Gwyneth Paltrow Once Worried Marvel Would Replace Her With a Younger Actor in the ‘Iron Man’ Franchise

Gwyneth Paltrow has been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as long as Robert Downey Jr. Although featured in a less prominent role, Paltrow was more than happy to be a part of such a historic franchise. Still, Paltrow had her concerns and reservations about her part. One of those concerns had been the possibility of being replaced by a younger actor.

Gwyneth Paltrow was very dissatisfied with the pay disparity between her and Robert Downey Jr. for the ‘Iron Man’ movies

Gwyneth Paltrow smiling while wearing a black jacket.
Gwyneth Paltrow | VALERIE MACON / Getty Images

Equal pay between women and men in the workplace has frequently been a passionately debated topic. And it’s one that Hollywood isn’t immune to. Several superstars like Jennifer Lawrence have voiced their displeasure on the wage gap between women and men in the film industry.

In an interview with Variety, Paltrow found herself lending her own voice to the discussion. The Shakespeare in Love star illustrated her point by referencing the pay gap between herself and Downey in Iron Man.

“Look, nobody is worth the money that Robert Downey Jr. is worth,” Paltrow said. “But if I told you the disparity, you would probably be surprised.”

Paltrow’s issues with salary didn’t just start with Iron Man, but it perpetuated what she felt was unfair in the business. Especially since salary can affect how an actor views their profitability in Hollywood.

“It can be painful. Your salary is a way to quantify what you’re worth. If men are being paid a lot more for doing the same thing, it feels s***ty,” she added.

Gwyneth Paltrow once worried about Marvel replacing her with a younger actor

Gwyneth Paltrow is a bit of a veteran in the MCU. Like Downey, she’s been a part of the franchise since the beginning. And even after Avengers Endgame, her character continues to influence the series in spin-offs like Marvel’s What If…? Paltrow was aware of her character’s history and appreciated her legacy in the franchise.

“I feel very honored to be a part of it,” Paltrow said in an interview with Marvel Entertainment. “It’s wonderful that Marvel’s kind of fostering all these incredible female characters.”

However, there was a point in time when Paltrow wasn’t sure what the future held for her character. Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, Paltrow once again expressed her desire to continue playing Pepper. But that choice was out of her hands.

“I’d like to do it,” she said via Comic Book. “But they might swap me out for an 18-year-old Pepper Potts or something.”

Fortunately for many, Paltrow wasn’t replaced and continued making the character her own.

“It’s just been an amazing experience to be a part of for all these 10 plus years,” Paltrow said at Marvel Entertainment’s Avengers Endgame premiere.

Gwyneth Paltrow would only return to the MCU on one condition

Gwyneth Paltrow has since closed her chapter with the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Endgame. Although her character does appear in What If…?, Pepper isn’t voiced by her in the episode. However, fans shouldn’t count Paltrow out of the MCU entirely. When People asked Paltrow if she might be interested in making a comeback, the Oscar-winner would agree under certain conditions.

“I think if it was a small part that I could do in like a day or two, I would of course be open to that,” she said.

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