At the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, on Friday, Priyanka Chopra Jonas had a few things to say about equality.
On the positive side, she noted that the series she was promoting, Citadel, from Avengers blockbuster directors Joe and Anthony Russo, represented the “first time” she’d been paid what her male co-star got.
Sitting with Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, who called her “an innovator, a trailblazer,” she said, “I might get into trouble for [this], depends on who’s watching. I’ve been working in the entertainment industry for now 22 years, and I have done about, almost 70-plus features and two TV shows. But when I did Citadel, it was the first time in my career that I had pay parity with my male co-actor.”
Richard Madden is Chopra Jonas’ co-lead in the forthcoming spy series.
Referring to Salke, she wondered, “Would that have been a different conversation if a woman didn’t make that decision?” She marveled at “the ease in which Amazon Studios said, ‘That’s what you deserve, you are co-leads, that’s just fair.’ And I was like, ‘You’re right, it is fair,'” she recalled with a laugh.
Chopra Jonas continued, “I’m laughing about this, but it’s kind of nuts: [Formerly,] I put in the same amount of … investment and work, but I get paid much less.”
Chopra Jonas tied that personal anecdote into International Women’s Day and International Women’s History Month, arguing progress is only possible when more women are represented throughout the entertainment industry.
Priyanka also said to other women, “Let’s all succeed for each other. Let’s all be proud for each other, let’s all do business with each other.”
Citadel debuts on Prime Video April 28.
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