For 107 years, the National Board of Review has dedicated its efforts to the support of cinema as both art and entertainment.
Each year, this select group of film enthusiasts, professionals, academics and filmmakers watches over 250 films and participates in illuminating discussions with directors, actors, producers and screenwriters before announcing their selections for the best work of the year in early December prior to an annual ceremony in January
Hidden Figures was honored with the Best Ensemble award at Cipriani 42nd Street this past Wednesday. Read what the film’s star Octavia Spencer had to say about working on it.
I just wanted to know who you’re wearing because you look fabulous.
Octavia Spencer: Oh, well thank you. The top is Lafayette, the skirt to Todashi Shoji, the shoes are Neil Rodgers.
I want to know what’s your favorite place in the US to travel to during spring, and what do you like to do there?
Octavia Spencer: Well, I haven’t had a chance to travel. I’m working a lot. I think, man, where do I like to go? I love San Francisco. I like going to Tennessee mountain areas.
Can you just say what you like about either of those?
Octavia Spencer: I like being outdoors, and I like seeing God’s beauty. I like the hills, I like the lakes, I like all of nature. I like to be in places that aren’t too populated, where nature can just be abundant. Thank you.
Can you share what you admire about Dorothy Vaughan?
Octavia Spencer: Well, generally, I’ll speak for all of the women, the fact that they had the tenacity even though that they were basically fighting for their citizenship, to be seen as citizens in this country, and that they were voiceless, but their work spoke volumes because they were highly intelligent and contributed so much to the Space Race. That in itself to me is a testament to all young women to not be daunted by what we think is a glass ceiling. To look past that and know that you’re capable of achieving something greater than yourselves. The fact that we’re here tonight is exciting because we’re representing these women and heralding their achievement yet again.
What did you learn about yourself and your talent playing such a complicated role?
Octavia Spencer: What did I learn about myself? You know, there are some things that I like to share and there are some things that I don’t. The thing that I openly share, because I learn something from every character, but Dorothy, the thing that I don’t mind speaking about is the fact that she was a strong advocate for other women. I think if more women advocated for women, not just because they’re women, but because they’re capable, we would have less problems with gender parity in the workplace. The fact that I would say that being an advocate for your fellow woman is something that we all need to do and continue to do on a daily basis.
Going off of what you were just saying, what is your take on women taking on bigger roles in Hollywood and getting more opportunities now?
Octavia Spencer: Well, it’s not that they haven’t been trying. It’s that what you all need to understand is you speak with your dollars, and if you don’t go support movies that are led by women, that are produced by women, that are directed by woman, men, who are constantly looking at the bottom line, won’t see the value in those films. As a unit, we need to vote with our wallets.