Octavia Spencer

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Octavia Spencer at the Hidden Figures premiere (2016)

Octavia Lenora Spencer (May 25, 1970) is an American actress. She is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Critics' Choice Awards and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. She is one of two women of color to have received three Oscar nominations and the first black actress to receive two consecutive nominations.


  • What I learn from them is to continue to enjoy the process and have that free spirit about approaching the work and to not be so rigid.
    • [1] Octavia shares what it feel like to work with young actors in 2014.
  • African-American women were living at the time where segregation was the letter of the law, They were basically treated as second-class citizens, but they weren’t complaining. They knew that they had more to offer, and they basically rolled up their sleeves and they did the work to be a part of something greater than themselves.
    • [2] Octavia speak on the ordeals of the African-American women in 2016.
  • With time comes experience and you learn that if you don’t break out of those boxes yourself, no one else will allow you to.
    • [3] Octavia speak on experience in 2018.
  • I’m at my happiest when I’m out in nature. When the sun is shining and birds are nearby and I’m sleeping and can appreciate the things around me.
    • [4] Octavia speak on when she is happy in 2020.
  • I think a lot of people lose the advantage in the negotiating process if they are not willing to walk away. And I'm always willing to walk away.
    • [5] Octavia speak on more money for roles in 2020.
  • When you’re in your regular private life, it’s just so strange to be known. I think also with the advent of the internet, people no longer have the luxury of introducing themselves. And so, there’s always a perception about people.
    • [6] Octavia speak on private life in 2020.
  • I see producers as the people who fit all the pieces together. I always felt that if I relied on other people to get me work, then I’d be out of work rather quickly, because, like you said, people only see you in these archetypal roles. By producing, I get to hold the reins a bit tighter while providing opportunities for other marginalized storytellers.
    • [7] Octavia in a conversation with Riz Ahmed in 2020.
  • I actually am not the best in front of an audience. I have severe stage fright. So I had to confront that. And in public speaking, I always get extremely nervous before any speech that I have to do, and that has not dissipated at all. And so I had to embrace the fact that I will likely always have stage fright.
    • [8] Octavia talk about stage fright in 2020.
  • 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.
    • [9] Octavia talk about inner beauty in 2020.
  • I came from humble beginnings and I lead a very modest life. I have a perceived glamorous job that takes me all over the world and I get to dress up every now and again with diamonds and all that glittery stuff but at the end of the day, I’m still a little girl from Alabama and my roots are deep and I don’t need help staying grounded.
    • [10] Octavia speak on her roots in 2020.
  • I think it gives me a stronger connection and a better short-hand when working with people whose practice I respect. I used to come in on days that I wasn’t scheduled, just so I could watch the other actors.
    • [11] Octavia speak on acting in 2020.
  • I should be married and have 19 kids, And now I’m thinking my eggs are dying on the shelf. They’re going to go past their expiration date. But it’s what I chose, so I’m fine with that decision.
    • [12] Octavia speak on not having kids in 2020.
  • My dream role is that of a producer – a woman behind the scenes – who creates roles for diversity in films. I want to help create an industry that demonstrates what our society is as a whole.
    • [13] Octavia speak on dream role in 2020.
  • 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.
    • [14] Octavia motivate black women in 2020.
  • I used to hate reading out loud as a kid because of my dyslexia, so my books are a message to kids. It doesn’t matter what your situation is in life – your path is what you choose it to be.
    • [15] Octavia speak on why she wrote books in 2020.

Quotes about Octavia Spencer[edit]

  • She had expressed to me she was frustrated, she’s grateful for her career but she was being offered the same thing and never the lead.
    • [16] Director and Scriptwriter Taylor express his thoughts about Octavia in 2019.

External links[edit]

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