She’s too easy

In Communication, Griot, Movies, Networking, News, Self Improvement on July 31, 2013 at 9:52 am

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So easily she has yielded us comedy and dramedy –  alas Octavia Spencer gets serious with us in her matriarch role as Oscar Grant’s mother.

I first became a hard core fan of Octavia Spencer when I saw her work in Half Way Home (Comedy Central series – 2007). Her serious facial expressions juxtaposed perfectly with the comedic situations that her character Serenity Jones faced on a daily being in a Half Way Home with other half way people.  Good stuff.  Though when I saw her in The Help and then recently in Fruitvale Station I experienced in reel time Octavia’s flexible acting range. She’s too easy. I just know her former directors have used those very words  [She’s too easy]  as Ms. Spencer shifts from role to role, seamlessly and naturally. Wether to make us laugh or to weep for the present and past — she does it easy.

“The Oscar winner says no more maid roles and goes indie,” reports Ebony Magazine in an recent interview with Ms. Spencer. Adrienne Samuels Gibbs divvies the goods:

Every year it seems, an Academy Award winner signs on to a little-known project that inevitably winds up rocking the movie world. This year’s independent film-turned-industry darling is the quietly powerful-yet-tragic Fruitvale Station, the true story of Oscar Grant, a young Black man killed by a transit cop on New Year’s Day at a San Francisco BART station.

Octavia Spencer signed on to the project (to portray Grant’s mother) because she was hooked once she read the script. “I didn’t read it [at first], I just looked at an attachment showing [footage] of what people had on their cell phones of Oscar being shot,” says Spencer, who took the Academy by storm in 2011’s The Help. “I told my agent, ‘I don’t know that I could play this part. All I could offer is anger.’ Then he said, ‘Read the script.'”

And the rest is history now that Fruitvale Station is in theaters and has snagged both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this years Sundance Film Festival. Oscar is portrayed by Michael B. Jordan (Red Tails and Friday Night LIghts) and Kevin Durand (Robin Hood and 3:10 to Yuma) stands in as an extremely convincing cop. It’s the kind of moive that will tick you off, make you cry and then make you want to leave the theater and do something–anything–to improve race relations.

Octavia SAYS

“I found out Ryan Coolger [the writer and director] was a young African-American man,” says Spencer. “He didn’t come from a place of anger. It really touched me. If this in any way starts the discussion that needs to happen, then great. If it saves a young man’s life or starts a discourse on how we treat on another, then that’s great.”

Despite the film’s independent nature, it was an easy role to take in a Hollywood woefully devoid of fully realized roles that could feature Black women. Like other actors of color, Spencer laments the lack of complicated characters and the assumption, despite her Oscar win, that she’ll play more maids from here on out.

“I’ve been offered six maid roles since then,” she says, referring to her role as Minnie in The Help . “Let me tell you, if it’s not a better [role] than the one that made me an Oscar winner, don’t bring it to me.”

[Ref. source: Ebony Magazine – August 2013]

I’m going to have to ‘AMEN’ Octavia on that last note. It’s definitely good to be paid,
and there’s no reason to bring back in season,  black women being casted as maids.

Keep the past in the shade and let us move on to be script range winners.
Kerry Washington didn’t score her SCANDAL adore – because of a history of playing the beginner.

I applaud Ms. Octavia Spencer for being bold in the demand of her relation,
I’m Qui
Bidding a wiser Hump Day to thee – go out and see Fruitvale Station.

  1. Wasn’t it me that introduced you to the series, HALF WAY HOME? I knew you’d like it. Now look what Octavia Spencer has taken to her career. It’s a long way from the halfway house, huh? LOL! 🙂

    Good share of information. Keep it up Qui.

  2. Octavia was a hoot as Minnie in THE HELP. Vengeance should not have been hers, but I must say it was ‘well served.’ And why would Hollywood think that her pinnacle role would be that of a maid? Will Zoe Saldana only be offered scripts to play dark skinned women from now on, since portraying Nina Simone? Come on casting directors! Get it together!

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