Although Octavia Spencer lost her mother, Dellsena, when she was just a teen, the Hidden Figures star, 46, recently revealed that the lessons she left behind continue to shape her today.
Speaking on “The Jess Cagle Interview,” the big screen veteran opened up about the woman who instilled in her practicality, sensibility and persistence.
Spencer revealed that Dellsena, a single mother, worked as a maid and took several other small jobs to provide for her seven children. She also ensured that her children were sheltered from prejudice, bigotry, and boundaries.
“I had a very strong mom who made me and my sisters understand that there were no limitations on our lives except what we placed on ourselves,” Spencer told People and Entertainment Weekly’s editorial director, adding, “she taught us to see people as people. All people. Taught us to understand our place in the world. And our place in the world is, if you want to be a leader, you can be that. There was no glass ceiling until I got into the real world and realized there are glass ceilings everywhere!”
And while her mother never had the opportunity to watch her daughter blossom into the successful actress she is today, Spencer credits Dellsena with preparing her for Hollywood by teaching her that she is capable of anything.
“I think she gave me the necessary foundation to be able to do what I do,” Spencer continued. “I think you have to have blind faith in yourself and your ability. You have to not know that there’s a wall there because if you’re constantly looking for barriers, then they will be there.”
Like many parents protective of their little ones, Spencer went on to admit that while her mother worried about her making her mark as an actress, she never doubted her. In fact, according to The Help actress, it was her mom’s strong work ethic that taught her no dream was too big. “You have to not see boundaries,” Spencer said. “You have to see the sky is the limit, otherwise, you will never get off the ground.”