2 Reasons Why Michelle Williams Earned 1% of Mark Wahlberg’s Salary When They Filmed ‘All the Money in the World’

Actors may live glamorous lives, but that’s not to say that they don’t experience similar workplace issues as the rest of us. One of those issues is the heavily criticized and talked about gender pay gap that has gained traction in recent years. Many actors have spoken out about receiving significantly less money than their male counterparts. For example, Michelle Williams starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in All the Money in the World, but Williams took home just 1% of Wahlberg’s earnings.

The cast and crew had to reshoot ‘All the Money in the World’

All the Money in the World follows the tragic tale of John Paul Getty III’s life and his family’s reaction and response to his kidnapping. The film starts after Paul is kidnapped in Rome by a secret society. Paul was the grandson of J. Paul Getty, an oil tycoon’. The kidnappers wanted $17 million for Paul’s safe return, but his mother couldn’t come up with the money.

She had rejected alimony during her divorce with Getty’s son, John Paul Getty Jr., in exchange for full custody of their son. Gail, Paul’s mom, seeks an audience with Getty asking him to pay the ransom, but the wealthy tycoon states that paying the kidnappers would only encourage them to kidnap other family members. Getty eventually pays the ransom, and Paul and Gail reunite.

The film premiered in 2017 but faced several issues during production, most revolving around actor Kevin Spacey. Following several sexual abuse allegations, Spacey was dropped from many of his projects, including All the Money in the World.

Spacey was set to star as Getty, but Christopher Plummer replaced him, and the actors and crew had to reshoot Spacey’s scenes, but only Mark Wahlberg received the proper compensation.

Mark Wahlberg was paid all the money in the world without his co-star’s knowledge

Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams at 'All the Money in the World' premiere at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams at ‘All the Money in the World’ premiere | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Pay disparity isn’t a new topic in Hollywood, but it gets worse when an agency representing two actors goes more out of its way for one actor than the other. Michelle Williams played Paul’s mother, Gail, while Mark Wahlberg played Getty Oil negotiator Chase. Both actors are under the representation of Williams Morris Endeavors.

Ridley Scott told USA Today that when it came down to reshooting, everyone on the team did it for free. However, he wasn’t telling the truth, as Wahlberg had negotiated a $1.5 million payday without Williams’s knowledge.

According to The Wrap, Williams received roughly 1500 times less than Wahlberg, earning $1,000 for two reasons. For starters, the outlet notes that both actors, despite having the same agent, started the contract on unequal footing. Wahlberg’s contract for All the Money in the World didn’t include reshoots. On the other hand, Williams’s contract included a reshoots clause, and she was willing to come in at any time to work.

The second reason was that since Wahlberg wasn’t supposed to do reshoots, his agents could renegotiate his pay, while Williams might have been paid out of courtesy. Wahlberg had also initially signed for a pay cut while doing the film. It’s also worth noting that Wahlberg had more scenes with Plummer than any other actor.

Michelle Williams has been an advocate for equal pay

Receiving 1% of her co-star’s earnings for reshoots motivated Michelle Williams to advocate for equal pay in the industry and across the board. As per Good Morning America, Williams went to Capitol Hill in 2019 to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

She recounted the paycheck disparity she faced in All the Money in the World, saying, “This came as no surprise to me, it simply reinforced my life-learned belief that equality was not an inalienable right, and that women would always be working just as hard for less money while shouldering more responsibility in their homes.” Wahlberg donated his earnings from the reshoots to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. 

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