11 Nov 2020
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November 11, 2020 Ali  •  Leave a Comment

Loved this article talking about the strength of the performances that Octavia gives.

You know who’s a real gem of an actress? Octavia Spencer. It might be unfair to say this, but if acting was basketball, then Octavia Spencer would probably be the industry’s MVP when it comes to assists. That’s because when you typically think of Octavia Spencer movies, you probably think about how she’s often the most shining performance in a supporting role. That’s not to say that she doesn’t take on lead roles, as she had an important one just recently in HBO Max’s The Witches. That said, most of her most memorable performances are usually of her giving a helping hand.

But support is so, so important, and it can make or break a story. That’s likely why Ms. Spencer won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for The Help, and was also nominated two other times for Hidden Figures and The Shape of Water. But if there is any one truth about Octavia Spencer, it’s that she’s an impeccable actress and we’re lucky to have her. Now on with the list.

10. Zootopia (Mrs. Otterton)
Voice acting is no easy feat, especially when you’re playing the diminutive Mrs. Otterton in Disney’s hit movie, Zootopia. Emotions run high in this film, and Octavia Spencer’s performance as a woman looking for her missing husband is a shining moment in a movie just brimming with shining moments. It’s such a little role, but Octavia Spencer manages to get us all emotionally invested in the search for her husband, and we’re rooting for Lt. Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde to find him.

But what really makes this performance special is just how well Octavia Spencer’s voice disappears into the character. Sure, if you know it’s her, then you’ll hear her. But if you don’t know it’s her, then you’ll just get fully invested in this character’s plight and sadness and will most likely say, “That was Octavia Spencer?” once you read the closing credits. She’s just too good. Even as an otter.

9. Snowpiercer (Tanya)
With such massive and memorable performances by Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, and Chris Evans, it’s often easy to forget that Octavia Spencer is even in Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer. But once you watch it again, you’ll remember her since she plays such an important but subtle role as Tanya, a mother who is determined to get her son back from authoritarian forces. She has a voice and she uses it to motivate people, much to great effect.

And while I won’t spoil the movie for you in case you haven’t seen it yet (and if you haven’t, it’s currently on Netflix) what ultimately happens to her will make you pound the armrest of your seat once you get invested in her character. Which is why Snowpiercer is a good movie on your first watch, but a great movie on your second or third viewings. And Octavia Spencer is just one of the reasons why. She’s acting her butt off without you really even noticing it. Because that’s just how great she is.

8. Onward (The Manticore)
I love Onward. In fact, it’s actually my new favorite Pixar movie, despite its lackluster performance at the box office. But as much as I love the overall story of two sons trying to bring back their father, what I love just as much is the characters. And Octavia Spencer comes in the blow us all away again as the once fierce, but now family-friendly, Manticore.

Octavia Spencer is hilarious since she has to withhold the seething, relentless rage that her species is known for, but also keep it all under wraps so that she can run a fantasy-themed restaurant. Of course she can’t hold it all together for too long, nor would we ever want her to.

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27 Oct 2020
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Collider talks to Octavia about her new role in The Witches and what animal she is not a fan of!

With Robert Zemeckis’ The Witches now available to watch on HBO Max, we got the chance to catch up with Octavia Spencer to discuss her experience making the film. Spencer plays the grandmother of a young boy (Jahzir Bruno) who loses his parents. Soon after taking him in, they venture off to a hotel where, unbeknownst to them, the Grand High Witch (Anne Hathaway) is hosting an event to show off her new scheme to her underlings, a plot to transform children into mice.

In addition to discussing her experience making the movie, Spencer also took a moment to address the inspiration behind the continued work she’s doing with her alma mater, Auburn University, and if she’d rather work with a real animal or CG creature. Check it all out in this interview!

24 Oct 2020
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Octavia did a recent appearance for Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Octavia talks about her interest in politics, sneaking into Ted Kennedy’s office, getting back to work, celebrating her 50th birthday in quarantine, surprises from her celebrity friends, working on her new movie Roald Dahl’s The Witches, and loving Chris Evans as Captain America.

14 Oct 2020
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The Witches debuts on HBO Max on Oct. 22

Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer are experts at spotting a witch.

In a PEOPLE exclusive look at the new featurette for their upcoming adventure comedy The Witches, the two actresses along with Stanley Tucci and Jahzir Bruno give their tips and tricks on how to identifying a witch before they can execute their evil plot to kill all children.

“Here’s the thing you need to know about witches: They’re here, they’re real and they live amongst us,” Hathaway, 37, says in the clip. “They have elongated mouths that stretch to their ears.”

In the movie based on Roald Dahl’s classic 1983 book of the same name, Hathaway plays the Grand High Witch, the feared and diabolical leader of the world’s witches, who concocts a plan to get rid of the world’s children in one fell swoop.

“Witches wear long gloves up to their elbows, they don’t have hands they have claws,” Spencer, 50, says. “And they all wear wigs, and when they take the wigs off they’re bald.”

The Witches, which will skip theaters and head straight to HBO Max later this month, follows a young boy (Bruno, with an adult narration from Chris Rock) who stumbles upon a secret group of witches and, with the help of his loving grandmother (Spencer), tries to stop their evil plan to turn all the world’s children into mice.

When the town’s hotel manager, played by 59-year-old Tucci, unwittingly hosts a group of spooky-yet-glamorous witches for a convention, the young boy and his sweet but persistent grandma have to stop them before their conniving scheme to get rid of all children can go any further.

Hathaway recently told PEOPLE that playing an evil witch in the Robert Zemeckis-directed film required a lot of prep work.

“The Grand High Witch was a total collaboration between costumes, hair and make-up, the writers, my dialect coach, the effects department, stunts, [director] Bob Zemeckis and myself,” she said. “She is such a weirdo – so silly and over the top – and everyone had to work together to be on the same page so it felt big and entertaining but never too much.”

The Witches debuts on HBO Max on Oct. 22.

(What the featurette here!)

03 Oct 2020
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October 3, 2020 Ali  •  Leave a Comment

Witches are real, and they are everywhere! Watch the official trailer for #TheWitchesHBOMax streaming exclusively on HBOMax in the US on October 22!

14 Aug 2020
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Octavia recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on her Emmy nominated performance in Self Made.

The Oscar winner and first-time Emmy nominee reflects on the lessons learned from her Netflix limited series ‘Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker’ and navigating Hollywood as a Black woman: “I can guaran-damn-tee you that my agent always made sure I got a raise.”

Octavia Spencer grew up with the legacy of Madam C.J. Walker, a businesswoman and philanthropist who built an empire selling cosmetics and grooming products to Black women. Walker became known as America’s first self-made female millionaire — hence the title of the Netflix series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, for which Spencer earned her career-first Emmy nomination for lead actress in a limited series.

But it wasn’t Walker’s wealth that inspired Spencer, who also served as an executive producer on the four-episode series. “The fact that this woman, who was born the first free person in her home post-slavery, was able to achieve so much when the world told her that she had no value — that’s what my mother used as the example,” Spencer tells THR. “Your station in life does not dictate your path or your destiny.”

What’s the one thing you learned from playing Madam C.J. Walker that will stick with you in the future?

It’s not that I learned this, because it has always been a part of who I am, but the idea that we can do so much as a community — helping each other, aiding each other, advocating for each other. That’s what she did for Black women; she [worked] for Black women to have agency in their own lives and to help provide for their families. It made me recommit to continuing to be a force in the community, whether it’s my female community, Black community, actor community — just try to be the most contributing person that I can to society.

Self Made suggests that part of Madam C.J. Walker’s legacy was providing Black women grooming and beauty products to help them appear more respectable and rise up in the world. How do you reconcile that legacy with the idea that women, in this case Black women in particular, ought to be respected and valued for more than how they look?

For me, her legacy was about people having ownership and value in who they were. If white women, and other women of different nationalities, had beauty products that empowered them, why shouldn’t Black women? Especially at the end of slavery, when they were treated like animals. It’s about being visible, and for a lot of women, how you look is directly tied to how you feel and how you present yourself. So if you don’t have the means to have your hair be beautiful to you, and then beautiful to other people, how will you gain your place in society? How will you feel emboldened to take the steps that Madam did to become successful? For me, it’s about embracing our inner beauty and having it seen outwardly. The root of it is not about being valued for looks; it is about empowerment and Black women owning who they were and their own place in history.

You’ve said that your willingness to walk away from negotiations has been key to getting paid what you believe you deserve.

Oh, I haven’t gotten paid what I feel I deserve. Not yet. But I always get a raise. Every single job, I get a raise. I don’t think any woman has really gotten what she deserves. But when I ask for something and they don’t meet it, I’m always willing to walk away.

What would you say to women, and perhaps Black women especially, who may not feel that they’re in a position to turn down professional opportunities?

I haven’t always been in this position; there were times when I had to take what was being offered. But I can guaran-damn-tee you that my agent always made sure I got a raise. Always advance your position. Always. Sometimes it means, “Hey, I’m sorry, if I’m not getting what I need, then I’m going to have to move on to a place that does value me.” When you are starting out, show how hard you work. There’s always room for advancement. Educate yourself on what everybody else in the market is getting, and then you ask for what you deserve. You’re not always going to get it, but you also have to be willing to walk away at some point.

What are your hopes for the current reckoning with anti-Black racism? What part can Hollywood play?

It began before us — it’s about equal protection under the law and to be seen as human beings. That’s the struggle. I think entertainment should be an example. There is value in telling stories that we haven’t heard, from marginalized and underserved communities. I think Hollywood has for too long regurgitated things, and now it’s time to tell new and fresh stories. Representation matters. When you see a representation of yourself onscreen, it’s not just for you, it’s for the world at large, so that you can be visible. It’s important to be seen and heard.

Interview edited for length and clarity. This story first appeared in an August stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

05 Aug 2020
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August 5, 2020 Ali  •  Leave a Comment

I have added some images to the gallery from Octavia’s Emmy nominated series Self Made. She was absolutely wonderful in this role and it is such a compelling story!


Gallery Links:
Octavia Spencer Online > Television Series > Self Made: Inspired By The Life Of Madam C.J. Walker | 2020 > Season One

31 Jul 2020
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Congratulations Octavia for her Emmy nomination for her role as Madam C.J. Walker in Self Made.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie
Cate Blanchett (“Mrs. America”)
Shira Haas (“Unorthodox”)
Regina King (“Watchmen”)
Octavia Spencer (“Self Made”)
Kerry Washington (“Little Fires Everywhere”)

31 Jul 2020
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Deadline shares the exciting news that Octavia has joined the case of the film Invasion.

EXCLUSIVE: Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer have been cast in Invasion, a sci-fi thriller pic from BAFTA-winning UK filmmaker Michael Pearce (Beast).

I can also reveal that Amazon Studios has taken worldwide rights to the project and will produce alongside American Animals outfit Raw and UK funder Film4, which backed development.

The script is written by Pearce with Joe Barton (The Ritual). It follows two young brothers who go on the run with their father, a decorated Marine (Ahmed), who is trying to protect them from an unhuman threat. As the journey takes them in increasingly dangerous and unexpected directions, the boys will need to confront hard truths and leave their childhood behind. The film is aiming to shoot in the States this year.

Producers are Raw’s Dimitri Doganis (Three Identical Strangers), Piers Vellacott (American Animals) and Derrin Schlesinger (The Nest). Film4’s Daniel Battsek, Ollie Madden and Julia Oh are executive producing. Kate Churchill and Jenny Hinkey will also executive produce.

Pearce’s Beast, which was a breakout film for stars Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn, scored the director an Outstanding Debut BAFTA alongside producer Lauren Dark (now senior commissioner at Film4).

Ahmed is coming off Sound Of Metal, which Amazon will release in the U.S. later this year, and 2020 Berlin premiere Mogul Mowgli. He is an Emmy-winner and Golden Globe nominee for HBO series The Night Of.

Oscar-winning actress Spencer picked up her first Emmy nomination last night for her lead role in Self-Made: Inspired By The Life Of Madam CJ Walker. Next year, she will be seen starring opposite Anne Hathaway in The Witches which is based on the popular Roald Dahl novel of the same name. Additional upcoming credits include Thunder Force for Netflix alongside Melissa McCarthy and the second season of Truth Be Told for Apple.

Spencer is represented by WME and Jackoway Austen Tyerman. Ahmed is at WME, Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman and Gordon and French. Pearce is at WME and Independent.



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