Octavia Spencer, Oprah Winfrey and Lupita Nyong'o on Acting

This year's brightest stars discuss their careers, worst advice and more.

Posted: 11/26/2013 03:30 PM EST

(Photo: Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter)

As awards season heats up, Oprah WinfreyOctavia Spencer and Lupita Nyong'o will be three names often heard when it comes to contenders for the year's biggest prizes. The stars ofThe ButlerFruitvale Station and 12 Years a Slave, respectively, sat down with the Hollywood Reporter (along with Julia RobertsEmma Thompson and Amy Adams) to discuss their careers, the worst advice they've ever recieved and more.

Some highlights from the revealing interview include Winfrey talking about being terrified of Steven Spielberg during the filming of The Color Purple. "I looked directly in the camera because that’s what you do on television," she says. "I walked in and went, 'How you doing, Miss Celie?' And he went, 'Cut! Cut! Cut! What is wrong with you?' And I’m standing there, trembling. 'Where are you looking?' I go, 'I’m looking at the camera.' He goes, 'Miss Celie’s over there!' [I was] terrified."

"When I was a little girl, the first time I thought I could be an actor was when I watched The Color Purple," Nyong'o adds. Her experience shooting 12 Years a Slave evoked a trauma that Winfrey was familiar with on the Color Purple set. "I was always so close to tears," she says, "plenty of times, I'd be in my hotel room, just crying."

Winfrey also admits her father wasn't supportive of her dreams of being an actress. "He said, 'No daughter of mine is going to go out there ho-ing herself.'"

To hear more from the talented ladies, including the strange memorabilia Winfrey collected while shooting Beloved, the worst advice Spencer got from an acting coach and a touching moment between Nyong'o and her hero, Winfrey, read the full interview here.

Plus, check out the short film below featuring Oprah Winfrey in a New York Times series called Making of a Scene,  profiling the year's best actors. Forest WhitakerMichael B. Jordan and Chiwetel Ejiofor also star in micro-films in the series.

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