The pay gap in Hollywood has been going on for decades, and it doesn’t matter if 1992’s Basic Instinct is now 30 years old, Sharon Stone is still going to talk about it. Even though she and Michael Douglas shared the starring roles of Catherine Trammell and Detective Nick Curran, they earned very different paychecks for carrying the same amount of screen time.
Stone revealed to InStyle.com how she found a clever way to make her time on the film a little more lucrative. “I couldn’t believe how exciting it was and all of the incredible costumes that were being made just for me,” she explained. “I put in my contract that I could keep the clothes.” Yes, she owns that gorgeous white minidress that was custom-made for her by costume designer Ellen Mirojnick.
The actress admitted that people thought she was “crazy” for adding the wardrobe clause to her contract, but she did it because she knew she “wasn’t getting paid much compared” to Douglas. “I made $500,000; Michael made $14 million,” Stone shared. “So, keeping my costumes was a really smart thing to do.” It’s shocking to hear that there was a $13.5 million difference between them — even if this was her breakout role — she still was a star in the film.
The payoff for Stone came with her subsequent movies. Just a year later, she was able to command $2.5 million for Sliver, and $13.6 million for Basic Instinct 2 in 2006, per The Richest. She even earned an Academy Award nomination in 1995 for Casino, so that likely added to her payday as well. But that still hasn’t stopped the pay gap between women and men in Hollywood. Until their male co-stars demand the same contracts for their female co-stars, the inequality will continue for another generation.
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