"This is an age-old issue that's in every part of society," Mulligan told Deadline

By Lindsay Kimble
November 30, 2015 03:00 PM
John Salangsang/Invision/AP

Carey Mulligan says the plight of her character in the drama Suffragette is something women in Hollywood still face today, and she’s glad people like Jennifer Lawrence are using their “enormous platform” to speak out against gender inequality.

Mulligan, who portrays a member of England’s early 20th-century feminist movement, told Deadline that she thinks Lawrence’s gender wage gap essay was “a good thing.”

“It means an awful lot to women,” Mulligan, 30, said. “Sure, there’s been cynicism toward her speaking out and the fact that she makes a lot of money, but she is completely and selflessly rising above that. [The discrepancy] is inherently unfair and she has an enormous platform to speak out against it.”

Mulligan contended that men in Hollywood “look up to” Lawrence because “she is powerful,” and that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 star is correcting a major issue.

“It’s a long overdue conversation and it’s admirable what she has done,” the British star added. “This is an age-old issue that’s in every part of society.”

Lawrence’s October essay, which appeared in Lena Dunham’s Lenny newsletter, questioned why she is paid less than her male costars.

“Young people today are bombarded with images that I didn’t have when I was growing up,” Mulligan told Deadline. “There are some that pertain to female empowerment and others that do not. Young kids are looking to these characters as some sort of a role model. However, there are great ones, such as Jennifer Lawrence’s character in The Hunger Games. What she does with that role is incredible in terms of the subject for young adults.”

The Oscar nominee is glad Suffragette, which also stars Meryl Streep, is continuing the conversation, saying, “I’m happy to see that what the film meant to me also speaks to these young girls.”

“Life was incredibly hard then,” Mulligan said of the film’s 1912 setting. “Women had to fight for every single thing they had. To have a reminder of that, to recognize that and be grateful for that – these girls are seeing the strength of women who took pride in being women and all that power that they had to fight against a law that dictated ‘You can’t vote.’ “

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