Benedict Cumberbatch is doing something about the pay inequality when it comes to women, and he's now putting his own Hollywood career on the line. He's now only going to take roles where his female co-star is being paid equally, on top of his other projects focused on promoting equal pay for women.
The actor, who recently starred in "Avengers: Infinity War" as Dr. Strange, is now using his elevated fame as a platform to address inequalities not just in Hollywood, but in other industries as well.
"Look at your quotas. Ask what women are being paid, and say: 'If she's not paid the same as the men, I'm not doing it,'" he said in a recent interview with Radio Times, as he called for his fellow actors to also boycott projects that refuse to pay women the same pay as their male co-stars.
Cumberbatch is taking on a new role as the lead star in the Sky Atlantic series "Patrick Melrose," which likely meets the stringent, pro-feminist ideals he has put into practice in choosing his projects.
He plays a man from an upper-class British family who had a traumatic childhood that led to substance abuse, a performance that has been widely praised when it first aired on Sunday on Showtime.
"Patrick Melrose" will have five episodes for its first season, and it also features Jennifer Jason Leigh, Blythe Danner, and Hugo Weaving, who plays Patrick's father.
"The drug-haze scenes are wildly over the top, like a blend of Charles Bukowski and Inherent Vice. It's reminiscent of the bright, trippy world that Cumberbatch dove into in Doctor Strange," Ira Madison III of the Daily Beast gushed about the new show, linking Cumberbatch's performance to his Marvel superhero role.
Aside from his new show, Cumberbatch will also be using his new production company, SunnyMarch, to promote more dramas focused on women. The company itself is led by women as well, according to Deadline.
In fact, Cumberbatch claims that aside from himself and his partner Adam Ackland, everyone else in SunnyMarch is female.
"I'm proud that [partner] Adam [Ackland] and I are the only men in our production company; our next project is a female story with a female lens about motherhood, in a time of environmental disaster," Cumberbatch said.
"If it's centered around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects," he added.
He also reminded everyone in Hollywood that there's a huge segment that they should be catering through in their projects. "Half the audience is female!" the actor pointed out.
"Patrick Melrose," led by Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character, premiered on Saturday, May 12. New episodes for its first seasons continue every Saturday, 9 p.m. EDT on Showtime.