In Diablo Cody's directorial debut, Paradise, Octavia Spencer plays a morose Vegas lounge singer who finds a lost lamb — literally, her name is Lamb — who has come to Sin City to finally experience worldly pleasures. Spencer's character Loray, along with her bartender best friend (Russell Brand), consequently take Lamb (Julianne Hough) for a night out on the town, which includes getting Lamb her first tattoo, rescuing her from a strip club, and doing the zip line.
Spencer chatted with Vulture about her go-to karaoke song, sowing her wild oats, and why she wants a fan campaign to release the director's cut of her next movie, Snowpiercer.
Before we start, I just wanted to check on whether you'd gotten your boxed set of The Wire yet? Your Fruitvale Station co-star Michael B. Jordan promised he was going to make sure you'd get one.
[Laughs.] He didn't do that! No. But you don't know if he's giving me that as a Christmas present. He might be.
I'm sorry! I didn't mean to spoil your Christmas surprise.
I think you might have! No, it's funny. That will be my next guilty pleasure, but I haven't had that much time to do that much TV-watching, so I want to do it when I can binge-watch and get all caught up.
So in the film, we first meet you when you sing Radiohead's "No Surprises" …
I had heard of Radiohead, but I'd never really heard any of their songs until this, and I was thinking, This is a cool song! So I became a fan by accident. And I love that [Diablo Cody] picked something that would be in Loray's repertoire of music that wouldn't necessarily be in my repertoire of music for that situation. I mean, I'm pretty eclectic with my bands. If it were just me up there singing, I would do Gladys Knight. My karaoke song is "Midnight Train to Georgia," because I can do the, [sings] "Mmm" and make myself sound like I can sing. [Laughs.] You got to sell that, [sings] "Mmm, L.A. …" But for singing Radiohead, Loray doesn't care about pleasing people, so that was fun, getting to be a little rebellious.