Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Octavia Spencer’s (mis)adventures on the TIFF red carpet

Octavia Spencer arrives for the gala presentation of the film "Smashed" at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival, September 12, 2012.


Octavia Spencer is just like us. She shows up late to events. She laughs off mistakes. And she even enters movie theatres with the common ticketholder, instead of through the VIP gate.

The Oscar-winning actress proved just how relatable she was Wednesday night at the Canadian premiere of Smashed, James Pondsoldt's new movie about what happens to the relationship of two alcoholics when one tries to sober up. In it, Spencer plays the female lead's (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who also played Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) AA sponsor.

Spencer arrived on Ryerson Theatre's red carpet just five minutes before the screening started, leaving almost no time for photos, fans or the media. So, in a semi-panic, she rushed to pose for snap-happy photogs and then was instructed by her handlers to go inside for the movie introductions immediately.

Story continues below advertisement

But it wasn't until she stopped to do an interview and they had to literally pull her away that she seemed to get the message. After that, she sped off into the theatre. Only one problem: She tried to enter through the main doors with the final moviegoers who were still streaming in.

Another chant of "no, no, no, no, no, no!" came from the publicists, who then escorted Spencer along the remainder of the red carpet and into the theatre through the back doors.

After the movie started, though, Spencer returned to the carpet to sign autographs and finish interviews. It was during this time that Spencer really showed her grace. When a reporter asked her what her life was like after working in such big films as The Help and Precious, Spencer didn't miss a beat. She just laughed and said, "Oh honey, I wasn't in Precious."

There was no hissy fit. No scoffing. No nothing. Just a laugh and a smile. It was either excellent, Oscar-worthy acting or proof that she even though she is a hugely accomplished actress (not to mention a celebrity), she doesn't have an oversized ego.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to