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Octavia Spencer Says She Beat Out Queen Latifah, Mo'Nique, Jennifer Hudson For Role In "The Help"

by Tambay A. Obenson
December 6, 2011 2:20 PM
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In the below interview, Anderson Cooper chats with Octavia Spencer, co-star of this summers hit The Help, as she and Viola Davis have been thrust once again into the spotlight, campaigning for trophies next year.

Of note is the assertion from Cooper that "a lot of big name people who were out there and being considered" for the role that would eventually go to Spencer, the sassy Minny Jackson.

That immediately got me thinking... "a lot of big name people?" Really, who else would've been considered for the role, that we can safely classify as a "big name?"

Spencer responds to Cooper's question about how she fought off the competition to get the part, by mentioning Queen Latifah, Mo'Nique and Jennifer Hudson as competitors. It's not entirely clear, from this interview anyway, if those 3 actresses were even interested; I'm just making the logical conclusion based on the conversation had in the video clip below.

But I believe this is the very first time I'm hearing those 3 names in relation to the film's cast. Watch:

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  • LEONRAYMOND MITCHELL | December 7, 2011 12:58 AMReply

    Here we go again, this is why I HAVE BIG PROBLEMS WITH BLACK FOLK AND THEY JUST MAKE ME SCREAM, why would you even state that, that is something for others to state not you, pure Ghetto, pure ignorant , God I can't stand it , do we even have a shred of something called grace. I get so angry I want to throw a chair out the glass window ! That's why i don't want to work in the Black industry, cast Black actors or even deal with the subject matter cause I would have deal with them on any level , what happen to our beautiful grace and self respect and royalness !

  • Akimbo | December 7, 2011 11:12 AM

    That is such an extreme reaction. Did you even watch the video? All she did was say those other actresses were "out there," as in they were much more likely choices for the role and probably were on casting's master list of people to reach out to. I seriously doubt that this is why you don't want to work in the "Black industry."

  • Lvflg | December 6, 2011 5:35 PMReply

    I agree with DJ

  • toexplain | December 6, 2011 3:36 PMReply

    Even it were true (which it is not) it is poor form to mention such things. Not a good move looking for academy votes. Check any interview with the book author and the writer/director of the film. They've both known Octavia for years.

  • Cordell | December 6, 2011 2:57 PMReply

    Interesting that she beat out two Oscar winners and one Oscar nominee. I'm glad that she got the role and is getting the shine that she deserves. Out of the three names mentioned I could see Latifah really shining in this role.

  • DJ | December 6, 2011 5:30 PM

    It shows that casting -- i.e., keenly cast films -- have little to do with some sort of objective "Oscar wins" criteria or "name buzz" recognition (at least, ideally), and more to do with this: is this actor right for THIS role?

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