Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer Joined Forces to Get Equal Pay on Their New Movie

January 25, 2018, 5:44 PM UTC

Octavia Spencer says she got some help from her friend and co-star Jessica Chastain that ensured the two award-winning actresses received equal pay for their latest movie.

Spencer, an Academy Award winner, discussed the matter during the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s “Women Breaking Barriers” panel at the Sundance Film Festival. When Chastain approached her about joining their new film, Spencer said she told Chastain matter-of-factly that black women frequently get paid less in Hollywood than white actresses. Chastain, who has been outspoken about the gender pay gap in the film industry, told Spencer that they would join forces to avoid any salary disparity.

“She’s walking the walk and she’s actually talking the talk,” Spencer said of Chastain at the panel session. “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.”

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“I love that woman,” Spencer said of Chastain, with whom she co-starred in the 2011 movie The Help. However, Spencer was also quick to take a shot at the ongoing wage gap that exists in Hollywood between men and women. “Now, I want to go to what the men are making,” she said.

Deadline reported earlier this week that Universal Pictures landed the rights to an untitled holiday comedy film from Chastain’s Freckle Films production company. Chastain will reportedly produce the movie and star alongside Spencer.