WCW: Octavia Spencer


Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer has only been in a few frock flicks, but they’ve been interesting ones and I really think she should do more historical work! These roles have been meatier than a lot of the modern-set films and TV series she’s been in, so these show more of her range and talent. She brings depth to even the smallest part. I hope she gets more of the kind of juicy roles she deserves.



Minny Jackson in The Help (2011)

Octavia Spencer, The Help (2011)

Spencer won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her pivotal role in this 1960s story.


Aunt Honey in Get on Up (2014)

2014 Get On Up

Playing James Brown’s aunt, who helped raise him while running a brothel.


Harriet Tubman in Drunk History, “Spies” (2015)

Drunk History (2013)

A sassy & spot-on version of the famous abolitionist.


Dorothy Vaughan in Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures (2017)

Teaching herself FORTRAN & getting that raise! Spencer was nominated for an Academy Award for this role.


Zelda Delilah Fuller in The Shape of Water (2017)

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (2017)

She’s the coworker friend, interpreter, and accomplice to Sally Hawkins’ character. This role earned Spencer another Academy Award nomination, making her the first Black woman to receive two consecutive Oscar nominations in back-to-back years.


Sarah Breedlove / Madam C.J. Walker in Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (2020)

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (2020)

Portraying America’s first female millionaire, Spencer was also executive producer of this Netflix miniseries.



What’s your favorite historical role played by Octavia Spencer?


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

Twitter Facebook Website

A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

8 Responses

  1. Nzie

    She’s fantastic. I would love to see her in more historic roles. Of these, my favorite is Hidden Figures. :-)

  2. Natasha Rubin

    Yesss, she’s awesome! I haven’t seen all of these but I’ve loved her in everything I have seen.

  3. Sharon in Scotland

    I love this woman, she is on my”worship and adore” list………..(she’s in very good company)

  4. Saraquill

    Choosing is hard, though I do have a soft spot for Drunk History.

    She’s also in a new Frock Flick, “Roald Dahl’s The Witches.” Takes places in 1968.

  5. SarahV

    Dorothy in Hidden Figures has such a perfectly ladylike, sophisticated yet professional wardrobe. And a killer collection of brooches!

    (TLo has a superb piece discussing the mid-century fashions in that movie)


Feel the love

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.