Amy Adams, British GQ

Ellen von Unwerth/British GQ

Tell us how you really feel, Amy Adams.

The actress wasn't at all surprised when the Sony hacks of 2014 revealed that American Hustle's male leads earned far more than the female leads. Unlike her co-star Jennifer Lawrence, who wrote a widely circulated essay about the gender wage gap, Adams says she agreed to take a pay cut for a role in David O. Russell's ensemble dramedy. "I knew I was being paid less and I still agreed to do it because the option comes down to do it or don't do it," she says in British GQ's March issue. "So you just have to decide if it's worth it for you. It doesn't mean I liked it."

It's the first time Adams has publicly commented on the issue. "I didn't speak about it [earning less] before and I'm probably not going to speak about it forever, because I disagreed with...not Jennifer per se, but people who had opinions on how women should go about negotiating," the actress, 41, explains. "The truth is we hire people to negotiate on our behalf, men and women."

(After the Sony leaks, the company's former co-chairman Amy Pascal explained why she and others signed off on Adams and Lawrence earning less than their male co-stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner. "Here's the problem: I run a business. People want to work for less money, I pay them less money. I don't call them up and say, 'Can I give you some more [money]?'...The truth is that what women have to do is not work for less money," she said at 2014's Women in the World conference. "People shouldn't be so grateful for jobs. People should know what they're worth. Women shouldn't take less. 'Stop, you don't need the job that bad.'")

American Hustle

Columbia Pictures

Make no mistake: Adams is "really proud" of the conversation Lawrence started. "What I liked is that it was not necessarily about getting paid, or not getting paid...It's like we [women] have been conditioned to not be controversial, to not cause problems. It's about finding your voice."

The actress was lauded for her performance in American Hustle, winning a Golden Globe and a Critics' Choice Movie Award; she also received Academy Award, BAFTA Award and MTV Movie Award nominations. However, working on the movie was one of the most difficult times in her career. "I was really just devastated on set," Adams says of Russell, who often made her cry. "I mean, not every day, but most. Jennifer doesn't take any of it on. She's Teflon. And I am not Teflon. But I also don't like to see other people treated badly. It's not OK with me. Life to me is more important than movies. It really taught me how to separate work and home. Because I was like, I cannot bring this experience home with me to my daughter [Aviana Olea Le Gallo, 5]."

Adams next appears in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in theaters March 25

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