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Octavia Spencer says Whoopi encouraged her to 'get your education' before stepping into Hollywood

Octavia Spencer recalled her experience interning on Whoopi Goldberg's 1990 film 'The Long Walk Home' when she was 17.

Octavia Spencer says Whoopi encouraged her to 'get your education' before stepping into Hollywood
Cover Image Source: Left: Getty Images | Photo by Jon Kopaloff Right: Getty Images for Tribeca Festival | Photo by Rob Kim

Octavia Spencer began her career with a little bit of advice from Whoopi Goldberg that she has never forgotten. She recalled having a positive experience when she first met Whoopi Goldberg, an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) award winner, at age 67, during the filming of a movie in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. She remembered Whoopi Goldberg's important advice: "[I] just was ready to move to Hollywood to work on films right after the movie was wrapped," she noted. "And Whoopi said, 'Hollywood will always be there. Get your education. My mom was really heavily into education," added Spencer, reported PEOPLE.

Her mother hoped that her daughter would become an attorney. After Spencer graduated from Auburn University with a degree in English a few years later, Goldberg's brother let her know that Whoopi was proud of her accomplishment. The Truth Be Told star additionally shared that Goldberg remembered her the first time she appeared on The View.



 

 

In addition to her, Sissy Spacek was also featured in the 1990 film. Spencer remarked that Spacek "actually did" remember her years later when they both starred in the 2011 film The Help, which resulted in Spencer receiving her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. "It was so crazy," Spencer said. She expressed her astonishment and said, "We talked about her daughter because Schuyler [Fisk] was three when she did The Long Walk Home. It was pretty amazing, actually," Spencer added.

Image Source: Getty Images/ Jon Kopaloff / Stringer
Image Source: Getty Images/ Jon Kopaloff / Stringer

 

 

Spencer has earned numerous awards and nominations for her work in films like "Hidden Figures," "The Shape of Water," and "Ma" and has established herself as a prominent figure in the entertainment industry. Her experience with Whoopi Goldberg early in her career gave her the confidence and motivation she needed to succeed. The sage advice she received has been invaluable throughout her career and for that, Spencer is forever grateful.

Spencer began her career in the late 1990s with small roles in television shows like "Girlfriends" and "The Big House." She soon found success on the big screen, appearing in films such as Bad Santa, Coach Carter, Pretty Ugly People and Fruitvale Station. In 2011, Spencer earned her first Academy Award nomination for her role as Minny Jackson in The Help, for which she also won a Golden Globe, SAG Award and BAFTA Award. In recent years, Spencer has continued to appear in major films such as Hidden Figures and The Shape of Water, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also earned an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Madam C.J. Walker in Netflix's Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker. Octavia Spencer is an exemplary actress who has used her fame and success to further critical causes. As a three-time Academy Award nominee and one-time winner, she is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished actresses of her generation.

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