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Jeff Daniels’ Advice to Women Battling Hollywood Wage Gap: “Get What You Can Get”

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Sage advice from a veteran acting pro. Jeff Daniels has been in the entertainment industry for quite some time, and the Steve Jobs actor admitted during a HuffPost Live interview on Wednesday, Oct. 21, that Hollywood’s pay model is far from perfect.

When asked about what advice he would give actresses who are currently battling the wage gap, Daniels, 60, seemed resigned.

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“Look, get what you can get,” he said. “Certainly women have had a tougher time of it, [I] absolutely agree with it. However, I’ve stood next to big stars who are making a hell of a lot more money than I am. But I can relate, I can relate.”

The Newsroom actor added that the unfortunate reality is that entertainment is “a business, run by people who have three or four sets of books.”

Jeff Daniels

“Welcome to Hollywood!” he joked. “But if you’re Jennifer [Lawrence] or Jessica [Chastain] and you have the leverage, use it. Get what you can get.”

Chastain, Daniels’ costar in The Martian, also recently sat down with HuffPost Live to explain that the public’s perception of the gender pay gap doesn’t even begin to capture the extremity of the situation.

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“There’s also misinformation out there,” she said at the time. “Someone wrote a report about how much I made for The Martian, and I made less than a quarter of that.”

Earlier this week, Jeremy Renner made headlines after saying that he didn’t feel it was his job to help actresses negotiate higher salaries.

Jeff Daniels Steve Jobs
Jeff Daniels in Steve Jobs film

“I’m a performer and I know human behavior,” he told Business Insider, noting that he does support equal pay. “When it comes to that sort of stuff I let other people deal with that. I do what I’m good at, that’s what I focus on.”

His American Hustle costar, Lawrence, penned a poignant essay about the gender wage gap on Lena Dunham’s feminist newsletter, Lenny, earlier in October.

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“I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled,'” the Oscar-winning star, 25, wrote of why she didn’t fight harder for equal pay for American Hustle. “That seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.'”

Have a question you’d like to ask a celebrity? Check out who will be appearing on HuffPost Live and submit your question to be asked live on-air!

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