Octavia Spencer said on Wednesday she loves her friend and co-star Jessica Chastain, and for a good reason.
Spencer, 47, revealed Chastain, 40, helped her obtain five times her asking salary for their upcoming movie.
Speaking at the Sundance Film Festival’s “Women Breaking Barriers” panel, Spencer said it all began when Chastain brought up the idea of doing a comedy.
“I’m like, ‘Yeah!’ She called me six months later, which would have been last March, and we were talking about pay equity with men and women,” Spencer recalled.
The 47-year-old actress said she told Chastain that women of color made “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," the actress said. "And I told [Chastain] my story, and we talked numbers, and she was quiet, and she said she had no idea that that’s what it was like for women of color.”
Spencer added, “I love that woman because she’s walking the walk, and she’s actually talking the talk.”
Spencer said Chastain told her: “'Octavia, we’re gonna get you paid on this film.'"
"[Chastain] said, 'You and I are gonna be tied together. We’re gonna be favored nations, and we’re gonna make the same thing, you are going to make that amount,’” Spencer told the attendees.
“Fast-forward to last week, we’re making five times what we asked for,” she said as she got emotional.
The actress, who was nominated on Tuesday for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in “The Shape of Water,” said she was excited to take on a comedy and move away from “period pieces.”
Chastain previously spoke candidly about the pay gap, telling Variety in April 2017 that she won’t take jobs where she’s “getting paid a quarter of what the male co-star is being paid.”
“I’m not allowing that in my life,” Chastain said.
“You have a scale to measure it by because the big agencies know what the male actors are getting paid. So when they’re negotiating, they should feel empowered. They can come forward and say, ‘This is 2017. We’re not doing this anymore.’”
Chastain and Spencer previously co-starred in the 2011 movie "The Help." Their supporting roles earned them nominations for Academy Awards and Golden Globes the following year. Spencer won both awards.