"To even have to say the words 'women's pay''sounds so backwards," Josh Hutcherson said

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Updated October 23, 2015 04:15 PM
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Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

Jennifer Lawrence can count another male costar and friend in her corner.

Josh Hutcherson expressed his enthusiastic support for his Hunger Games pal not long after she penned a frank essay addressing the gender pay gap in Hollywood.

“I thought it was incredible,” he told MTV News this week. “I’m really proud of her, and happy.”

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Lawrence, 25, jacked up a national conversation about gender pay inequality in Hollywood in her essay for Lena Dunham‘s Lenny newsletter titled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co Stars?”

“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d—-, I didn’t get mad at Sony,” the 25-year-old actress wrote in a reference to her deal working on American Hustle. “I got mad at myself.”

Hutcherson, 23, confirmed to MTV that despite her outspoken exterior “she’s always been a little gun-shy.”

“She’s always said what she thinks, but as far as tackling issues, she’s never really stepped up to do that,” he said. “It’s nice to see her now taking that step, being progressive, and using her voice not just to make people laugh.”

The actor also talked generally about the gender pay gap in Hollywood, calling it “embarrassing.”

“To even have to say the words ‘women’s pay’ sounds so backwards and f—ed up and not modern in any way, shape or form,” he said. “And so for Jen to use her platform to speak about it in her classic Jen way, just blunt, saying what she thinks, I think it’s great.

“Obviously it’s something that should have happened decades and decades and decades ago, and the fact that it’s something we’re still dealing with now is f—ing embarrassing and shocking,” he added.

Hutcherson is one of several male colleagues who has spoken out since Lawrence’s essay was published.

American Hustle costar Bradley Cooper swiftly came out in support of Lawrence, pledging to help female costars negotiate fairer deals for future films. Fellow costar Jeremy Renner, meanwhile said that while he supports equal pay for women, he clarified that it’s "not my job" to negotiate the terms of the deal.

American Hustle director David O. Russell also spoke out and said the essay shows Lawrence is “finding her voice” even as he “doesn’t really talk” about the “minutia” of a deal.

Other stars have also sounded off on the issue in the wake of Lawrence’s essay, including Jessica Chastain, Emma Watson and Kate Hudson.

Meanwhile, Steve Jobs star Jeff Daniels addressed the issue in a recent interview with HuffPost, admitting that he has even felt the sting of a smaller paycheck at times.

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“Certainly women have had a tougher time of it, absolutely,” he said. “However, I’ve stood next to big stars who are making a hell of a lot more money than I am.”

His advice to female actresses looking to getting a more equal share?

“Get what you can get,” he said. “Get in there: If you’re Jennifer, if you’re Jessica and you have the leverage? Man, use it.”