Keeley Hawes reveals she demanded equal pay with male co-star for BBC drama

Bodyguard features Hawes as a fictional home secretary dealing with a terrorist attack.

Keeley Hawes has revealed she demanded to be paid the same as her male co-star for appearing in the BBC’s upcoming political drama Bodyguard.

The actress stars as a fictional home secretary responding to a terrorist attack, while Game Of Thrones star Richard Madden plays her protection officer in the six-part series.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Hawes, 42, said she asked producers for pay parity, something she would have felt unable to do five years ago for fear of losing the role.

She told the newspaper: “Certainly, five years ago, I wouldn’t have felt like I was in a position to say, ‘I want the same as my male counterpart’. Because I would have been worried about losing the job.

“And then I would think, ‘I want to work and I want to pay my mortgage’.

Keeley Hawes
Keeley Hawes revealed she asked to be paid the same as her male co-star in BBC drama Bodyguard (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“But now, I do think businesses and corporations that we work for seem to be taking it very seriously.

“So yeah, it’s not so much of a fight, anymore. It really does feel like there’s been a real sea change here. It feels different. And I feel more empowered when I go into a project.”

Bodyguard sees Hawes reunited with writer Jed Mercurio, who also created crime drama Line Of Duty.

Hawes was nominated for a TV Bafta award for her performances as Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton in the programme.

Bodyguard is set to begin on BBC One on August 26.

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