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Octavia Spencer commits talent, funds to 'Fruitvale Station'

July 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Actress Octavia Spencer doesn't just commit her talent to her latest film, "Fruitvale Station." When the filmmaker ran out of money during the shoot, Octavia jumped in to help with her own money, and she also called around to friends. They raised what they needed, and the result is a powerful fact-based drama.

Octavia Spencer first garnered our attention with her role in the 2011 film, "The Help." The part earned her an Oscar for best supporting actress. She then moved on to "Fruitvale Station," a film that won the top prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

In "Fruitvale Station," Spencer plays the mother of a troubled young man who is murdered by an Oakland transit policeman during a New Year's Eve confrontation. The film is based on a true story.

"It is a real story for the family, so there's a great responsibility to get it right," said Spencer. "It's real for our country sadly right now, so there is a real responsibility to present a fair and balanced depiction of this young man."

The thing I like most about this movie involves Spencer's character because she is never surprised by what her son may or may not do -- the good and the bad.

"She doesn't enable," said Spencer. "That scene at prison was a mother saying, 'I love you unconditionally, but you're going to have to get yourself together,' and that takes a lot of moxie."

Spencer used some moxie of her own to help get this small independent film made -- she's one of the executive producers.

"It doesn't take a big budget for a movie to be impactful, it takes a big story, and this is the biggest story that I have ever been involved in," said Spencer. "If you can be enlightened, entertained and educated, then I want to be a part of it."

"Fruitvale Station" is written and directed by USC graduate Ryan Coogler. The film stars Michael B. Jordan, and it's in theaters on Friday.


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