Leonardo DiCaprio took home $30 million for his part in Don’t Look Up, Netflix’s upcoming new dark comedy. His costar, Jennifer Lawrence, made $25 million, even though she technically got top billing (her name appears before his in the opening credits.) Jennifer, 31, made 83 cents to Leo’s dollar, but as she told Indiewire, she was fine with that. “Look, Leo brings in more box office than I do,” she said about the 47-year-old Titanic star. “I’m extremely fortunate and happy with my deal. But in other situations, what I have seen — and I’m sure other women in the workforce have seen as well — is that it’s extremely uncomfortable to inquire about equal pay.”
“And if you do question something that appears unequal, you’re told it’s not gender disparity, but they can’t tell you what exactly it is,” she said. Jennifer also addressed the billing issue, revealing that the original plan was for both of them to share top billing, but she floated the idea of being top-billed sometime during the making of the movie. “I was number one on the call sheet,” she told Indiewire. “[Am I ok] with being number one on the call sheet? Yeah,” Lawrence said. “And I thought [the credits] should reflect that.”
“Leo was very gracious about it,” she adds. “I think we had something called a Laverne & Shirley, which is this billing they invented where it’s an equal billing. But I guess maybe somewhere down the line, I kicked the stone further, like, ‘What if it wasn’t equal?'” Adding to the awkwardness of this whole kerfuffle is the fact that writer/director/producer Adam McKay wrote Don’t Look Up for Jennifer. JLaw even got the first read of the script. Her character, an astronomy Ph.D. candidate, discovers a planet-killing comet is headed towards Earth, and she recruits a low-level astronomer (DiCaprio) to try to warn an apathetic population.
“No one has more beautiful anger than Jen,” Adam McKay told Vanity Fair about writing this film for Jennifer. “When she unleashes, it is a sight to behold. Think of her in Silver Linings Playbook, her in everything. I wanted to cut loose with a strong, funny truth-teller woman, and that’s Jen Lawrence. I mean, that character poured out of me. I would just picture Jen, and you knew exactly what she would say…. She’s going to be the one who doesn’t play the game. And, of course, she’s going to be pilloried for it, which will be heartbreaking, but she’s never going to play the game.”