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Sienna Miller Opens Up About Challenging Experiences Requesting Pay Equity

The actress also notes some impressive changes she’s noticed in the industry in recent years.
Sienna Miller.

Sienna Miller.

Actress Sienna Miller recalls a “pivotal moment” in her career in an interview with British Vogue for the publication’s December cover story. Several years ago when she was breaking into the industry and staring on Broadway, she was offered “less than half” of what her male co-star was going to earn.

“I said to the producer, who was extremely powerful, ‘It’s not about money – it’s about fairness and respect,’ thinking they’d come back and say, ‘Of course, of course,’” she said. "But they didn’t. They just said, ‘Well, f--k off then.’”

Miller remembers feeling embarrassed and terrible about herself, but she came around to realizing that she “had every right to be equally subsidized” for the work she would have done.

In her 2019 film 21 Bridges, she discovered she was to be paid less than her male counterpart, the late Chadwick Boseman. Both were producers on the film, and Boseman reallocated some of his salary to Miller, an act that she described as “extraordinary and meant the world.”

Miller had been taking a break from acting at the time, to focus on her daughter. Boseman really wanted her in the film, because he was a huge fan of her work. The feeling was mutual; “Tenfold,” Miller explained in an interview with Empire. It was a big-budget film, and the studio wasn’t willing to reach the number that Miller had asked for so Boseman took a slight pay cut.

Sienna Miller and Chadwick Boseman attend a screening of “21 Bridges" in New York City.

Sienna Miller and Chadwick Boseman attend a screening of “21 Bridges" in New York City.

“It was about the most astounding thing that I’ve experienced,” she continued. “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.”

She mentioned that she’s noticed changes in the industry that have impressed her, specifically how actors 10 years her junior “have the word ‘no’ in their language in a way that I didn’t. [Now] if you say, ‘I don’t feel comfortable’ in front of any form of executive, they’re sh--ting their pants. You’re included in a conversation about your level of comfort. It’s changed everything.”

Miller turned 40 last year, and she’s loving this new chapter of her life that looks nothing like she thought it would.

“My thirties were hard, really hard,” she added. “There was a lot of anxiety. Relationships hadn’t worked out – I imagined that I would be married with three kids, being a great mum. I love being a mother. It’s what I do best. I’d invested what felt like the important years in something that was just a bucket with a hole in it of a person. I wasted time. And I felt like time was really my currency.”