31 Jul 2020
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Octavia Spencer is stepping up for disabled actors.

The 50-year-old star is urging Hollywood producers to cast more disabled actors to establish a more realistic cross-section of Americans in TV and movies.

During a video campaign for a private philanthropic foundation advocating for disabled inclusion, the “Ma” star recalled the first time she saw herself represented on screen.

“Women weren’t allowed to perform in theaters until 1660. All characters, whether male or female, were portrayed by men before then,” said Spencer, according to USA Today. “It has only been a few decades since white actors would portray Black, Asian and even Native American characters on screen.”

Spencer noted that not only do minorities feel marginalized by whites chronicling their tales but are forced to witness inaccurate character portrayals.

“But nothing can replace lived experience and authentic representation. That’s why it’s imperative that we cast the appropriate actor for the appropriate role, and that means people with disabilities, as well,” said the three-time Oscar nominee. “Casting able-bodied actors in roles for characters with disabilities is offensive, unjust and deprives an entire community of people from opportunities.”

According to a press release, the foundation garnered a slew of star support with a 2019 open letter, which called on network and studio execs to create more opportunities for disabled actors.

The letter was signed by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Glenn Close, Joaquin Phoenix, George Clooney and Bryan Cranston.

Spencer, who is tied with Viola Davis for most acting nominations among African-American actresses, won in 2012 for her performance in “The Help.” She was nominated five years later for “Hidden Figures” and the following year for “The Shape of Water.”


02 Aug 2019
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Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer sits down with TODAY’s Al Roker to dive into her latest role in “Luce,” where she plays a teacher disturbed by a student’s violent writing assignment and goes to extremes to confirm her suspicions.

20 Jun 2019
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CONGRATULATIONS to Octavia on the announcement that she is going to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

A new group of entertainment professionals in the categories of Motion Pictures, Television, Live Theatre/Live Performance, Recording and Radio have been selected to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the full list was announced today, June 20, 2019 at 12:30 P.M. by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Walk of Fame Selection Committee. The newest honorees were chosen from hundreds of nominations at a selection committee meeting held in June and will be ratified by the Hollywood Chamber’s Board of Directors. Walk of Famer/actress/singer Vanessa Williams, a committee member for the 2019-2020 Selection Committee, announced the new honorees with Rana Ghadban, President & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

The selections were revealed to the world via live stream exclusively by VARIETY on www.walkoffame.com. The stream begins at 12:30 P.M. PDT.

“The Walk of Fame Selection Committee is pleased to announce our newest honorees to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This year’s choices were particularly unique. We were able to recognize the talents of thirty-five artists who have already built a legacy here in Hollywood,” remarked Selection Committee Chair and Walk of Famer Vin Di Bona. “Also, we were able to celebrate many new talented artists who’ve touched our hearts in film, television, radio and a variety of musical categories” he added.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2020 are:

In the category of MOTION PICTURES: Mahershala Ali, Batman, Ruth E. Carter, Laurence Fishburne, Chris Hemsworth, Spike Lee, Julia Roberts, Octavia Spencer and Lina Wertmüller

In the category of TELEVISION: Christina Applegate, Andy Cohen, Cindy Crawford, Terry Crews, Harry Friedman, Kathie Lee Gifford, Nigel Lythgoe, Milo Ventimiglia, Burt Ward, Wendy Williams, Dr. Phil McGraw and Andy Kaufman (Posthumous)

In the category of RECORDING: Elvis Costello, Sir Lucian Grainge, Billy Idol, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Alicia Keys, Andy Madadian, Mo Ostin, Bobby Rydell, Alejandro Sanz, Tanya Tucker and Muddy Waters (Posthumous)

In the category of LIVE THEATRE/LIVE PERFORMANCE: Dave Chappelle and Billy Porter

In the category of RADIO: Susan Stamberg

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and its Walk of Fame Selection Committee congratulate all the honorees. Dates have not been scheduled for these star ceremonies. Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection. Upcoming star ceremonies are announced ten days prior to dedication on www.walkoffame.com.

06 Jun 2019
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The title of this article made me laugh! Here is Vanity Fair’s review of Ma.

Tate Taylor’s new Blumhouse vehicle is a lesson in why genre movies need style.

There’s a good movie trapped somewhere in Tate Taylor’s Ma. That’s the frustrating part. The film, which opened Friday, stars Octavia Spencer as Sue Ann, a maternal veterinary assistant in a small town whose life takes a turn when a group of underage teenagers ask her to buy them alcohol. One liquor-store run becomes another, and soon the teens are guests at a series of strange, all-night hangouts in Sue Ann’s basement. Soon thereafter things escalate into violence, generational secrets, and outright horror. There’s stalking, manic video messaging, drugging, a fake cancer scare, murder, a fiery climax —the kind of nonsense a good piece of genre trash needs.

Yet Ma never really lives up to its trashy potential, in part because its attention is overly drawn to the less absorbing nooks of its story—and in part because it tiptoes alongside the true dangers at its center, preferring instead to add more backstory, more psychological padding for it to under-explore.

The movie did well at the box office over the weekend, regardless, raking in $21.1 million in global markets, behind heavy hitters like Aladdin and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Its main story is solid: the teens, played by charismatic young actors Dante Brown, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo, McKaley Miller, and Booksmart’s Diana Silvers, bond over being lured and stalked by this increasingly unstable woman, all while hammering out their own burgeoning romances and social anxieties. For much of its run time, Ma seems like it will be a movie about an embittered woman’s misguided attempts to wreak havoc on the lives of a group of random high schoolers.

In truth—without completely spoiling it—Ma is a movie about an embittered woman’s attempts at wreaking havoc on the lives of people her own age: the teenagers’ parents. For my money the adult drama is actually the most satisfying thread here: not the story of the secret housemate living upstairs, or the other story of the secret encounter in a school closet, but rather the insightfully morbid look at a group of adult flameouts (played, alongside Spencer, by the likes of Juliette Lewis and Luke Evans)—who either graduated from high school, left town, tried to make something of themselves, and came back with their tails between their legs; or never left in the first place, playing out their middling adulthoods on the same streets and backroads that defined their upbeat teenage years.

It’s no wonder these adults never get past what happened when they were kids. Ma is to a great degree a movie about the adolescent traumas that never leave us, festering so far into the future that our own offspring are still unknowingly fighting our battles, Hatfield and McCoy-style—or Hatfield and McCoy versus Sue Ann.

That’s the petty drama that makes Ma as entertaining as it is—well, that and Spencer herself, of course. She won an Academy Award for best supporting actress the last time she collaborated with Tate Taylor, for her role as a headstrong maid in his 2011 film, The Help. It’s thanks to Spencer and her younger costars that Ma feels almost critic-proof, the kind of movie that’ll be watchable no matter how few chances it takes to really go there.

Continue Reading

31 May 2019
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Check out the new trailer for Octavia’s film Onward from Pixar!

A teaser trailer promises a world in which dragons are pets and unicorns are dumpster monsters.

All the fairy tale stuff you’ve been told about—centaurs, mermaids, unicorns, dragons? They’re all present and accounted for in Pixar’s newest upcoming film Onward, a suburban tale about a world in which all those mythical creatures live together in a chill suburb. In a new teaser trailer, the film promises a universe in which mermaids casually live next door, dragons are basically domesticated pets, and unicorns are raccoon-like dumpster creatures, feasting on your trash if you leave it in your front yard without the lid on.

The story revolves around two elvish brothers, Ian and Barley (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt). Ian is the good-natured, responsible type, while Barley is more rebellious, a rock music-cranking, reckless-driving rebel. Together, they embark on some sort of quest to find the last scraps of magic left in the world.

Onward, written and directed by Dan Scanlon (Monsters University) also stars Octavia Spencer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, though it’s not clear what roles they’re playing just yet. In a brief interview with People, Scanlon shed a bit more light on Holland and Pratt’s characters.

“We were looking for someone who could have this shy quality and someone who is good at being a little awkward. And Tom is great at that!” he said of the current Spider-Man actor. “And yet has a genuine sweetness to him that you really root for him.”

For Pratt’s character, meanwhile, Pixar was looking for “someone who was the exact opposite of that. Someone who could be wild and chaotic and out of control, but in a very charming and infectious way. And Chris Pratt is perfect for that. He has this ability to be both sort of wild and out of control but in a really lovable, fun, infectious way.” And, what do you know: after being in the Marvel family together for quite some time, Holland and Pratt already have a built-in brotherly chemistry. Onward hits theaters on March 6, 2020.


31 May 2019
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Octavia made a guest appearance on the Today show this week!

The actress reflects on her roles in “The Help,” “Hidden Figures” and “A Kid Like Jake” on TODAY.

28 May 2019
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InStyle did a feature on Octavia for their June issue. I have added scans to the gallery.

Gallery Links:
Octavia Spencer Online > PUBLICATIONS > 2019 > June | InStyle

25 May 2019
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We would like to wish Octavia the best birthday and hope she spends it with her loved ones and is spoiled on her special day!

21 May 2019
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E!Online spoke with Octavia on the red carpet of the screening for her film Ma about her preparation for the role.

21 May 2019
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Some new images from the Ma Press Conference.

Gallery Links:
Octavia Spencer Online > 2019 > May 17 | Ma Press Conference In West Hollywood

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