Octavia Spencer recently shared how her The Help co-star, Jessica Chastain, helped her fight for pay equality. The two actresses will also be reuniting in a holiday comedy this year.
Spencer, who was at the Sundance TV panel earlier this week, shared how Chastain made it possible for her to earn five times more than her regular salary in her upcoming film. Chastain also serves as the producer of the untitled movie project.
The award-winning actress shared the conversation she had with Chastain, wherein Spencer told Chastain that pay parity is not only defined by gender. Spencer said that the issue is also defined by a person's skin color. Chastain stayed silent for a few minutes because she was unaware of the problems concerning black female actors.
Spencer then recounted the one line that Chastain told her during their conversation in March. At that time, Chastain personally pitched her idea for their movie to Spencer. The official release date for the film has not yet been announced.
"She said, 'Octavia, we're gonna get you paid in this film,'" said Spencer.
Chastain added that what she will earn from starring in their film will be the exact same amount that Spencer will receive. Weeks later, the costars managed to finalize a deal with Universal. The company has agreed to pay Chastain and Spencer five times more than what they initially asked for.
Jessica Chastain Promotes Gender Pay Equality
The Miss Sloane star has been actively promoting gender pay equality for the past couple of years. Chastain was also one of the actors that rallied behind Michelle Williams after it was revealed that the actress received much less than her All the Money in the World costar Mark Wahlberg.
Wahlberg later on agreed to donate his entire salary from the film to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund in William's name. The actor's agency, WME, also pledged $500,000 to the Time's Up movement.
Michelle William's Statement
Williams expressed her gratitude to Wahlberg and WME for their generosity, but she reminded her supporters that the donation is not about her.
"My fellow actresses stood by me and stood up for me, my activist friends taught me to use my voice, and the most powerful men in charge, they listened and they acted. If we truly envision an equal world, it takes equal effort and sacrifice. Today is one of the most indelible days of my life because of Mark Wahlberg, WME, and a community of women and men who share in this accomplishment," said Williams.