‘Citadel’ Star Priyanka Chopra Jonas Credits Jennifer Salke for Achieving Pay Parity: She ‘Made Space for Me’ (Video)
After more than 20 years in the acting business, Priyanka Chopra Jonas finally reached pay parity on her new Prime Video series “Citadel.” But she’s not entirely confident that would’ve happened if Amazon Studios wasn’t run by a woman.
The spy series stars Chopra Jonas opposite Richard Madden, in which the two play international spies. Madden, of course, is best known at this point for roles in massive franchises like “Game of Thrones” and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Meanwhile, in past projects, Chopra Jonas says she “never even asked for parity, I just asked for maybe a little bit more, and sometimes you wouldn’t even get that.”
During an appearance on Friday’s episode of WrapWomen’s “UnWrapped” podcast, the actress admitted that when her new agency team came to her and said they were going to ask that she receive parity with Madden on “Citadel,” she honestly laughed at the idea.
“I was like, ‘OK good luck!'” Chopra Jonas said with a laugh. “I really was like, ‘You go live, do the agent thing. I’ve been in it for a long time. I just don’t want to be embarrassed. I love the job. I love the people I’m working with. I don’t want this to be a fight.’ And they were like, ‘No, we’ll just go have a conversation.’ And it wasn’t a fight! It was a conversation.”
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According to Chopra Jonas, Amazon considered it a “totally fair ask.”
“And I remember when they called me and told me that, I really had a moment of silence,” she continued. “It kind of made me think, ‘Should I have asked for it before? Should I have maybe not been so jaded and given up, asking for what was rightfully mine? Did it take having a female manager, and a female head of studio that were like, ‘Hey, she’s worked for a long time, and is bringing a lot to the table. Let’s kind of have her have what’s hers’?”
She recalled that her husband, Nick Jonas “popped champagne” after she received that call.
“It was such a moment. And honestly, you know, having a woman be in a position of making decisions or decision-making role, Jennifer Salke turned around and made space for me. And now after ‘Citadel,’ I’ve always got parity whenever I’ve done, you know, a co-lead, and that changed my life.”
Still, Chopra Jonas isn’t totally convinced this would’ve been the case if a man was running Amazon Studios.
“It’s very important for the conversation around women to be decision-makers,” she said. “Whether it’s in the home, whether it is outside of the home, women should be in positions of power. That’s when they turn around and make plays for other women and community and family. And that’s just the nature of who we are.”
You can watch the full episode of “UnWrapped” here, or listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
“Citadel” is now streaming on Prime Video.
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