Rooney Mara on Hollywood sexism and gender pay gap: ‘It’s frustrating’

Rooney Mara has expressed her disappointment over sexism and pay inequality in Hollywood, echoing recent sentiments from fellow actors including Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Meryl Streep, and Bradley Cooper.

“I’ve been in films where I’ve found out my male costar got paid double what I got paid, and it’s just a reality of the time that we live in,” Mara told the Guardian while promoting her new film Carol, a lesbian romantic drama. “To me, it’s frustrating, but at the same time, I’m just grateful to be getting paid at all for what I do.”

Mara, whose also costars in the recent fantasy film Pan, said the issue isn’t just about money — it’s about basic respect. “To me, the thing that’s more unfair than the pay is the terminology that’s used to describe actresses who have a point of view, and want to have a voice in their life and their career, and what they choose to do,” she said. “I’ve been called horrible things. If a man was acting in the same way that I was acting, it would just be considered normal. To me, that’s the thing I find so frustrating is calling women spoiled brats and b—-es. We just want to have a voice in our life, and I don’t think that’s anything that shouldn’t be encouraged in any human.”

Mara’s comments came three days after Lawrence published a sharply worded essay about gender inequality in Hollywood, and a week after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced an investigation into the issue.