Octavia Spencer To Play God In ‘The Shack,’ Speaks Out On Hollywood’s Lack Of Diversity

Octavia Spencer is set to play God in an upcoming film version of William P. Young’s novel The Shack. The actress is both grateful and challenged. Film greats Morgan Freeman and George Burns both played God effectively and Spencer is hoping she can do the same.

Young’s bestselling 2007 novel on which the film is based has been translated into 39 languages and has sold over 18 million copies. The plot focuses on the disappearance of a man’s daughter during a vacation.

Several years after authorities determined she was murdered in a shack, her father receives a note from God inviting him to visit the scene of the crime.

Octavia said she is doing no prep work for the role.

You don’t prepare for God.

She will invoke her understanding of God to bring life to the character.

I’m playing a manifestation of God, but I also know, going into the role, from my upbringing as a Christian, that God made us in his form, so I will be playing God in human form.

Since Octavia Spencer won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 2012 for her performance as Minny Jackson in The Help, she played a no-nonsense nurse in Fox’s now-cancelled hospital Drama Red Band Society and the leader of a culturally diverse commune in Insurgent, among other roles.

She loved her role in Insurgent, because the sci-fi movie has a diverse cast of characters.

Octavia is a fan of the Divergent books because the author, Veronica Roth, included African American, Asian and Latino characters.

Although black women are on the rise in Hollywood with roles like Viola Davis’s in How to Get Away With Murder; Taraji P. Henson in Empire; and Kerry Washington in Scandal, Octavia said more roles for people of color are needed.

I want to see more Asian, I want to see more Latin, I want more Indian. There’s more than Mindy Kaling out there, guys! There’s more than Bai Ling.

Shonda Rhimes gets kudos from Octavia for creating opportunities for actresses of color. Octavia recently sold a project to HBO and will share details as soon as possible.

Let’s continue the Rainbow Coalition. Let’s have television and film reflect the broader spectrum of our society as a whole. Then, it will be a greater time to celebrate.

There’s more to come from Octavia Spencer as she demonstrates her acting ability and brings more diversity to the big and small screens.

[Image: Just Jared]