Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
Octavia Spencer is currently starring in the horror film Ma out this past weekend which did exceptionally well, landing in the top 5 sales slot at number 4 for opening films. Given percentages of budget versus profit, the film actually did the best as it had a $5 million budget while pocketing $18 million opening weekend. As for the 3 that beat the film in sales, they were Aladdin, Elton John‘s Rocket Man and ‘Zilla.
Produced by the same company behind Get Out and The Help which got her numerous awards, she plays a middle aged woman that went from letting teenagers in her home to party in her basement and engage in underage drinking which turned into a series of bizarre events occurring including people turning up missing. This proves why one shouldn’t talk to strangers.
What this film does is something the star Octavia Spencer hasn’t done in the 25 or so years she’s been in the industry, which is cast her as a lead. And this was no haphazard casting. No Glitter moments with Mariah Carey occurred here. She has a long record of success in the industry from a number of Oscar nominations since getting one for The Help in 2012, and even executive produced this year’s winner for best picture, Green Book.
As for how Spencer was cast, she was roommates with the director, Tate Taylor for 7 years, who said in an interview that she had confided in him that she had been blessed to have her career, but she was constantly asked to play the same roles. From there, he made the pitch of the film idea to a friend of his, Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions and the rest was history. Now the film has come with mixed reviews but the unanimous takeaway has been that Spencer gave a stellar performance. We’re going to see how that translates when award season comes around.