Clint Eastwood

“I had an Academy Award, no health insurance”: Before Working With Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank Was Criminally Underpaid In Her $20M Movie Despite Her Karate Kid Fame

Hilary Swank is a household name today, known for her many spectacular roles and portrayals. Over the years she has starred in multiple critically acclaimed movies and won numerous accolades. However, as the story goes she has suffered at the hands of the gender gap much like many other actresses in Hollywood.

Hilary Swank
Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank

While starring in her critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning role in the movie Boys Don’t Cry, the actress was paid much much less, so less that she was an Academy Award winner but she was unable to afford health insurance.

Hilary Swank Was Grossly Underpaid In Her $20M Movie

Swank in the movie Boys Don't Cry
Swank in the movie Boys Don’t Cry

Hilary Swank is an established name in Hollywood today for her diverse and versatile performances. Having portrayed countless ritually famed characters, she is regarded as a golden actress for her impeccable acting talent. Not only has she worked with award-winning directors and actors, but the actress herself is also the recipient of 2 Academy Awards.

Despite her The Karate Kid fame, Swank was grossly underpaid in her Oscar-winning role in the movie Boys Don’t Cry. As per People, the acclaimed actress once remarked,

“So when I did Boys Don’t Cry, I was 24 years old. I made $3,000. In order to have health insurance, you have to make $5,000. So I didn’t even know that I didn’t have health insurance until I went and tried to get a prescription filled. They said, ‘That’s $160.’ I went, ‘Um, did you try my insurance?’ They said, ‘Mmm-hmm.’ I had an Academy Award, no health insurance.”

The revelation was shocking yet not surprising since many such cases have already been revealed by many acclaimed actresses previously. But what is more shocking is that after starring in Clint Eastwood‘s Million Dollar Baby and winning a second Oscar, the actress was still not able to negotiate her salary.

Hilary Swank Was Once Kicked Out Of A Role For Demanding More Pay

Hilary Swank has been a victim of the gender pay gap norm
Hilary Swank has been a victim of the gender pay gap norm

After starring in the acclaimed movie Million Dollar Baby, and being a two-time Oscar winner, one might think the actress had a change of fate. However, that was far from the truth for the actress was once kicked out of a movie for demanding more pay, despite being already severely underpaid in comparison to her male co-star.

Hilary Swank, as per People, made this revelation while on the Netflix show Chelsea.

“Then I win my second Academy Award, and the next couple movies later, I get offered a movie. But the male hadn’t had any kind of critical success, but had been in a movie where he was hot. And he got offered $10 million, and I got offered $500,000. That’s the truth. The truth.”

And then she attempted to negotiate,

“So I said, ‘No.’ And then they went and found a newcomer who did it for $50,000. So they made a savings of [$450,000], probably to give the guy his bonuses.”

While she did not reveal which movie or actor it was, her revelations echoed the story of many other actresses and her courage to speak up about such things has helped younger actresses to demand their rightful dues.

Boys Don’t Cry can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

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