LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Writer Beau Willimon, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, actress Robin Wright, executive producer/actor Kevin Spacey and Netflix Vice president for original series Cindy Holland arrive at the special screening of Netflix's "House of Cards" Season 2 at the Directors Guild Of America on February 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Robin Wright is speaking out in support of equal pay for men and women in Hollywood.
The "House of Cards" actress, who appears alongside Kevin Spacey in the Netflix drama, said Tuesday that she wouldn't stand for making less than her co-star.
The 50-year-old told a roomful of activists, philanthropists and media at the Rockefeller Foundation that her character as Claire Underwood, the wife and co-conspirator of Spacey's character, President Frank Underwood, "was more popular than (Frank’s) for a period of time."
"So I capitalized on it,” she said.
"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.' I was like, ‘I want to be paid the same as Kevin.’”
Wright has appeared in all 52 episodes of "House of Cards" and has also directed several episodes. Both she and Spacey are executive directors of the series’ fifth season.
Wright, who put her career on the back burner to raise her children with husband Sean Penn, said the break negatively affected her earning power.
“Because I wasn’t working full-time, I wasn’t building my salary bracket. If you don’t build that with notoriety and presence, you’re not in the game any more. You become a B-list actor. You’re not box office material,” she said. “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. Now I’m kind of on a comeback at 50 years old.”
Wright told executives she would consider going public.
“I was like, 'You’d better pay me or I’m going to go public.’ And they did," she said Tuesday.
Wright isn't the first to speak out against gender equality in the entertainment industry.
Jennifer Lawrence and Patricia Arquette have also spoken out to demand equal pay and equal rights for women in Hollywood.