Meryl Streep thinks male actors are paid more because men decide what's shown in the cinema.

The 'Suffragette' actress thinks it's important men and women become equal, but she explained the reason there is a gender pay gap is because the top film distributors and buyers are all of ''one persuasion''.

She said: ''We have to be made equal. I will say that it has to do with the distribution of films, how they are financed. I will say the ten top buyers in the United States for films every territory there is not one woman. Men and women have different tastes sometimes.

''But if the people who are choosing what goes out into the multiplexes are all of one persuasion, the choice will be limited and that will be a self-fulfilling prophecy, you see these are the big money makers. ''

And asked if she is feminist, the 66-year-old actress told BBC News: ''I am the mother of a son and I am married to a man. I love men. It's not what feminism has meant historically, it's what it has come to mean, to young women that makes them feel it alienates them from the people they love in their lives.

''That disturbs me. I am of course, of course. The actions of my life prove who I am, what I am and what I do. Where you put your money, where you put your mouth. So I live by these principles.''