Like with many other industries, Hollywood has been known to have its share of issues with gender pay gaps, which could explain why actors like Jennifer Lawrence took a stand against unequal pay back in 2017. The list of female actors who have been unfairly paid compared to their male co-stars is pretty long and includes names like Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, and Diane Keaton.
This could explain why Jack Nicholson felt the need to send Keaton a fat check following the 2013 film Something’s Gotta Give.
For those of you who don’t know, Something’s Gotta Give is a romantic comedy to brought to us by writer-producer Nancy Meyers in 2003. The film highlights a playwright and mother played by Keaton.
Keaton’s character is in total shock when her daughter brings home a much older boyfriend to the family beach house. Like, much much older. The older boyfriend is played by Jack Nicholson, and his character becomes confined to bed after a heart attack. Things happen that lead to Keaton’s and Nicholson’s characters falling in love.
According to The Telegraph, Keaton’s 2011 memoir explains that she didn’t have a back-end deal in her contract for Something’s Gotta Give while Nicholson did. Basically, Nicholson would make a lot more money off the deal in the long run than Keaton.
Two years after the film production was over, Keaton received a big check “with a lot of zeros” in the mail for back-end profits. She got a hold of her agent to find out that Nicholson had given her half of his back-end earnings to offset their pay gap. What a classy move, Nicholson.
It turns out that Nicholson and Keaton hadn’t spent any real amount of time together in decades before they hopped on to Something’s Gotta Give, so Keaton had no clue what to expect from her co-star.
She told Venice Magazine:
“I mean, I hadn’t seen Jack, besides passing him, like, twice in 25 years. So I didn’t know what he would be like. Because in that span of time, you know, Jack became larger than legendary. He became a national treasure, which has not exactly happened to me.”
Talk about awkward! Keaton’s acting is so good that she had Jack Nicholson thinking she was in love with him from shooting the film, according to Vulture.
Nancy Meyers recalls a time it “rattled” Nicholson, saying:
“I said, ‘What’s up?’ And he [Nicholson] goes, ‘Diane just told me she loves me.’ I couldn’t tell if he was horrified or thrilled. So I was like, ‘Yes, I know, I wrote that line. It’s in the script, Jack.’ And he said, ‘Oh, okay.’ He thought she meant it. It’s really funny. That’s her.”