The two starred in the 1998 noir-ish thriller Twilight, alongside Gene Hackman and Reese Witherspoon. During negotiations, after the so-called ‘Favoured Nation’ practice where any star is paid the same as his or her co-stars only ended up applying to two of the actors, Newman apparently volunteered some of his fee in order to top up Sarandon’s.
The 71 year old star told BBC Radio 5 Live in an interview on Thursday morning (March 8th): “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 added Newman, who passed way at the age of 83 back in 2008, had “stepped forward and said ‘Well, I’ll give you part of mine’. So yeah – he was a gem”.
Speaking about the aftermath of the Weinstein allegations and the growing momentum behind the MeToo and Time’s Up movements, Sarandon said that there would probably “always be a casting couch” dynamic when it came to the film industry. However, she’s optimistic that there will be some lasting positive change.
“I think what will go away is the unwanted exchange, 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 explained.
“What we don’t want to have is being exploited and to have the Harvey Weinsteins of the world holding it over your head and holding it over your project – that is the most despicable.”