Octavia Spencer: Not Just a Sassy Black Woman

The actress is done with small parts in big comedies.

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Octavia Spencer (Steve Granitz/Getty Images)

Octavia Spencer won a best supporting actress Golden Globe for her role as a maid in The Help, but it seems that depicting Minnie Jackson was just a stepping-stone -- calculated with a keen understanding of Hollywood racial politics -- on her way to where she really wants to be as an actress.

Here's how she explained, it, reflecting on The Help while discussing her new role in Smashed, a dramatic comedy about alcoholism, in which her character departs from stereotypes: "You do a movie like that to get a movie like this."

"It's nice," she added, "to play roles when I'm not just a sassy black woman."

The 39-year-old actress told 24 Frames that despite the praise she received for her role in The Help, "The studios are still not going to beat down my door unless it's a small part in a big comedy, and I've done those."

But "if you build it, they will come," she said, "and that's what I'm doing, one brick at a time." 

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

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