‘House of Cards’ Star Robin Wright Demanded Same Pay as Kevin Spacey

By Giuliana Manca
Giuliana Manca
Giuliana Manca
May 18, 2016 Updated: May 18, 2016

The actors who play Claire and Frank Underwood, the sinister co-conspiring matriarch and patriarch of “House of Cards,” are paid exactly the same—a rarity in Hollywood. 

Claire’s portrayer, Robin Wright, spoke on a range of topics, including the equal pay, at a Rockefeller Foundation event titled “Working Towards Global Equality” on May 17.

In an hour long conversation—the first in a series entitled “Insight Dialogues”—the 50-year-old actress discussed a wide range of topics with the Rockefeller Foundation’s President, Judith Rodin

Wright demanded to be paid the same as her costar Kevin Spacey, according to The Huffington Post, which covered the event. 

Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey in Season 3 of Netflix's "House of Cards." (David Giesbrecht for Netflix)
Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey in Season 3 of Netflix’s “House of Cards.” (David Giesbrecht for Netflix)

In 2014, Business Insider reported that Spacey was being paid $500,000 per episode, before season three of the show debuted.

Forbes reported in 2015 that Wright received $5.5 million for her “House of Cards” work—which included being a producer and occasional director for the Netflix drama. 

Which is equivalent to roughly $420,000 an episode.

“I was like, ‘I want to be paid the same as Kevin,'” said Wright at the May 17 dialogue, which was documented on Twitter with the #RFDialogues hashtag. 

“It was the perfect paradigm. There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal,” said Wright. “And they are in ‘House of Cards,'” 

“I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time,” said Wright.

Wright continued: “So I capitalized on it. I was like, ‘You better pay me or I’m going to go public.'” 

“And they did,” smiled Wright, who rocketed to national fame after her role as Jenny in the 1994 film “Forrest Gump.” 

Season four of the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning show debuted in March 2016. 


Giuliana Manca
Giuliana Manca