LONDON (The Guardian) - Charlize Theron has spoken about the true meaning of feminism and the importance of equal pay in a new interview with Elle UK.
The actress, who stars in this month's action reboot Mad Max: Fury Road, managed to negotiate an equal salary for The Huntsman after leaked Sony emails showed the disparity between pay on the set of American Hustle. She engineered a US$10 million (S$13 million) rise to put her on par with co-star Chris Hemsworth for the Snow White prequel.
"I have to give them credit, because once I asked, they said yes," she said. "They did not fight it. And maybe that's the message: that we just need to put our foot down."
Theron, who won an Oscar for her role in Monster, used the American Hustle emails, which revealed that Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were both taking home a smaller percentage of profits than their male co-stars, to engineer better pay.
"When I thought about the temperature out there - with finding out what Jennifer and Amy were being paid on a set with guy actors who are their counterparts... They're just as good as any of the guys on there. Yeah, that pissed me off!"
Theron also went on to speak about the importance of being a feminist.
"This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing," she said. "It doesn't mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you're doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way."
In the same interview, she also talked about the difficulties of working with her partner Sean Penn on the romantic drama The Last Face, where she stars alongside Javier Bardem.
"Putting aside that he's my partner, he's the love of my life; for the first time, I felt that my work was really bleeding into my life and that made it hard," she said. "There were moments where I was incredibly unfair to him. And moments where I felt like... he was incredibly unfair to me. But it makes you realise that no matter how complicated it gets, the priority is the relationship."
Theron was last seen in Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways To Die In The West and will appear next in the Gillian Flynn adaptation Dark Places.