Leading female character in the Netflix series House of Cards, Claire Underwood would have to be one of the most powerful women on TV. She’s the First Lady of the US, former US Ambassador to the United Nations and the Democratic nominee for Vice President (married to the US President, Frank Underwood). She is also played by the fiercely talented actress Robin Wright.
Wright found her perfect role when she landed the Underwood part. The 50-year-old knows what she’s worth too and has made sure she's not underpaid just because of her gender.
In a roomful of activists, philanthropists and media in New York Wright said she demanded that she was paid the same as her male co-star Kevin Spacey.
The actress said, “I was like, ‘I want to be paid the same as Kevin’…It was the perfect paradigm. There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in 'House of Cards'."
Wright argued that after looking at statistics she saw that Claire was a more popular character than Frank for a while so she used that to tell her bosses that they needed to pay her better. We have to remember that Wright is a producer and sometimes director of House of Cards too.
A salary report in August 2014 said Spacey was being paid half a million dollars by Netflix per episode for House of Cards. In September last year Wright earned $5.5 million for her role across all the episodes of the hit series. These figures show she wasn’t far behind Spacey’s earnings.
The reported earnings put Wright in the highest paid female actors alongside Modern Family’s Sophia Vergara and Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting.
Netflix draws huge audience numbers with 62.3 million members in 2015, meaning the service made over $500 million a month. They have deep pockets to pay their A-listers with and are certainly capable of paying their actors and actresses equally.