Octavia Spencer did not see Hollywood’s biggest names leap to their feet when she was announced as Best Supporting Actress at Sunday night’s Oscars. Nor did she hear the thunderous applause that filled the El Capitan Theatre as she made her way to the stage to accept Hollywood’s biggest award.
“The only thing I remember is I thought, Christian Bale, he was saying a name and I thought, ‘Is there anybody else’s name that begins with a vowel… “O… and not falling down,’” the star of “The Help” said today on “Good Morning America.”
“Everything else just went to white noise,” Spencer, 39, said of the moments after Bale, last year’s Best Supporting Actor winner, called her name.
She won an Oscar, in her first time nominated, for her portrayal of maid Minny Jackson in “The Help,” the big screen adaptation of the Kathryn Stockett book about Southern life in the 1960s amid the civil rights movement.
“I did [get to a pillow] but he just laid across my lap,” Spencer said of how she celebrated her win well into the night with her Oscar.
“It was the most spectacular night of my life,” she said. “I’m on adrenaline right now. I’m so elated. I love it.”
The “white noise” Spencer experienced when her name was called out among Hollywood’s elite subsided by the time she arrived onstage, allowing her to compliment Bale, her presenter.
“Thank you, academy, for putting me with the hottest guy in the room,” she said.
Jokes aside, Spencer’s tearful speech also saluted her co-stars and crew that drove the film’s onscreen and awards season success, a sentiment she echoed today on “GMA.”
“I see myself just as a link in the chain,” she said of the movie’s cast, which also included fellow nominees Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain.
“You never see yourself as the forefront. I hope I never start seeing myself as the forefront,” she said. “We had a very strong and beautiful chain. That was the most amazing cast and crew.”
Spencer’s role in the film came in part from her longtime friendship with the film’s writer-director, Tate Taylor, who has said he used Spencer as inspiration for spunky maid Minny who refused to let her role as a domestic worker keep her quiet.
“The sass definitely comes naturally,” Spencer said on “GMA” of playing Minny. “It’s all the other stuff in her that I had to find. The sass is no problem.”