Girl power! The stars are sending love to Jessica Chastain who recently helped Octavia Spencer negotiate a higher salary for an upcoming project the actresses are working on together.
The Oscar winner, 47, opened up about the empowering moment while speaking on a “Women Breaking Barriers” panel at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Saturday, January 20.
Spencer and Chastain, 40, who costarred in 2011’s The Help, are reuniting in an upcoming holiday comedy together. The Molly’s Game actress, who is producing the forthcoming flick, initially reached out to Spencer more than a year ago to discuss the project.
“She called me six months later, which would have been last March, and we were talking about pay equity with men and women,” The Shape of Water actress explained. “She was like, ‘It’s time that women get paid as much as men.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, Jessica, it’s time.’ We were dropping f-bombs and getting it all out there.”
The Hidden Figures star told the Zero Dark Thirty actress that she feared she would make less money on the project because of her skin color. “And then I said, ‘But here’s the thing, women of color on that spectrum, we make far less than white women. So if we’re gonna have that conversation about pay equity, we gotta bring the women of color to the table,’” she continued. “And then I told her my story and we talked numbers and she was quiet, and she said she had no idea that’s what it was like for women of color.”
It was then that Chastain vowed to help Spencer earn the pay she deserves — five times her original asking salary. “I love that women, because she’s walking the walk and she’s actually talking the talk,” the Gifted star gushed. “She said, ‘Octavia, we’re gonna get you paid on this film. You and I are 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.”
Chastain commented on the news via Twitter on Wednesday, January 24. “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,” she said. “Men should start doing this with their female costars.”
Celebrities have taken to Twitter to praise Chastain for making monumental strides in the gender equality movement in Hollywood.
“Sisterhood!!! @octaviaspencer finally getting paid what she deserves because her sister @jes_chastain stood in solidarity with her,” America Ferrera tweeted on Thursday, January 25, “This is how we all rise!! Using whatever access we have to bring others along with us! Get paid women! You deserve it!!”
Jada Pinkett Smith added, “Jessica said to Octavia, ‘I got you. I’m going to Universal and we’re gonna make a favorite nations deal.’ And Jessica stood up for Octavia and I want you to know, because they stood together, they got [five] times what they were asking for as a unit.”
Scroll down for more reactions:
And that’s how you do it. https://t.co/MYcswUzg3y
— Sunny Hostin (@sunny) January 25, 2018
This is a great story. @jes_chastain and @octaviaspencer negotiated together for their next film and ended up getting five times what they expected as a result. This came after a conversation Octavia had with Jessica about what women of color get paid in film and tv. pic.twitter.com/OGzgQX2xMj
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 25, 2018
So it seems that @jes_chastain and @octaviaspencer went to Universal and negotiated together and got more money as a unit. Fantastic. #TimesUp https://t.co/uBhqkRjKWx
— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) January 24, 2018
Oooooh loving this story about Jessica Chastain & Octavia Spencer using collective bargaining
Bonus: they can play themselves in the movie version!
— Cameron Esposito (@cameronesposito) January 25, 2018
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!
Celebrity news bought to you in partnership with Celebrity Style Site and Celebrity Style Site.
Browse the latest celebrity style news