Spider-Man actress Kirsten Dunst recently claimed that she experienced an extreme pay disparity with Tobey Maguire for Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2.
Speaking with The Independent, Dunst said, “The pay disparity between me and Spider-Man was very extreme.”
However, she would add, “I didn’t even think about it. I was just like, ‘Oh yeah, Tobey [Maguire] is playing Spider-Man.’”
Then she added, “But you know who was on the cover of the second Spider-Man poster? Spider-Man and ME.”
Not only would Dunst detail the pay disparity between her and Maguire was extreme, but she also detailed that a Spider-Man producer drove her to a dentist’s office in order to fix her teeth.
Dunst detailed she refused saying, “I was like, ‘Mmmmm, no, I like my teeth.”
She went on to claim that Sofia Coppola liked her teeth saying, “Also, Sofia loved my teeth.”
Dunst then detailed Coppola liking her teeth was one of the primary reasons why she didn’t have her teeth changed. She explained, “The fact that the coolest girl liked how I looked, that’s what preserved me.”
“She made me feel pretty. As a 16-year-old girl, you feel like crap about yourself, right? So to have my first experience of a more ‘sexy’ role be through her eyes gave me a confidence that helped me deal with a lot of other things,” she elaborated.
This isn’t the first time Dunst has claimed there was a pay disparity concerning Spider-Man. She told Variety back in 2017, “Because I was young, I thought, ‘Oh wow, I’m getting paid a lot of money for the “Spider-Man” movies.’ But definitely the men were getting paid more. So yes, I experienced that.”
It’s unclear what Dunst earned for her work as Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man trilogy, but Celebrity Net Worth reports, “Her paycheck for the sequels was $7 and $10 million, respectively. In total, Kirsten earned around $20 million for her work in Spider-Man.”
Variety reported back in 2004 that Maguire earned $4 million for the first film and $17 million for the sequel.
YouTuber, novelist, and comic book creator Jon Del Arroz reacted to Dunst’s comments saying, “Of course the Spider-Man in Spider-Man would get more money in a film. It doesn’t matter what gender he is; it doesn’t matter anything else. This happens because of the character he’s playing and because of the fact that he’s the lead.”
“She is not, in fact, the lead. Mary Jane is never the lead. She is what’s called a supporting character. She can be in the movie. It’s great and it’s good to have a Mary Jane in the Spider-Man mythos, but it could have been anybody,” he says.
What do you make of Dunst’s comments?