Octavia Spencer On “Fruitvale Station” Role: “I Thought The Only Thing I Could Offer Was Anger”

July 20, 2013  |  


Just call Octavia Spencer the “Scene Stealer.”

The Oscar winning actress plays Oscar Grant’s mother in Fruitvale Station, which opens nationwide on July 26th (its been opening in select theaters since last weekend) and while she isn’t in almost every scene (like the film’s star Michael B. Jordan), Spencer makes the most of every moment. Ironically enough, she was hesitant about joining the cast, according to Black Voices:

“In seeing the video, I said the only thing that I could offer this role is anger. And I think this situation requires much more than that because it already has a potential to be explosive.”

But after reading the script, which was written by newcomer Ryan Coogler, she knew she had to be part of it:

“It restored Oscar’s humanity in a way that the trial, and all of the recriminations around it, had basically taken from him. So I wanted to be a part of it for my nephews … all the young men of color whose lives sometimes feel more expendable in a way. … They’re so many reasons.”

Coogler says Spencer was a fairy godmother, of sorts, and when the film hit some unexpected financial troubles, she immediately reached out to some of her Hollywood connects for some help.

Spencer met Grant’s mom prior to filming Fruitvale Station and said she just wanted to give the role some justice:

“I told her I wasn’t going to try and mimic her, I just wanted to represent her as a real woman, as a mom, who has basically suffered this tremendous loss, and she was amazing. She was guarded at first, but she should be.”

It’s looking like Octavia Spencer will need to hit up her favorite designer, Tadashi Shoji, for her next Oscars dress – she might be on stage accepting yet another award.

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