Academy Award-winning actress, author and producer Octavia Spencer discovered her latest project, “Right To Try,” by checking out Variety.
“My producer, Brian Clisham, first read about it in Variety and he’s like, ‘You have to see this.’ I was so moved by this story,” she told Variety‘s Marc Malkin about the film.
“Right To Try,” a documentary short directed by Zeberiah Newman, follows Jeffrey Drew as he puts his life on the line to try and help find a cure for HIV by participating in a secret trial. The search for a cure has been an ongoing process for 40 years, with Spencer saying she wanted to be involved with the process: “If we’re close to finding a cure because of the personal sacrifices — I just felt like I needed to be a part of telling the story.”
Spencer currently stars in the second season of Apple TV Plus’ “Truth Be Told,” alongside Kate Hudson.
What was originally anticipated to be a limited series based on Kathleen Barber’s 2017 novel “Are You Sleeping?” received a second season order and a wholly new story. While Spencer reprises her role of podcaster Poppy Parnell, Hudson steps in as a new character, lifestyle guru Micah Keith, who also happens to be a longtime friend of Poppy’s.
Hudson said she crafted her character after motivational speaker, Tony Robbins. “I thought a lot about Robbins and what it is to actually speak to people’s motivation. Micah’s thing is how to optimize people’s lives, and she’s created all these tools based on her own life experience.”
The second season starts with the murder of Micah’s husband and her plea to her old friend to investigate it. It quickly becomes the newest subject of Poppy’s podcast. But along the way, their friendship is tested and boundaries are crossed. Spencer said Season 2 deals more with personal relationships.
“It deals more with the intimacies of Poppy’s relationship with her best friend from childhood,” she explained. “Poppy has to examine her motives and the motives of everyone around her, and basically asks herself, ‘Who do I trust?’ as she moves forward in solving the mystery.”
Watch the full discussion above.