This Thursday in downtown Los Angeles, Octavia Spencer was finally honored with a well -deserved star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. It came as no surprise that during such an emotional moment there were plenty of tears in the crowd. As Spencer prepared to offer her speech, she mentioned that she was “trying to keep it together because I know I haven’t taken all of my pictures yet, and I want my makeup to be pretty.”
What was surprising however, was the heckler who made his voice known during the ceremony. But as he shouted and taunted Spencer and her friends and colleagues in attendance, declaring that the event was “celebrating rich people,” among other things, one man made himself the hero.
Actor Will Ferrell shut down the wayward man as he stepped to the podium to honor his friend and “Spirited” co-star.
“Not on Octavia’s day!” he shouted towards the heckler. “Keep it moving. Keep it moving. The wax museum’s down there. That thing is wide open.”
The comedian did what he does best by lightening up the moment with laughter.
“He’s got powerful lungs. He’s using his diaphragm,” Ferrell joked as the man moved down the street. “Louder, please. They can’t hear you in Alhambra,” he added later as the crowd laughed.
On a more serious note, he commented before stepping down that Spencer was “literally the best and no one is more deserving of this star.” He later added “Is that guy up next?” In reference to the heckler. “Is he supposed to speak? Sweatpants weirdo, is he up here? Should I just go tackle him?”
As the crowd’s laughter subsided, friend and former co-star Allison Janney took the mic and told the story of a party where they met back in the late nineties. Spencer apparently was joking with friends about how she had been cast in a project with two lines, and that it was actually a step up from another recent role in which she played a bus driver that didn’t make it out of the film alive. It was Spencer’s energy that Janney was drawn to.
“Anyone who could have a sense of humor about the struggles of trying to make it in Hollywood had to be part of my life, and, of course, I wanted to work with her,” Janney said. The two would go on to shoot The Help together in 2011.
During Spencer’s own speech, she recalled driving to L.A. from Montgomery, Alabama some 26 years ago with an old car and $3,000 to her name, a small television, and her dreams.
“It took me a minute to absorb the profundity of this moment,” she said after accepting a certificate from the city of Los Angeles marking her star ceremony. “The culmination of my dreams realized, hard work rewarded after a fair but healthy amount of failure and rejection.”
Spencer went on to thank her work family, her friends, and her sisters, who she said were never hesitant to lend her money for rent when needed.