Women of color still get paid less than men and white women in many industries, so it’s a nice surprise to see Octavia Spencer praising the allyship with her friend and The Help co-star Jessica Chastain.
The two have been close friends since they starred together in the movie and both won Golden Globes for their roles in the movie.
Chastain approached Spencer more than a year ago with an idea for a holiday comedy for them to start headline, as it made sense to her because she wanted to do comedies, and Spencer wanted to break out of period pieces. Spencer also told the ‘Women Breaking Barriers’ panel at Sundance that Chastain made a way for them when it came to salary negotiations for the film. She said that they were dropping bad words and getting it all out there. However, she noted that women of color make far less than white women on that spectrum. So, she told them her story, they talked numbers, and Chastain was quiet and said that she had no idea that that’s what it was for women of color in the industry.
She managed to hold back the tears and noted that she loves that woman because she’s walking the walk and she’s talking the talk. This is what 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.’ Fast forward to last week, we’re making five times what we asked for.”
Yes, you read that right! Five times what they asked for!
Universal managed to win the rights for the film ahead of Fox and Paramount, and it will be produced by Chastain under her Freckle Films banner. Check out Spencer’s powerful take on the matter in the video below at the 19:30 mark.