In a recent interview on CNN’s Christiane Amanpour program, Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman didn’t hold back as she addressed the persistent issue of gender pay disparity in Hollywood.

Renowned for her roles in “The Crown” and “The Favourite,” Colman expressed frustration, stating that she would earn significantly more if she were a man.

“I’m very aware that if I was Oliver Colman, I’d be earning a f*** of a lot more,” Colman candidly remarked during the interview.

The acclaimed British actress dismissed the notion that male actors are superior box office draws, challenging the long-standing justification for paying them more. “Don’t get me started on the pay disparity,” she said. “Male actors get paid more because they used to say they draw in the audiences and actually, that hasn’t been true for decades.”

A stark pay discrepancy

Colman emphasised her point by referencing a stark pay discrepancy she’s aware of, asserting that the difference amounts to a staggering 12,000 percent. “Do the maths,” she urged.

The conversation unfolded as Colman appeared on the show to discuss her latest project, “Wicked Little Letters,” in which she stars alongside Irish actress Jessie Buckley. The film delves into the true story of poisoned pen messages that rocked the town of Littlehampton in West Sussex during the 1920s. The collaboration marks a reunion for the actresses, who previously shared the screen in “The Lost Daughter,” a film that earned Buckley her first Oscar nomination.

Colman’s stellar performances have garnered her widespread acclaim and recognition, including two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. She clinched the prestigious award for her role in “The Favourite” in 2018 and received another nod for her performance in “The Father” in 2020.

The discussion about gender pay equality comes amid recent revelations in the entertainment industry. Forbes’ list of highest-paid Hollywood actors for 2023 featured Adam Sandler at the top, with earnings of 73 million dollars. However, the list notably lacked gender diversity, with only two women, Margot Robbie and Jennifer Aniston, making it to the top 10.

As Colman continues to champion gender equality in Hollywood, her outspoken stance serves as a reminder of the ongoing battle for fairness and parity in the entertainment industry.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.