Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer saved her new independent movie from disaster by investing her own money and convincing her wealthy friends to hand over their cash after the project fell into financial difficulties.
The Help star plays the mother of a young man shot dead by police in Fruitvale Station, which is based on a true story, and she was so determined to get the project off the ground, she offered to pay her own hotel bill to save money.
Director Ryan Coogler says of Spencer, "She was 110 per cent in... She was like a battery that got hooked up to the film, and she took it into hyperdrive... She has the most intense team mentality. She said, 'Put that money on the screen. I'll put myself up (in a hotel).'"
When the film lost a large portion of its financing, Spencer handed over her own cash and started making phone calls to her friends, urging them to invest in the project.
She tells USA Today, "I shamelessly started calling my friends I knew had deep pockets, friends in which 25 grand wouldn't hurt. And I kicked in some of my own, I didn't want any of Ryan's vision to be sacrificed."