Before her career-making turn in The Help, Octavia Spencer's acting resume was peppered with parts like "Bank Teller" and "Troubled Woman." Not anymore, the award-winning actress tells the Los Angeles Times.
The Golden Globe winner hopes to use her newfound recognition to diversify her career, but she isn't waiting for Hollywood to call. "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," she tells the Times. The profile notes that the publicity boost she's gotten from The Help "hadn't changed her career much."
Spencer is turning to indies for the opportunity to sink her teeth into meatier parts. She has a supporting role in the Sundance-bound Smashed, as well as a couple of other indies on the horizon, in which she's the big fish of the cast.
"If you build it, they will come, and that's what I'm doing, one brick at a time," she said on the Smashed set. "That's what this movie is. I get to play somewhat different than who I usually am."
Maybe Spencer's people should call Aretha Franklin's people. The soul diva dropped hints yesterday that progress has been made on her self-produced biopic. Namely, Franklin has secured both financing and a director for the film.
Now, she just needs a cast. After Halle Berry politely declined Aretha's offer to star, the Queen of Soul has set her sights on some new faces.
The "Respect" singer told MSN Entertainment she also wants Nia Long, Kerry Washington and Blair Underwood to sign on for roles as her older sister, Erma, her younger sister, Carolyn, and her brother, Cecil, respectively. The role of Aretha, though, is still anyone's ball game.
Her reps told the New York Daily News that no actors have signed on yet, but that Aretha "is scheduled to meet with the director and financiers ... to discuss her final casting selections for the biopic," which will be called From These Roots, just like her autobiography.
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