Parents

How Being A Single Mom At 20 Prepared Patricia Arquette For 'Boyhood'

"I didn't know if I could buy him diapers and could buy food."
11/13/2015 02:28pm ET

Patricia Arquette spoke about how her own parenting experiences informed her role as the tireless, determined single mother Olivia in "Boyhood," for which she won an Oscar, in a conversation with HuffPost Live on Thursday.

"I was a single mom when I was 20, and there were times where I didn't know if I could buy him diapers and could buy food," Arquette told host Alex Miranda. "I knew what that was like. I was winning that award for a character [in 'Boyhood'] 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, and how was she going to do all that?"

More and more, American women are taking on the finances in their homes, Arquette added, making the gendered pay gap an issue with much larger ramifications.

"The demographics changed in America. We have only 30 percent of families living in the traditional 'dad is the breadwinner, mom stays home' model," she explained. "[But] right now, we have 66 million women and children living in poverty. Half of those ... would not be living in poverty if their moms were paid a full dollar [to a man's dollar]. So the number one thing we could at this moment for child poverty ... is to make sure their moms get paid a full dollar."

Watch more from Patricia Arquette's HuffPost Live conversation here.

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