Chadwick Boseman Took A Pay Cut To Ensure Sienna Miller Was Paid Correctly On 21 Bridges, But He Shouldn’t Have Had To

'There was no showiness, it was, "Of course I'll get you to that number, because that's what you should be paid"', Miller said.

Chadwick Boseman and Sienna Miller

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Sienna Miller has revealed that Chadwick Boseman donated part of his own salary for the 2019 action thriller 21 Bridges in order to ensure she was paid what she ‘was worth’ after the film studio behind the movie refused her initial pay request.

In a new interview with Empire, Miller opened up about her experience with the late Boseman, who died of colon cancer last month, describing him as like no other man in Hollywood.

Boseman, who produced and played the lead in 21 Bridges to Miller’s supporting role, initially pursued Sienna to be in the film and offered her the role outright, which she explains was the only reason she signed on. ‘He was a fan of my work, which was thrilling, because it was reciprocated from me to him, tenfold,’ Miller told the publication. ‘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.’

It was because of this exhaustion though that she decided to ask the studio for pay she felt was worth her going back to work, but they refused her request.

‘I didn’t know whether or not to tell this story, and I haven’t yet. But I am going to tell it, because I think it’s a testament to who he was,’ she continued. ‘[21 Bridges] was a pretty big budget film, and I know that everybody understands about the pay disparity in Hollywood, but I asked for a number that the studio wouldn't get to. And because I was hesitant to go back to work and my daughter was starting school and it was an inconvenient time, I said, “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.’

Describing the experience as ‘the most astounding’ thing that’s ever happened to her, she went on to say that Boseman’s sheer graciousness is like nothing she’s ever seen in her previous work with male leads.

‘That kind of thing just doesn't happen,’ she explained. ‘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.’

It's yet another testament to the character of Boseman, who was not only known for his incredible work but the grace of his off-set personality too. But if there’s one resounding response to Miller’s telling of this story, it’s that he shouldn’t have had to take a pay cut to ensure she was paid fairly – the studio should’ve agreed to pay her what she was worth outright.

This should have been taken care of on the studio level.

‘While he was an amazing person -- this should have been taken care of on the studio level,’ showbiz reporter Heidi N Moore tweeted to thousands of likes. ‘Because otherwise it's just a way to make sure that Hollywood is paying BOTH Black men and women actors less.’

‘This is infuriating,’ another social media user commented. ‘Just another way that Chadwick demonstrated how amazing of a human he was Red heart… he should had NEVER, in the first place, being put in this situation. The production should had made sure that Sienna Miller is equally paid. Period.’

The studio behind the movie, STXFilms, is yet to publicly comment but for a film with a $33million (£25million) budget that grossed over $49million (£38million), it’s easy to agree that there was more than enough budget to ensure that Miller was paid fairly without Boseman needing to cut into his own pay.

That being said, with men like Boseman setting an example for Hollywood even posthumous, perhaps there is hope gender parity in the film industry after all.

Read More:

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