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Olivia Colman says she would be paid more if she was a man

Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman has hit out at gender pay disparity, saying she would get “paid more” if she was a man.

The British star, known as the late Queen in The Crown and for The Favourite as the 18th century monarch Anne, also dismissed suggestions that male actors encourage cinemagoers to watch movies.

Colman was asked on CNN’s Christiane Amanpour programme about women being taken more seriously in Hollywood.

European premiere of Wicked Little Letters – London
Olivia Colman, Anjana Vasan, Thea Sharrock and Jessie Buckley (Ian West/PA)

She said: “Research suggests that they’ve (women have) always been big box office draws… don’t get me started on the pay disparity but male actors get paid more because they used to say they draw in the audiences and actually, that hasn’t been true for decades.

“But they still like to use that as a reason to not pay women as much as their male counterparts.”

Colman added: “I’m very aware that if I was Oliver Coleman, I’d be earning a f*** of a lot more than I am… I know of one pay disparity, which is a 12,000% difference… do the maths.”

She was on the news show to talk about Wicked Little Letters, which she stars in alongside Irish actress Jessie Buckley and looks at the true story of poisoned pen messages that hit the town of Littlehampton in West Sussex in the 1920s.

Both actresses were previously in The Lost Daughter together, where Colman played a mother reflecting on her past, and earned Buckley her first Oscar nod.

Colman received her second Academy Award nod for leading actress for the drama in 2021 following her taking home the same award for The Favourite in 2018.

She was also given an actress in a supporting role nomination for The Father, which saw Sir Anthony Hopkins play a man with dementia, in 2020.

The Graham Norton Show
Adam Sandler, the highest paid actor of 2023, according to Forbes. (Isabel Infantes/PA)

This month, Forbes named Adam Sandler as the highest paid actor of 2023.

Sandler raked in 73 million dollars (£57.3 million) following the success of his 2023 Netflix film Murder Mystery 2 and his stand-up comedy tour, according to the US business magazine’s annual list.

Australian actress Margot Robbie was the second highest earner, achieving 59 million dollars (£46.3 million) for the year, following her starring role in blockbuster Barbie, which she also produced.

The only other woman to place in the top 10 was Friends star Jennifer Aniston, who was Sandler’s co-star in his comedy film. Aniston placed sixth by earning 42 million dollars (£32.9 million), Forbes said.

Tom Cruise placed third when he cashed in on the latest Mission: Impossible series movie and managed to earn himself 45 million dollars (£35.3 million) in 2023 while Barbie star Ryan Gosling and Oppenheimer actor Matt Damon both placed fourth earning 43 million dollars (£33.7 million).

Also in the top 10 was Killers Of The Flower Moon actor Leonardo DiCaprio, The Equalizer franchise star Denzel Washington, Expend4bles actor Jason Statham and Air director and actor Ben Affleck.