Charlize Theron Talks Equal Pay in Hollywood, Calls Sean Penn the Love of Her Life

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Charlize Theron has no time for your misogyny.

In the June 2015 issue of Elle UK, the Oscar winner airs her grievances about the gender pay gap that still afflicts Hollywood today, saying that it “pissed” her off to find that some of her fellow actresses are still being paid less than their male co-stars. Theron, who negotiated for the same salary as Chris Hemsworth for the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman sequel, says she applauds Universal Pictures for accepting her request.

“I have to give them credit because once I asked, they said yes. They did not fight it,” she says. “And maybe that’s the message: That we just need to put our foot down. This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing. It doesn’t mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you’re doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way.”

The 39-year-old goes on to comment about the pay disparity between the female and male stars of American Hustle, which was revealed to the public amidst the infamous Sony hacking. The Mad Max: Fury Road star tells the publication, “When I thought about the temperature out there – with finding out what Jennifer [Lawrence] and Amy [Adams] were being paid on a set with guy actors who are their counterparts… They’re just as good as any of the guys on there. Yeah, that pissed me off!”

charlize theron elle uk cover june 2015

Theron also slams female objectification in the film industry, recalling how she felt uneasy being treated a certain way after her feature film debut in 1996’s 2 Days In The Valley.

“Someone thought it was a good idea to market almost the entire movie on me; objectifying me a little bit,” she recounts. “I got a lot of attention from it, but the problem was that, afterwards, it was like, ‘We want you to do that again. Can you just do that? And so I didn’t work for almost two years.'”

Almost 20 years in the business later, Theron finds she’s comfortable with where she is now. Speaking about her boyfriend and her The Last Face director Sean Penn, the actress opens up about their forthcoming collaboration.

“Putting aside that he’s my partner, he’s the love of my life; for the first time, I felt that my work was really bleeding into my life and that made it hard,” she says. “There were moments where I was incredibly unfair to him. And moments where I felt like… he was incredibly unfair to me. But it makes you realize that no matter how complicated it gets, the priority is the relationship.”