Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman raised co-star Sienna Miller’s pay with his own salary
The shocking death of actor Chadwick Boseman in August, following a private four year battle with cancer, left many fans, co-stars and friends shocked. Many came forward with stories and tributes to the late actor and shedding light on his kind heart.
In an interview with Empire, actor Sienna Miller revealed it was Boseman who fought for her to be cast in 21 Bridges, and he went to extraordinary lights to ensure she was paid appropriately for the film they both starred in.
“I didn’t know whether or not to tell this story, and I haven’t yet. But I am going to tell it because I think it’s a testament to who he was,” she notes.
Miller recalls that Boseman, who was a producer on the film, was set on having her join the cast. “He was a fan of my work, which was thrilling, because it was reciprocated from me to him, tenfold,” she explains.
“So he approached me to do it, he offered me this film, and it was at a time when I really didn’t want to work anymore. I’d been working non-stop and I was exhausted, but then I wanted to work with him.”
Miller says he was hesitant to join the project, explaining, “This was a pretty big-budget film, and I know that everybody understands about the pay disparity in Hollywood, but I asked for a number that the studio wouldn’t get to. And because I was hesitant to go back to work and my daughter was starting school and it was an inconvenient time, I said, ‘I’ll do it if I’m compensated in the right way.’”
Miller says her desired compensation was beyond what the studio would agree to, which prompted Boseman to cut his own salary on the film to boost her pay.
“Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for,” Miller explains. “He said that that was what I deserved to be paid.”
Miller says that kind of generosity is entirely unexpected, if not unheard of, in the film industry.
“That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. He said, ‘You’re getting paid what you deserve, and what you’re worth.’ It’s just unfathomable to imagine another man in that town behaving that graciously or respectfully. In the aftermath of this, I’ve told other male actor friends of mine that story and they all go very very quiet and go home and probably have to sit and think about things for a while. But there was no showiness, it was, ‘Of course I’ll get you to that number because that’s what you should be paid.’”
As stories of Boseman’s selflessness come to light, we learn this was an integral part of his character. He continues to inspire people in Hollywood and beyond. He has left us with a lasting a meaningful impression – both onscreen and off.
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