Natalie Portman admitted that she was ‘p*ssed’ when she found out that Ashton Kutcher was paid three times as much as she was for the same film they did. To be fair, you’d be irritated if you discovered that someone was making far more money than you for doing the same job. Despite how simple that equation appears, it is the reality for many women in various jobs. Simply said, they’re right to be irritated, and it’s all of our responsibility to point out such disparities when we encounter them.

Anyway, the film in question was 2011’s No Strings Attached, a romcom starring Portman and Kutcher as two friends who engage in a ‘no strings attached’ s*xual relationship without falling in love.

Natalie Portman in No Strings Attached:

Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in No Strings Attached
Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in No Strings Attached

Still, we’re not here to debate whether the film was good or bad; we’re here to discuss why Portman was paid less than Kutcher while obtaining equal billing.

Natalie Portman told Marie Claire, “We get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.”

While she stated that she was aware of the income disparity then, the Black Swan star also admitted that she wasn’t as bothered by it as she should or could have been.

“I knew, and I went along with it because there’s this thing with quotes in Hollywood,” she said.

“His [quote] was three times higher than mine, so they said he should get three times more.

Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in No Strings Attached
Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in No Strings Attached

“I wasn’t as p***ed as I should have been.”

On a more general note, she said: “I don’t think women and men are more or less capable.

“We just have a clear issue with women not having opportunities.”

Portman explained that while women must speak out about pay disparities, everyone needs to do it. And Kutcher isn’t to blame for the pay gap, even if he did benefit from the greater wage on this occasion.

Ashton Kutcher & Natalie Portman
Ashton Kutcher & Natalie Portman

He’s also expressed his support for Portman, commending her for speaking up about the issue.

“So proud of Natalie and all women who stand up for closing the gender pay gap!” He Tweeted

The actress also shared a link to Portman’s interview, further reinforcing the message. It’s weird to believe that this sort of stuff still happens in 2023 and that it happens in industries that are less well compensated than Hollywood filmmaking. As a result, it is up to us to speak out against it until it is no longer customary to pay women less than males.