Diane Kruger might have a Golden Globe nomination for Inglourious Basterds under her belt, but she still has to deal with sexism at work, particularly when it comes to equal pay. At a Women in Motion event at Cannes on Wednesday, she said, “I’ve certainly never been paid as much as a male co-star in the United States—in France, yes.”

Fortunately, Kruger has the support of other industry women on this issue. “It’s really tough,” she said. “I’m really grateful that big, big movie stars like Jessica Chastain or Jennifer Lawrence say, ‘No, if I’m not getting paid, I’m not going to make this movie. It’s not the end of my career if I don’t make this.'”

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But oftentimes Kruger finds that if she speaks up or stands up for herself, there’s a “bitch” backlash. “If you speak up and don’t sugarcoat things,” she said, “then you’re harsh or you’re a bitch, you know? And men would be treated as a ‘great artist,’ or ‘passionate about their work.'” If that sounds familiar, Kruger acknowledges it’s a universal problem for women. “When you want something on set,” she said, “or you’re asking for something, definitely—all my life, not just in the movie industry—you as a woman [think], ‘How do I get around to getting what I want?’ Like, sweet-talking someone. You don’t want to be seen as a bitch.”

But it turns out that getting a bit older has helped with that. Now 40, Kruger said she’s perceived an attitude shift in herself. “It’s only been recently,” she said. “With age comes, ‘I don’t give a f**k. I don’t care if you think I’m a bitch. I’m going to ask for it.'” While she hasn’t changed as a person, she’s no longer reluctant to have those conversations: “I try not to be harsh. I try to be polite and respectful, but at the same time, I think you have to create that space and respect that you think you deserve. I work hard, I’m on time, I know my lines. I’m 100 percent invested in everything I do, so please treat me the same as you do my male costars.”

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