Octavia Spencer Reveals How Jessica Chastain Helped Her Fight For A Better Salary

Perhaps the men of Hollywood should take note.

Octavia Spencer has praised her ‘The Help’ co-star Jessica Chastain, revealing the actress fought to ensure she was paid well for an upcoming project they are both working on.

The two women will reunite in a comedy film and Octavia explained how the ‘Interstellar’ star reacted when she learnt about the disparity between what women of colour and white women are paid in Hollywood.

Octavia and Jessica at the 2018 Golden Globes
Octavia and Jessica at the 2018 Golden Globes
VALERIE MACON via Getty Images

Speaking at the Sundance Film Festival’s Women Breaking Barriers panel event, Octavia revealed she’d told Jessica during a conversation about equal pay: “Here’s the thing, women of colour on that spectrum, we make far less than white women.

“So, if we’re gonna have that conversation about pay equity, we gotta bring the women of colour to the table.

Octavia explained Jessica, who is also producing their upcoming film, went silent, before setting to work on remedying the situation.

The actress continued: I love that woman, because she’s talking the talk and she’s actually walking the walk…”

“She said, ‘Octavia we’re gonna get you paid on this film. You and I are gonna be tied together. We’re gonna be favoured nations, and we’re gonna make the same thing’.

“Fast forward to last week, we’re making five times what we asked for… Now, I want to go to what the men are making!”

Jessica has addressed what happened via Twitter, explaining: “She had been underpaid for so long. When I discovered that , I realised that I could tie her deal to mine to bring up her quote. Men should start doing this with their female co-stars.”

Octavia and Jessica are no strangers to speaking out on social and cultural issues, and they’ve both been key players in launching the Time’s Up movement, in the wake the numerous sexual harassment and abuse allegations that emerged in Hollywood last year.

The duo attended the Golden Globes together earlier this month and - while both wearing black to highlight the movement - they gave a series of interviews to explain what Time’s Up is hoping to achieve in the coming months.

“It’s not just an actress movement,” Jessica emphasised while speaking to Access Hollywood. “It’s for women in all industries. Every time I look at the site, I have tears in my eyes at what we’re doing.”


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