While it would be a stretch to claim that she’s been typecast for most of her career, Academy Award-winning Octavia Spencer has (perhaps) garnered acclaim for taking on roles that, at second glance, seem all too similar.
Arguably, the actress’s breakthrough role came in 2011 when she played a maid in The Help, which was set during the Civil Rights era in 1960s America — Spencer won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role. Years later, she played the role of mathematician Dorothy Vaughn in Hidden Figures, another film set in 1960s America, focusing on the poor treatment of African-Americans during that time. In 2017, Octavia garnered similar acclaim for her work in The Shape of Water, in which she plays a cleaning woman in… 1960s America.
Still, while the three-time Academy Award-nominated actress has had her fair share of roles, she’s looking to completely flip the script (so to speak) with Ma, an upcoming psychological horror film that sees Spencer terrifying a group of high schoolers.
The film’s first full-length trailer was released to the masses yesterday, and it paints a pretty grim picture. The official description — as detailed on YouTube — provides a little insight as to what viewers can expect.
— #MAmovie (@MAmovie) February 13, 2019
“Octavia Spencer stars as Sue Ann, a loner who keeps to herself in her quiet Ohio town. One day, she is asked by Maggie, a new teenager in town (Diana Silvers, Glass), to buy some booze for her and her friends, and Sue Ann sees the chance to make some unsuspecting, if younger, friends of her own.
“She offers the kids the chance to avoid drinking and driving by hanging out in the basement of her home. But there are some house rules: One of the kids has to stay sober. Don’t curse. Never go upstairs. And call her ‘Ma.'”
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) February 13, 2019
As Rolling Stone reports, the film is being directed by Tate Taylor, who has worked with Spencer before — Taylor directed both The Help and Get On Up, which have both featured Octavia in starring roles. Taking on the role of producer is Jason Blum, who has worked on a handful of critically acclaimed films, including Whiplash, BlacKkKlansman, and The Purge film series. Blum’s best-known work to date is Jordan Peele’s Get Out.
Ma is set to release later this year on May 31. The film stars Octavia Spencer as “Ma” Sue Ann, with Luke Evans, Missi Pyle, Allison Janney, and Juliette Lewis in supporting roles.