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Oscar nominations 2012: 'The Help' has changed Octavia Spencer

January 24, 2012 | 10:15 am

Click for photos of the top nominees

Sometimes recognition for work in a film can be career changing -- more offers come in, or a better range of roles suddenly seems possible. And sometimes working on a film can be life-changing, as it was for supporting actress Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer, who says her work on "The Help" has changed her world view and propelled her to be more of an activist.

But for nomination morning, well, she's just happy to be included.

How are you this morning?

"I think I’m touching the ground again."

I thought you’d still be in the air.

"It was only a small balloon. The accolades are wonderful but I’m more impressed that this little movie that started out with a group of friends trying to make an independent film has turned into a phenomenon. It’s about the underdogs and it’s grabbing people’s heart strings. I’ve never been a part of something like that. It’s changed my view of the world and my role in the world.

FULL COVERAGE: The Oscar nominees

"It’s made me more of an activist. If you’re not active then you are pretty much allowing things to move at their own pace. And you’re not participating in it. In playing this character who has so little, I’ve learned to appreciate what we have. Appreciate what I have and enjoy every opportunity. Plus, seeing all the hot guys in Hollywood has been wonderful."

Who have you met since all this campaigning started?

"Sidney Poitier and Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood. We’re a huge Eastwood family. And [Steven] Spielberg. I was literally floored by the luminaries I’ve been able to touch. Now that George [Clooney], Brad [Pitt] and I are old pals, that in itself is really great."

How are you going to celebrate? 

"We celebrated last night with a ‘Come What May’ party, me and a lot of the people from ‘The Help.’"


And the nominees are...

PHOTOS: 84th Academy Awards nominees

Pals Clooney, Pitt are rivals; ‘Artist,’ ‘Hugo’ dominate

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Octavia Spencer. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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