Octavia Spencer: How I Beat Out Oscar Winners for The Help

12/06/2011 at 12:30 PM EST



Octavia Spencer is getting Oscar buzz for her performance in The Help, but the actress now reveals that she faced stiff competition from some former Oscar winners for the role as sassy maid Minny Jackson.

Spencer, 41, told Anderson Cooper during an interview on his talk show set to air Tuesday that other actresses considered for the part included Queen Latifah, Mo'Nique and Jennifer Hudson.

"There were a lot of big name people who were out there and being considered for this role. How did you get this role?" Cooper asked.



"I slept with the producer," Spencer joked.

In fact, Spencer's moved to the top of the list because of her (platonic) relationship with director Tate Taylor.

"Tate and I have been friends for about 17 years," she explained.

The two met when they were both working as production assistants ("like the grunts") on a film, according to Spencer.

About eight years ago, it was Taylor who introduced Spencer to his friend Kathryn Stockett, the author of The Help. Some of Spencer's personality and mannerisms eventually ended up on the page to flesh out the book's feisty character.

"It was a crazy setting," Spencer told Anderson of her first meeting with the author. "I don't like to be hot, hungry or uncomfortable, and I was 100 pounds heavier, it was 108 degrees in New Orleans. ... Tate decided that we should take a walking tour, and I was very grumpy, and Minny was born."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters