In a recent interview remembering the generosity and great soul of late actor Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, who starred with him in last summer’s cop action pic 21 Bridges, tells UK’s Empire magazine that the actor-producer of the movie gave up part of his salary so that the actress could get paid her asking price on the $33M STX production.
“I asked for a number that the studio wouldn’t get to,” says Miller, who was looking to take a break as her daughter was starting school. The actress told herself “‘I’ll do it if I’m compensated in the right way.’ And Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for. He said that that was what I deserved to be paid.”
Miller played Detective Franke Burns in 21 Bridges. She says that Boseman “had been really active in trying to get me to do it. He was a fan of my work, which was thrilling because it was reciprocated from me to him, tenfold. So he approached me to do it, he offered me this film, and it was at a time when I really didn’t want to work anymore. I’d been working non-stop and I was exhausted, but then I wanted to work with him.”
Reports of pay disparity between leading male and female stars in Hollywood have abounded, making Boseman’s gesture here toward Miller quite remarkable.
Added Miller: “That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. He said, ‘You’re getting paid what you deserve, and what you’re worth.’ It’s just unfathomable to imagine another man in that town behaving that graciously or respectfully. In the aftermath of this I’ve told other male actor friends of mine that story and they all go very, very quiet and go home and probably have to sit and think about things for a while. But there was no showiness, it was, ‘Of course I’ll get you to that number, because that’s what you should be paid.’”
Boseman died on August 28 after a private battle with colon cancer. He was 43.