Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Meet the 3 Leads for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie (John Boyega Is One of Them) + Watch New Teaser Meet the 3 Leads for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie (John Boyega Is One of Them) + Watch New Teaser Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) TV One Shores Up 2015-2016 Slate with 8 New Series, 16 Original Movies + New Production Partnerships TV One Shores Up 2015-2016 Slate with 8 New Series, 16 Original Movies + New Production Partnerships 'Walking Dead' Creator Says Rick and Morgan's Reunion Will Be "The Spine" of Season 6 'Walking Dead' Creator Says Rick and Morgan's Reunion Will Be "The Spine" of Season 6 Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu' Quietly Grosses Over $1 Million in USA Box Office - Rare for an African Film Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu' Quietly Grosses Over $1 Million in USA Box Office - Rare for an African Film Rumorville: Ernie Hudson Circling T'Chaka Role in Marvel's 'Black Panther' Movie Rumorville: Ernie Hudson Circling T'Chaka Role in Marvel's 'Black Panther' Movie Watch Cuba Gooding Jr. Wield a Gun and Snort Coke in his Underwear in Clip from 'Big Time in Hollywood, FL' Watch Cuba Gooding Jr. Wield a Gun and Snort Coke in his Underwear in Clip from 'Big Time in Hollywood, FL' People in Chicago Are Not Happy with Spike Lee’s 'Chiraq' People in Chicago Are Not Happy with Spike Lee’s 'Chiraq' Check Out the First Trailer for HBO's New Dramedy Series 'Ballers' Starring Dwayne Johnson Check Out the First Trailer for HBO's New Dramedy Series 'Ballers' Starring Dwayne Johnson The Cast for Nate Parker's Nat Turner Project Is Set, with a May Shoot Scheduled. Let's Go! The Cast for Nate Parker's Nat Turner Project Is Set, with a May Shoot Scheduled. Let's Go! First Black James Bond Villain Says "Political Correctness Be Damned. 007 Should NOT Be Black" First Black James Bond Villain Says "Political Correctness Be Damned. 007 Should NOT Be Black" 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper,' on Serial Killer Who Murdered Black Women for 25 Years, Debuts April 27 on HBO 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper,' on Serial Killer Who Murdered Black Women for 25 Years, Debuts April 27 on HBO Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Octavia Spencer Is Done With The "Bad Parts;" Looks Ahead To Playing Diverse Roles (But Is Hollywood Calling?)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 18, 2012 at 3:53PM

Of the actresses receiving the most attention for The Help, I'd say that Octavia Spencer is maybe the one actress whose career has gotten the most significant jolt. 
25
octavia spencer

Of the actresses receiving the most attention for The Help, I'd say that Octavia Spencer is maybe the one actress whose career has gotten the most significant jolt. 

Viola Davis was already a name many were familiar with - certainly much more than we all were of Spencer - and even though her immediate future suddenly seems brighter, prior to The Help, Viola was much closer than Octavia has ever been to what I'd call *celebrity.* We now know the name and face very well; and she even won one of the industry's top honors (the Golden Globe) while her co-star, the higher-profiled actress, lost to her main competition.

We'll see what happens when the Oscar nominees are announced soon.

But Octavia has gained the most I'd say, and whether all this newfound fame translates to career longevity, or more specifically, roles for her to choose from, well, we'll see.

Although she certainly doesn't seem to think so, telling the LA Times in THIS profile posted earlier today that, "The studios are still not going to beat down my door unless it's a small part in a big comedy, and I've done those."  

The piece goes further to state that all the acclaim and attention she's recieved for her performance in The Help "hadn't changed her career much."

Not that we haven't seen this before; in comparison... most recently... it's been almost 5 years since Jennifer Hudson won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls; and for her next project she'll be playing a peripheral role as a singing nun in the horrible-looking big screen adaptation of The Three Stooges. She hasn't done much between the former and the latter film.

I wonder if it's a case of her NOT being offered work, or if she's just not making the effort, consumed with other things like family, weight loss book, singing, etc.

Regardless, the jury is apparently still out on Octavia Spencer; last fall, she booked a starring role in Diablo Cody's untitled directorial debut; and looking over her IMDB page, I'd say that's the highest profile project on the horizon for her.

Other than that, she has a supporting role in a Sundance 2012 feature titled Smashed, and roles in 2 indie features said to be in post-production; she's really the highest profile name in all of them, thanks to the exposure she's received from The Help, which may actually help those 3 films when they're released into the marketplace.

The title of the LA Times piece is "I'm Done With The Bad Parts," as a quote from Octavia, suggesting that she's ready to diversify her acting portfolio with roles that are varied and very different from those she's been essentially typecast in until now.

It ends like this:

Indeed, at 39, Spencer has spent too much time in split-second appearances as "troubled woman" and "bank co-worker" in mainstream Hollywood movies. Part of that is a function of the dearth of leading roles for black women; part of it a function of her choosiness.

"If you build it, they will come, and that's what I'm doing, one brick at a time," she said on the "Smashed" set. "That's what this movie is. I get to play somewhat different than who I usually am."

Smashed wasn't a film on my "to-see" list at Sundance, but now that I'm aware of it, and that she's in it, I'll make an effort to see it.

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm...


Shadow & ActNewsletter