Patricia Arquette Reflects on Being a Single Mom at 20, Discusses Wage Inequality: Watch

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Girl power! In a new interview with HuffPost Live, Patricia Arquette reflected on what it was like to be a single mother at the age of 20. The actress also expanded upon her memorable 2015 Oscars speech, discussing women’s rights and the fight for wage equality.

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“I was a single mom when I was 20,” Arquette shared. “And there were times when I didn’t know if I could buy [my son’s] diapers and [if] I could buy food.”

Today, she has two children — her son Enzo, now 26, and daughter Harlow, 12.

The 47-year-old actress revisited life as a single mom when she played Olivia Evans in Boyhood. Her critically acclaimed role in the 2014 film earned her the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Critics’ Choice Award, SAG Award, BAFTA Award, and Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Patricia Arquette and son Enzo Rossi
Patricia Arquette and son Enzo Rossi during “The Punisher” Los Angeles Premiere in 2004. J. Vespa/WireImage for LIONSGATE

“I was winning that award for a character who predominantly raised her two kids and had to move them time and time again and put herself through school and be the primary breadwinner,” she said, adding, “I don’t know if anything will ever feel that intimate again.”

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At the 2015 Oscars, Arquette pleaded for women’s rights during her acceptance speech, declaring, “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

The CSI: Cyber star elaborated to HuffPost Live that her speech was directed at “all women,” not just white women or the actresses in the audience.

“I don’t know why women are never a part of the conversation,” she said. “The women’s movement hasn’t moved at all and women are invisible in the whole thing.”

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The advocate also explained, “The demographic has changed in America. Only 30 percent of families are living in the traditional ‘dad is the breadwinner, mom stays home’ model. Right now, we have 66 million women and children living in poverty. But half of those — 33 million people, one tenth of our country — would not be living in poverty if their moms were getting paid a full dollar.”

Patricia Arquette Oscars
Patricia Arquette, with the award for best actress in a supporting role for “Boyhood”, poses in the press room during the 87th Annual Academy Awards on February 22. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

“We have one in five hungry kids in America, the richest nation on Earth,” Arquette said. “So the number one thing we could do at this moment for child poverty… would be to make sure that their moms get paid a full dollar.”

Watch the full HuffPost Live interview to see Arquette further discuss wage equality, her role in Boyhood, and how director Tony Scott was “instrumental” to her career.

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