Susan Sarandon Says 'Gem' Paul Newman Once Gave Her Part of His Salary to Ensure Equal Pay

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Susan Sarandon says Paul Newman once helped her in a moment of gender pay disparity.

The 71-year-old actress told BBC 5 that the late actor once took a pay cut when she found out she was making less than her male costars.

“Emma Stone once came forward and said she got equal pay, because her male stars insisted upon it and gave up something of theirs. That happened to me with Paul Newman at one point, when I did a film with him ages ago,” she said, likely referring to the 1998 film Twilight also starring Gene Hackman.

She continued, “They said it was ‘favored nations,’ but they only meant the two guys. He stepped forward and said, ‘Well I’ll give you part of mine,’ So, yeah, he was a gem.”

Susan Sarandon and Paul Newman in 1998’s Twilight

Her comments came on International Women’s Day on Thursday. The actress also used the opportunity to talk about the existence of the “casting couch” phenomenon in Hollywood. Sarandon said that while there will “always be a casting couch,” she hopes in the future the exchanges are consensual instead of forced.

“I think what will go away is the unwanted exchange,” she said. “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 continued, “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.”