Ruth Wilson has firmly established herself as one of the nation’s best-loved actors, thanks to her stellar turns in Luther, Jane Eyre and BBC1’s recent adaptation of her own family’s story, Mrs. Wilson.
Her skills have also been admired across the pond, with her role as the troubled Alison Lockhart in The Affair earning her a Golden Globe.
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However, Wilson’s abilities have not always translated financially, as she still earned less than her co-star Dominic West on the hit US series.
British actor West has told Radio Times he was “shocked” when Wilson, 36, announced she was being paid less for her role.
West explained: “I never ask what the money is on a show. It was more a question of if I wanted to do it. So it woke me up to the issue. I never realised the disparity and the injustice.”
Wilson departed The Affair earlier this year, but denied it was to do with her salary.
“Certainly when I signed up to that project, I would have got paid less,” she explained to Radio Times in February.
“Then [the producers] might argue, ‘Well, he’s already done a major American TV show [The Wire], so he’s already got a level.’
“But even after a Golden Globe, I’m not going to be on parity. So he definitely gets more than me. I mean, I don’t know what the figure is, but I’m sure he does.”
However, West, 49, believes the #MeToo movement has done some good in bringing equality for women in the arts.
“One thing that’s happened is a positive discrimination in favour of female directors,” he said. “But the main thing is that unacceptable behaviour from male directors or actors is now either not possible, or you can call them out on it.”
“There was one guy in particular whose behaviour was disgusting. Particularly to young females in minor roles. I tried to counter it on several occasions.”
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West will star in the final series of The Affair, which airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK.