'Truth Be Told': The rise of Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is inspirational, and true crime podcaster Poppy was a role tailor-made for her
Octavia Spencer has been on many powerful and impactful movies, portraying unmistakably pivotal roles, including Johanna Reyes in ‘The Divergent’ series and Dorothy Vaughan in ‘Hidden Figures’.
‘Truth Be Told’ is one of the most anticipated projects to soon premiere on Apple TV+ and while there are many reasons we are excited about it, one of the primary ones certainly is Octavia Spencer. The show, which is executive produced by the Oscar-winning actress, will also see her starring as the true-crime podcaster Poppy Parnell.
The story, in a nutshell, is that of a brilliant journalist, who was propelled into stardom after her coverage on a murder investigation convinced the court to try the accused as an adult despite being 16 years old at the time. She eventually goes on to become an unparalleled true-crime podcaster, and yet when 19 years down the line, when she suspects that the convict, Warren Cave (Aaron Paul), was framed for the murder, she cannot help but dive back in.
If there was anyone we would trust to do justice to such a nuanced role as that of Poppy, it would be Spencer. She has had a very vibrant career which very humble beginnings, specifically as an intern on the set of Whoopi Goldberg starrer ‘The Long Walk Home’. After moving to Los Angeles in 1997 at the behest of her friend Tate Taylor, and went on to bag many minor roles in movies such as ‘A Time to Kill’, ‘Never Been Kissed’, ‘Spider-Man’, ‘Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!’ and so on.
Her star power did not get the opportunity to reveal itself, until 2010’s ‘The Help’, which was directed by the very Tate Taylor who convinced her to move to LA in the first place. Clearly she saw the raw talent we see now before anyone else. Her role as Minny Jackson, won her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress that year.
Since then, she has been on many powerful and impactful movies, portraying unmistakably pivotal roles, including Johanna Reyes in ‘The Divergent’ series, Dorothy Vaughan in ‘Hidden Figures’, Zelda Fuller in ‘The Shape of Water’, and the titular Ma in another Taylor classic, ‘Ma’. Her talent has been recognized with Academy Award and Golden Globes nominations over the years, and yet pay disparity is something she has had to battle throughout her career, much like many other actresses of color.
In January of 2018, Spencer publicly spoke about how it took her ‘The Help’ co-star Jessica Chastain helped her renegotiate her salary and made it five times more than the asking salary. Speaking about this at the Women Breaking Barriers panel at the Sundance festival, Spencer had added that now she is vying the men’s salary bracket. Hopefully, movements like Times Up has allowed for this pay gap to become negligible if not obsolete.
She has proved time and again that her talent is undeniable and this is going to be proved yet again when Apple TV+ premieres ‘Truth Be Told’ and we are excited for it.