“Now I want to go to what the men are making,” said Spencer.
Octavia Spencer's role in the 2011 film The Help got her an Oscar for the best-supporting actress. She went on to work on several projects and make a name for herself. She also forged a close friendship with Jessica Chastain, who worked with her on the movie.
During a panel at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Spencer spoke about how the time when she and Chastain had decided to work on a new movie together. When Spencer revealed that she wasn't making as much as Chastain in the film that was being produced by Chastain herself, she decided to change that.
When Chastain approached Spencer for the film and started discussing the pay and, “she was like, ‘It’s time that women get paid the same as men!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, Jessica! It’s time!’ And we were dropping f-bombs and getting it all out there,” Spencer said, according to Variety.
While they were having a heart-to-heart, Spencer spoke about how there was a lot of discrimination in pay when it came to women of color in the industry. “I told her my story and we talked numbers and [Chastain] was quiet, and she had no idea that that’s what it was like for women of color,” Spencer remembered.
Prime example of sister solidarity between @jes_chastain and @octaviaspencer— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) January 22, 2018
📽: @MzSpectacular4u pic.twitter.com/amAl1njQFP
Without any further discussions, Chastain assured her that this will change. "Octavia - we're going to get you paid on this film," Chastain told her, per the BBC. “Fast forward to last week, we’re making five times what we asked for,” she said.
“Jessica Chastain believes,” Spencer added. “She is walking the walk."
After making what her white costars made, Spencer said she wants actresses to earn as much as actors do. “Now I want to go to what the men are making,” she said. “I want to get there.”
The two later continued the discussion online with Chastain tweeting in response to the story, “She had been underpaid for so long. When I discovered that, I realized that I could tie her deal to mine to bring up her quote. Men should start doing this with their female costars.”
Spencer also elaborated on her story on Twitter, posting “I should clarify that I am making 5x my salary because Jessica stood with me. I don’t know what or if it cost her anything as far as her rate, I just know she stood with me, and I am eternally grateful.”
Such camaraderie between actors is rare, isn't it?
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Tommaso Boddi