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OTRC: Octavia Spencer, Oscar nominee, talks about being 'unfiltered' (Q&A)

Octavia Spencer appears in a scene from the 2011 film 'The Help.' (Dale Robinette / DreamWorks)

Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer is okay about being dubbed "The Unfiltered One."

The 39-year-old actress is nominated for Actress In a Supporting Role for her role in "The Help." The film depicts star Emma Stone as an aspiring writer and college graduate who was raised partially by a black maid in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi.

She decides to write a book from the perspective of many black domestic workers in the area, including two who are played by Spencer and Viola Davis. Bryce Dallas Howard plays a white, snobbish woman who disrespects "the help," while Chastain plays a white woman who treats them as equals.

The outspoken actress got candid with OnTheRedCarpet.com's George Pennacchio and talked about being dubbed "unfiltered." Spencer had famously penned a Facebook rant about being asked by the press about her weight, saying she is "pretty damn healthy" and said the media is "weight obsessed."

"I think at the end of the day you have to be able to sleep at night," Spencer told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "My thing is...there are just certain things that I can't abide and there are certain things that I probably won't let slide because it means too much too so many people. So maybe 'unfiltered' is a good thing and maybe it's a bad thing but for me right now, it's the only thing I know, so I don't know that I would change that. If you speak the truth you don't have to worry about what you said the last time."

Spencer faces Oscar competition from co-star Jessica Chastain as well as nominees Berenice Bejo of "The Artist," Melissa McCarthy of "Bridesmaids" and Janet McTeer of "Albert Nobbs."

"The Help" was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture - Drama. Spencer took home the award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.

Spencer, an Alabama native, previously starred in films such as "Being John Malkovich" and the 2002 film "Spider-Man." She has also had parts on shows such as "Ugly Betty." She can be seen next in the 2012 movie "Smashed," which also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul.

Check out what else Spencer had to say about "The Help," the Oscars and her family.


Everyone's been asking you about you, you, you, you. I want to know about the people in your life.

OCTAVIA SPENCER: My parents are both deceased but my siblings are very proud. It doesn't get any better because they are the people that you go to throughout this entire journey of pursuing your dream to be an actor. They're the people that you go to for financial support and for emotional support. So, to be able to give a lot of that back is wonderful.

You have been known this award season as 'The Unfiltered One.' Do you like that?

OCTAVIA SPENCER: (Laughs) I like it. We should put that in a can and sell it.

"I think there's something to be said about speaking your mind. I think because maybe with your comedy background, you know how to say it, and even if there's a wink, I feel the truth."

OCTAVIA SPENCER: I think at the end of the day you have to be able to sleep at night and my thing is ... there are just certain things that I can't abide and there are certain things that I probably won't let slide because it means too much too so many people. So maybe 'unfiltered' is a good thing and maybe it's a bad thing but for me right now, it's the only thing I know, so I don't know that I would change that. If you speak the truth you don't have to worry about what you said the last time. (Laughs)

That kind of goes to where 'The Help' is. There are a lot of truths spoken in that film.

OCTAVIA SPENCER: Absolutely. Absolutely. It is one of those things to be so thrilled to be a part of a film that is about something and means so much to so many people.

You step out onto that red carpet on Oscar Sunday and you look down and you see a long line of press and people wanting to scream your name and take your picture. Is that a Cinderella moment for you?

OCTAVIA SPENCER: It is a Cinderella moment but Cinderella started on January 24, with regard to Oscars, but really and truly for me, I think it was the 15th or the 14th, when they announced the Broadcast Film Critics because never would I ever imagined that my name would be called among all of these beautifully brilliant actresses. I'm already living that Cinderella moment and this is just frosting on the cake. I'm going to turn into a pumpkin on February 27 so I'm going to enjoy this moment now.

And you're keeping that glass slipper.

OCTAVIA SPENCER: I'm keeping the glass slipper. I will shoot somebody if they try to take that glass slipper from me.


The awards ceremony is set to air live on ABC on Feb. 26, 2012. Check out the full list of nominations for the 2012 Oscars, which honor outstanding film achievements of 2011. You can also download the official Oscars app.

Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television and special correspondent for its entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).

UPDATE on Sunday, February 26: Octavia Spencer has won the Oscar for Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in "The Help." Check out details here.

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