The Who2 Blog

New Profile: Octavia Spencer

The Oscars will be awarded on the 26th of February this year. One actress who’s been mentioned as a possible nominee is Octavia Spencer of The Help.

She plays maid Minny Jackson, the outspoken friend of Aibeleen (played by Viola Davis) and the one who makes the infamous chocolate pie.

Octavia Spencer is one of those overnight sensations who has, in fact, been around for fifteen years. You may have seen her holding an elevator door open for John Cusack in Being John Malkovich. Or maybe you saw her working in a bank in Sam Raimi‘s Drag Me To Hell. Maybe you saw her playing a nurse in the TV show Chicago Hope, or as a nurse in X-Files, or as a nurse in Roswell, or as a nurse in Just Shoot Me!

All those years, Octavia Spencer was friends with Tate Taylor, who wrote and directed the movie The Help. Tate Taylor was also friends with Kathryn Stockett, who wrote the novel The Help.

Tate introduced Octavia to Kathryn, and Kathryn ended up using some of Octavia’s personal traits as a model for the character Minny Jackson in the novel. You may remember that Stockett was in the news last year, in a not-very-good way, when she was named in a lawsuit by a woman claiming to be the model for Aibeleen.

The Stockett-Spencer connection has a happier story. That’s because Spencer ended up getting the role in the movie (despite not being a “name”), and because Spencer really hit one out of the park, nearly stealing the show as Minny Jackson.

And that show has young star Emma Stone, reliable pro Allison Janney, sturdy Viola Davis and Jessica “Remember Me From the Movie You Saw Last Week?” Chastain.

With the Oscars coming up, we’ll be showcasing possible nominees and eventual nominees here on the blog. To keep up on all the Oscar news in the meantime, visit their official site.

To find out more about Octavia Spencer, read her Who2 biography and follow the links.

Oh, and here’s what Octavia Spencer looks like off screen:

Photo from WENN

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