Jeremy Renner kept it honest while talking to Business Insider on Tuesday, Oct. 20, telling the publication that he doesn’t feel responsible for helping his female costars get higher salaries.
“That’s not my job,” he said after being asked whether he’d be willing to negotiate alongside actresses on future projects, adding that he doesn’t “know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff.”
“I’m a performer and I know human behavior,” he continued, noting that he does support actresses getting 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.”
The 44-year-old actor’s most recent comments follow hot on the heels of his American Hustle costar Bradley Cooper’s vow to help women in Hollywood get more equitable pay.
Cooper, 40, told Reuters that he was struck by Jennifer Lawrence’s poignant essay, “Why Do I Make Less Than My Co-Stars,” and has since promised to team up with his female costars to negotiate salaries to close the wage gap.
“She worked every day on that movie and got paid nothing,” Cooper told Reuters. “It’s really horrible actually, it’s almost embarrassing. …I don’t know where it’s changing otherwise, but that’s something that I could do.”
The actress won a Golden Globe for her role in American Hustle.
Cooper pointed out that making such moves would involve some institutional changes, however, given that actors historically don’t deal very much with the negotiations directly.
“Usually you don’t talk about the financial stuff, you have people,” he said. “But you know what? It’s time to start doing that.”
Renner previously found himself in hot water after calling Avengers costar Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow character a “slut” back in May, apologizing, and then dissing the character again on Conan O’Brien’s show.
“It was a joke — off-color or whatever — but yeah, I’m unapologetic about a lot of things and I got in a lot of Internet trouble!” he said at the time. “I guess that’s a thing now you can get in.”