Hollywood actress Octavia Spencer, has revealed that her ‘The Help’ co-star Jessica Chastain helped her get five times her salary for their upcoming movie.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the 47-year-old actress, while speaking at the Sundance Film Festival, said Chastain approached her about working on a comedy together about 15 months ago and that the idea made sense to both because Chastain had wanted to do a comedy and Spencer wanted to “break out of period pieces”.
While developing the film, they started talking about equal pay and Spencer outlined the additional challenges women of colour face when it comes to equal compensation for equal work in Hollywood.
“But 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. And I told her my story, and we talked numbers, and she was quiet, and she said she had no idea that that’s what it was like for women of colour”, noted Spencer.
Spencer got emotional and began to cry as she told the story, but she called her outpouring “happy tears”.
While choking back tears, she shared, “I love that woman, because she’s walking the walk and she’s actually talking the talk. [Chastain] said, ‘Octavia, we’re gonna get you paid on this film’.”
“She said, ‘You and I are gonna be tied together. We’re gonna be favoured nations, and we’re gonna make the same thing, you are going to make that amount.’ Fast-forward to last week, we’re making five times what we asked for,” continued Spencer.
Both stars have been standouts in the current awards season; Chastain and Spencer received Golden Globe nominations for ‘Molly’s Game’ and ‘The Shape of Water’, respectively, while Spencer was nominated for her third Best Supporting Actress Oscar for ‘The Shape of Water’.
She previously won the award for ‘The Help’.>