Octavia Spencer – MovieActors.com
Octavia Spencer: Best Supporting Actress, 2011: MovieActors.comThe Help (Drama – Rated PG-13)
Octavia Spencer won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in The Help.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view of the white families for whom they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
About Octavia Spencer (1970 – )
Octavia Lenora Spencer was born in Montgomery, Alabama. She has six siblings, including sisters Rosa and Areka. Her mother, Dellsena (1945-1988), worked as a maid. Spencer graduated from Jefferson Davis High School in 1988, spent two years at Auburn Montgomery studying drama (1988–1989), and received a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Auburn University.
At nineteen, she worked as an intern on the set of The Long Walk Home, a film starring Whoopi Goldberg.
Spencer made her film debut as a nurse in Joel Schumacher's A Time to Kill based on the book by John Grisham. She was originally hired to work on casting, but asked Schumacher if she could audition for a small part. Other film credits include: Never Been Kissed, Big Momma's House, Bad Santa, Spider-Man, Coach Carter, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! and Pretty Ugly People. She has made a number of guest appearances on television series including Raising the Bar, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Big Bang Theory, Wizards of Waverly Place, Grounded for Life, ER, Titus, Becker, 30 Rock and Dharma & Greg, plus a recurring role on Mom. She is best known for her starring roles as Serenity Johnson on Comedy Central's Halfway Home, and Constance Grady, the amorous INS caseworker on Ugly Betty.
In 2003, she made her stage debut in Los Angeles, in Del Shores' play, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife, starring opposite veteran actress Beth Grant. It was her first and only play, as she told Back Stage Magazine that she suffers from stage fright. Later that year, she starred opposite Allison Janney in Tate Taylor's critically lauded short feature Chicken Party.
In 2008, Spencer's brief appearance in Seven Pounds as Kate, Rosario Dawson's home care nurse, garnered her high praise and media attention. In April 2009, Entertainment Weekly listed Spencer in its list of 25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood. In August 2009, Spencer appeared in Rob Zombie's Halloween II. She also had a role in the American remake of the Danish classic Love at First Hiccup opposite Scout Taylor-Compton. Spencer starred in the hit web series-turned feature film Herpes Boy alongside Beth Grant, Ahna O'Reilly and Byron Lane, and can be heard as the voice of "Minny" on the audio version of The Help, the New York Times Best Seller by Kathryn Stockett. Later that year, Spencer's short film The Captain was honored by the CICFF as a finalist for the coveted REEL Poetry Award.
In August 2010, Spencer joined Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard in Touchstone and DreamWorks' production of The Help, in which she played the feisty and unflappable domestic Minny Jackson. The film was written, produced and directed by Tate Taylor, and produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, and Mark Radcliffe. Her role brought her critical acclaim, and stirred up award nomination talk. She won the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in The Help.
In 2012 she won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her Performance in The Help, and on February 26 won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the same performance, making it both her first Oscar nomination and first win. Spencer was so thrilled she could hardly speak at the ceremony and received a standing ovation and was moved to tears during her acceptance speech. In June 2012, Spencer was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In 2013, she appeared alongside Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station, a film chronicling the last day of Oscar Grant, who was killed at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in 2009.
In September 2013, it was announced that she would reunite with The Help director Tate Taylor in the biopic on singer James Brown Get On Up opposite her The Help co-star Viola Davis. The film was released in 2014. From September 2014 until February 2015, she starred in Steven Spielberg's Fox drama television series Red Band Society.
Spencer co-starred alongside Kevin Costner in drama film Black or White (2014) and co-starred as Johanna Reyes in the second installment of the Divergent series, Insurgent, which was released on 20 March 2015. She reprised the role in The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016).
Octavia Spencer's movie credits include...
|1996||A Time to Kill||Roark's Nurse|
|1997||The 6th Man||Nativity Watson|
|1999||Never Been Kissed||Cynthia|
|1999||Being John Malkovich||Woman in Elevator|
|2000||The Sky Is Falling||Nurse No. 2|
|2000||Everything Put Together||Nurse B|
|2000||American Virgin||Agnes Large|
|2000||What Planet Are You From?||Baby Nurse|
|2000||Big Momma's House||Twila|
|2000||Four Dogs Playing Poker||Waitress|
|2001||Sol Goode||Unemployment Clerk|
|2001||The Journeyman||Black Belly|
|2003||Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde||Security Guard|
|2003||S.W.A.T.||Neighbor in Alley|
|2003||Chicken Party||Laqueta Mills|
|2004||Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!||Janine|
|2004||Breakin' All the Rules||Stylist|
|2005||Coach Carter||Mrs. Battle|
|2005||Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School||Ayisha Lebaron|
|2005||Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous||Octavia – Bookstore|
|2005||Beauty Shop||Big Customer|
|2005||Wannabe||Lady Chanet Janney Jones|
|2008||Next of Kin||Grace|
|2008||Pretty Ugly People||Mary|
|2008||Seven Pounds||Kate (Home Health Care Nurse)|
|2009||The First Time (Love At First Hiccup)||Mrs. Hambrick|
|2009||Drag Me to Hell||Bank Co-Worker No. 1|
|2009||Jesus People: The Movie||Angel Angelique|
|2009||The Soloist||Troubled Woman|
|2009||Just Peck||Detention Room Teacher|
|2009||Halloween II||Nurse Daniels|
|2009||Small Town Saturday Night||Rhonda Dooley|
|2010||Dinner for Schmucks||Madame Nora|
|2011||The Help||Minny Jackson|
|2014||Get On Up||Aunt Honey Washington|
|2015||The Great Gilly Hopkins||Miss Harris|
|2015||Black or White||Rowena Jeffers|
|2015||The Divergent Series: Insurgent||Johanna Reyes|
|2015||Fathers and Daughters||Dr. Korman|
|2016||Zootopia||Mrs. Otterton (voice)|
|2016||The Divergent Series: Allegiant||Johanna Reyes|
Octavia Spencer's television credits include...
|1999||Lansky||Evelyn the Maid|
|2000||Malcolm in the Middle||Cashier|
|2000||Missing Pieces||Elegant Guest|
|2001||Follow the Stars Home||Hildy|
|The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman||Cheryl / Female Security Guard|
|2007||Halfway Home||Serenity Johnson|
|2007||Ugly Betty||Constance Grady|
|2008||The Big Bang Theory||DMV Employee|
|2008||Wizards of Waverly Place||Dr. Evilini|
|2009||Raising the Bar||Arvina Watkins|
|2013||Call Me Crazy: A Five Film||Dr. Nance|
|Red Band Society||Nurse Dena Jackson|
|2015||Drunk History||Harriet Tubman|
Academy Nominations/Awards won by Octavia Spencer include...
|2011||The Help||Best Supporting Actress|
Memorable Quotes by Octavia Spencer
“I was not a Girl Scout, but I try to be very prepared. I triple-Spanx!”
[on 'Smashed'] “To say we did it on a shoestring budget would be putting it mildly. We did it on a dental-floss budget.”
“I was always a closet lover of acting. My mom was very practical. She never, ever restricted our dreams, always told us we could do or be anything. Then I said, 'Maybe I want to be an actor'. And she said, 'Maybe not that'.”
[on her role as an alcoholic teacher in 'Smashed'] “The subject matter is so relevant.People have been having issues with substance abuse since the dawn of time, I imagine, since they started fermenting fruit and vegetables, for God's sake. It was definitely an enlightening part to play. I'll say that I don't think you can throw a stone and not come in contact with someone who knows someone or has problems with substance abuse.”
“You can't rest on your laurels. Because if you go in there and stink up the room, they go, 'They gave that one an Oscar?'”
Things You May Not Know About Octavia Spencer
In April 2009, Octavia Spencer was named one of the '25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood' by Entertainment Weekly.
She is one of 11 actresses to win the Critic's Choice Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Oscar in the same year, winning for The Help. The others to achieve this are Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich, Renée Zellweger for Cold Mountain, Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line, Helen Mirren for The Queen, Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls, Kate Winslet for The Reader, Mo'Nique for Precious, Natalie Portman for Black Swan, Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Patricia Arquette for Boyhood and Julianne Moore for Still Alice.
Spencer is one of 7 African-American actresses to win the Oscar in a competitive category. The others in chronological order are Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind, Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost, Halle Berry for Monster's Ball, Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls, Mo'Nique for Precious and Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years a Slave.
Between 1996 and 2013, Spencer has played a nurse at least 16 different times, including in movies such as A Time to Kill and Seven Pounds, as a regular on the TV show "City of Angels," and in guest spots on shows like "Chicago Hope," "The X-Files," and "Roswell.".