous films to close the gender pay gap.
“In my career so far, I’ve needed my male co-stars to take a pay cut so that I may have parity with them. And that’s something they do for me because they feel it’s what’s right and fair,” Stone said for Out‘s cover story on her latest film, The Battle of the Sexes. “That’s something that’s also not discussed, necessarily — that our getting equal pay is going to require people to selflessly say, ‘That’s what’s fair.'”
She continued: “If my male co-star, who has a higher quote than me but believes we are equal, takes a pay cut so that I can match him, that changes my quote in the future and changes my life. And this is Billie Jean’s feminism, and I love it — she is equality, man: equality, equality, equality.”
Stone portrays Billy Jean King, the tennis player who famously sparred with Bobby Riggs, in The Battle of the Sexes. Steve Carell plays Riggs in the film, which is directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
“It’s not about, ‘Women are this and men are that,'” Stone said of pay equality. “It is, ‘We are all the same, we are all equal, we all deserve the same respect and the same rights.’ And that’s really what I’ve been so grateful for with male co-stars — when I’ve been in a similar-size role in films, and it’s been multiple people who have been really incredible and said, ‘That’s what I want to do. That’s what’s fair and what’s right.'”
Stone spoke about this issue ahead of the release of La La Land, for which she won Best Actress at the Oscars. “I’ve been lucky enough to have equal pay to my male co-stars,” she told Vogue magazine last November. “Not ‘lucky.’ I’ve had pay equal to my male costars in the past few films. But our industry ebbs and flows in a way that’s like, ‘How much are you bringing into the box office?’ ‘How much are you the draw or is the other person the draw?'”
The Battle of the Sexes, also featuring Elisabeth Shue and Jessica McNamee, will open in theaters on Sept. 22.