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Octavia Spencer now exploring the strange and wonderful world of Ma memes

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Photo: Universal Pictures

When Octavia Spencer signed on to star in Blumhouse’s horror feature Ma last year, she was pretty clear about her intentions: Scraping off some of that “Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer” mystique that Hollywood likes to apply to people (whether they’re interested in it, or not), and get down to some over-the-top, silly, violent fun. (Ditto her old The Help director, Tate Taylor, who reportedly pitched the movie to Jason Blum with the line “I want to do something really fucked up.”) Whether the movie achieved those goals is a wider question—neither critics, nor audiences, were especially receptive to it—but pretty much everybody agreed that Spencer seemed to be having a hell of a time while making it.

At the same time, the movie took on a life of its own online—maybe spurred on by the tonally bizarre trailer, or Spencer’s off-kilter performance, or even just its eye-catchingly two-letter title. In any case, Ma memes became A Thing, at least for a bit. (People actually getting to see the movie probably didn’t help maintain the Mamentum, though.) And while the Ma energy has faded, the products of Mania persist, where anyone could find them with a vigorous enough search online. Which leads us to this weekend, when a miracle happened: Spencer apparently stumbled over the Ma memes, and she absolutely loves them.


Specifically, the actress has spent the last few days—minus the time she spent mourning the upcoming end of Criminal Minds, a show she is not on, but which she clearly, dearly loves—reposting some of the Ma posters people have cooked up over the last year, from The Irishma, to The Greatest ShowMa, to that perennial favorite, Mad Ma: Fury Road. Spencer appears to be spreading the love around, too; several people are reporting that she’s also been posting these images to her Instagram Story, because Octavia Spencer seems to be just as bemused by the Ma experience, as it were, as the rest of us. In fact, she’s even offering a contest for enterprising Ma memesters, offering a trip to the premiere of the upcoming The Witches to one lucky and talented crossover artist. Just be careful: Your fake poster has to follow Ma’s rules: “To clarify, no images of me as any other character from any other film, or as myself, only as the character Ma,Spencer writes, with slightly ominous strictness. (Also, don’t go upstairs.)