A new issue of Empire reveals Chadwick Boseman and Sienna Miller’s 21 Bridges salaries were linked in a surprising way. Before Boseman passed away aged 43 following a four-year private battle with colon cancer in August, the iconic Black Panther star was always showing up as a hero even beyond the Marvel Universe. His role as a producer on 21 Bridges was no exception, as he decided to share the wealth—quite literally—with his co-star, Miller, in order to get her on board for the project.
The British-American actress, 38, opened up about working with Boseman for the forthcoming October 1 issue of Empire set to pay tribute to the Get on Up actor. In a snippet of her interview, Miller reveals that it was Boseman who was instrumental in getting her cast in the 2019 cop thriller.
“He produced 21 Bridges, and had been really active in trying to get me to do it,” Miller told the outlet. “He was a fan of my work, which was thrilling, because it was reciprocated from me to him, tenfold. 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 went on to explain, however, that there was one other issue barring her from signing onto the film immediately: her salary offer. The actress’ initial request to the studio went unmatched—that is, until, Boseman decided to make things a lot easier for her by garnishing some of his own wages to cover her desired salary.
“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,” Miller told Empire. “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.’ And Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for. He said that that was what I deserved to be paid.”
This isn’t the first story of Boseman’s generosity, but for Miller, it was “about the most astounding thing that I’ve experienced.” She adds, “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.” It’s safe to say that Boseman has become an example: “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,” said Miller. “But there was no showiness, it was, ‘Of course I’ll get you to that number, because that’s what you should be paid.'” A hero, to put it lightly.
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