Dominic West pledges to fight for pay equality in Hollywood

Dominic West will fight to ensure actresses are fairly paid for roles in movies he stars in.The British actor was at the centre of a controversy last year (18), when it emerged Ruth Wilson, his co-star in The Affair, was paid far less than him and depa…

Dominic West will fight to ensure actresses are fairly paid for roles in movies he stars in.

The British actor was at the centre of a controversy last year (18), when it emerged Ruth Wilson, his co-star in The Affair, was paid far less than him and departed the TV show in mysterious circumstances.

Dominic told Harper’s Bazaar magazine that he generally leaves matters of money to his agent – but if he finds out producers are shortchanging his female co-stars, he’ll intervene.

“It’s not something I get into – we have agents to deal with things like that and now, of course, it’s incumbent on actors of any profile to force to producers to toe the line on that one,” he explained. “As soon as I get paid more than my co-star, I’ll definitely raise it.”

However, he joked that for his latest movie, the period drama Colette, his fee is probably much smaller than his more famous castmate Keira Knightley.

“I wish I was paid the same as Keira, that would have been great,” the 49-year-old quipped. “As a champion of the #MeToo movement, I insist I am paid the same as Keira.”

After it emerged Ruth was earning far less than him, the actor pleaded ignorance – claiming he signs up for roles for artistic reasons rather than a paycheck.

“I never ask what the money is on a show,” he told Britain’s Radio Times magazine. “It was more a question of if I wanted to do it. So it woke me up to the issue. I never realised the disparity and the injustice.”

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Ruth Wilson: ‘The Little Stranger confused and intrigued me’

Ruth Wilson didn’t fully understand The Little Stranger when she signed on to star in it.Ruth plays Caroline Ayres in Lenny Abrahamson’s big screen retelling of Sarah Waters’ novel, a woman who, along with her mother and brother, is being haunted…

Ruth Wilson didn’t fully understand The Little Stranger when she signed on to star in it.

Ruth plays Caroline Ayres in Lenny Abrahamson’s big screen retelling of Sarah Waters’ novel, a woman who, along with her mother and brother, is being haunted in the crumbling family mansion.

Talking to Collider about accepting the role, English actress Ruth admits she was a little confused when she first read the script, but said yes anyway.

“Yeah, just the usual, where a script comes your way, you read it, and you get enticed by it,” she explained. “It got under my skin, and I couldn’t work it out. It unnerved me. It’s always a great sign, if you have a reaction to a script. That’s usually an indication that you’re interested. And so, I went back and read it again, and didn’t quite understand it, but decided to do the job. I felt the same way as you did. I read the book as well and that had exactly the same effect, too. There’s something unnerving and deeply dark about it.”

Ruth adds that director Lenny, who worked on the movie for years before it went into production, also discovered more about the story as he filmed.

Domhnall Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling and Will Poulter co-star in the Gothic horror, and Ruth said it was a big help for her filming on location in a crumbling manor house.

“It was amazing because you have everything there, and it gives you so much that you don’t have to act,” she smiled. “The history of it is already there. It was built in 17-something, so it’s full of history and energy already, so you just have to stand in it. You feel slightly oppressed and awkward, but there’s also a bit of grandeur.”

“I love working locations because it gives you so much for free,” she added.

The Little Stranger began hitting cinemas in August (18).

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Ruth Wilson: ‘Every day was exhausting on Dark River shoot’

Ruth Wilson was exhausted at the end of every day shooting Dark River due to the film’s challenging subject matter.In the independent drama, The Affair star plays sheep farmer Alice, who returns home after 15 years to claim the tenancy of the family fa…

Ruth Wilson was exhausted at the end of every day shooting Dark River due to the film’s challenging subject matter.

In the independent drama, The Affair star plays sheep farmer Alice, who returns home after 15 years to claim the tenancy of the family farm following the death of her father. This causes friction with her brother Joe (Mark Stanley), who still lives there, and the siblings struggle to come to terms with the abuse Alice suffered there growing up.

Ruth admits the heavy going storyline meant every day was emotionally draining.

“It was intense, but it was only five weeks; it wasn’t four months long,” she told OK! magazine. “But it was intense and full on and every day was exhausting.

“We also had a church bell that would go off in (English town) Skipton and would keep us awake all night, so there was insomnia in the crew.”

The British star knew that Dark River would be a difficult shoot when she read the script but wanted to take it on because she felt the story needed to be told.

“It felt like a huge challenge, both physically and emotionally, about a subject matter that is not really touched upon but, as we now realise, is everywhere and needs to be discussed,” she explained. “It had all the things I look for – challenge, sensitive material and subject matter and a great person at the helm.”

However, the cast and crew made sure they didn’t let the material get them down and knew exactly how to relax after a hard day’s work.

“Mark’s a barrel of laughs in real life and we’d all go to the pub and let go of it at the end of the night,” she said. “There was quite a lot of alcohol on Friday nights, thanks to Tracy (O’Riordan, producer) who would provide us all with drinks.”

Dark River, directed by Clio Barnard, is in U.K. cinemas now.

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