Octavia Spencer Teared Up Recounting How Jessica Chastain Helped Her Get Equal Pay

Spencer said Chastain “is walking the walk” when it comes to pay equity in Hollywood.

Octavia Spencer teared up as she shared a story about how her friend and former costar Jessica Chastain fought for her to get better pay on the upcoming film they’re doing together.

In her story at a 2018 Sundance Film Festival panel, which begins around 19 minutes and 30 seconds into this video, Spencer explained that around March 2017, many months before the #TimesUp movement had started, Chastain came to her with a comedy project they’d previously discussed and wanted to vent about pay equity.

“She was like, ‘It’s time that women get paid the same as men!'” Spencer quoted Chastain as saying. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, Jessica! It’s time!’ And we were dropping f-bombs and getting it all out there.”

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“And then I said, ‘But here’s the thing: women of color on that [pay] spectrum, we make far less than white women, so if we’re gonna have that conversation about pay equity we’ve got to bring the women of color to the table.”

“And I told her my story and we talked numbers and she was quiet, and she had no idea that that’s what it was like for women of color,” Spencer said at the panel on Saturday.

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That’s when the Oscar-winning actor briefly broke into tears as she recounted what Chastain did next.

That's when the Oscar-winning actor briefly broke into tears as she recounted what Chastain did next.

“These are happy tears,” she said.

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Chastain’s idea was to tie the two stars in negotiations so they could get a better deal together.

“I love that woman because she’s walking the walk, and she’s actually talking the talk,” Spencer said.

“She said, ‘Octavia, we’re gonna get you paid on this film. … You and I are gonna be tied together we’re gonna be Favored Nations and we’re gonna make the same thing and you’re gonna make that amount,’ and fast forward to last week we’re making five times what we asked for,” Spencer said.

“Jessica Chastain believes,” Spencer continued. “She is walking the walk. And now I want to go to what the men are making, but right now it feels really good just be in that conversation.”

Valerie Macon / AFP / Getty Images

LINK: Jada Pinkett Smith’s Response To Jessica Chastain’s Business Move Will Make You Proud To Be A Woman


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