'Insurgent' Interview: Octavia Spencer Talks 'Divergent' Fandom & Playing God

As one of the newest members of the Insurgent cast, one might assume that Octavia Spencer might have the most catching up to do in preparation for her role in the dystopian sequel, but it was quite the opposite. The Oscar-winner  is a self-described fangirl of the books and was delighted to be welcomed into the franchise as benevolent leader of the Amity faction, Johanna.

When Screen Rant sat down with Spencer had nothing but praise for her Insurgent experience, particularly the film's visual effects and how it succeeds in transporting the audience into Tris' (Shailene Woodley) mind via dreamscape scenarios. Read on to find out why Spencer was happy to not be involved in any action sequences and how she's planning on portraying God in her recently-announced next film, The Shack.

What did you like most about stepping into the Dystopian world and the CGI aspect?

I am a huge fangirl of the books so I was there opening weekend for 'Divergent' and then I had a friend come into town and went two days later to take her daughter. I love the fact we get to suspend our belief and become part of the Faction system and that I get to head up one of those factions it was really cool and the fact that we get to see some beaut visual effects and some great stunts by all of these actors and esp Shae, it's exciting

What do you love most about your character's Faction?

I love how beautifully tranquil and the juxtaposition to the rubble of some of the Factions or Factionless, how stringent and sterile perhaps the others are. I love that you get that little greenery that you don't get to see, the warmth, it's definitely different.

Was there any sort of welcoming party when you arrived?

Well we had a welcoming dinner and that was kind of fun but when we stepped onto set it was all business, everybody was ready to work we had a good time.

Octavia Spencer in The Help
Octavia Spencer in 'The Help'

Any envy for some of those actors doing the intense action scenes?

Oh noooo. Joanna is, that was not required of her for this particular movie and should it be required for the next one, I'll be ready but I'm really happy watching them do it.

What is the most beautiful and surprising aspect of watching the movie in full for the first time with all the effects?

That it doesn't feel like I'm watching visual effects,  it really feels like you're watching that action play out. I love that we're in Tris' dreamscape and how beaut they built it, you feel like she's going to fall, it's exciting, you're on the edge of your seat the whole time. And the dissolving, you really felt like you're a part of the scene, I love it.

Your next Lionsgate movie was just announced...

I will be a manifestation of the lead characters' idea of God.

Octavia Spencer with Insurgent castmates
Octavia Spencer with fellow cast members at the 'Insurgent' premiere

It probably won't be like the Morgan Freeman version, but...

I have no idea what it's going to be, I read the book and I'm a fan. We're not there yet, but I'm excited.

Is that something that is nice to have on an actor's bucket list?

It's not anything you ever think about you never know what you're going to be presented with but right now I'm living in the moment of 'Insurgent' and that's pretty exciting.


The Divergent Series: Insurgent hits theaters March 20, 2015.

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