Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer, center, arrives at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, March 21, 2012. Spencer was greeted by more than 400 people as she arrived at the Statehouse to a hero’s welcome. Earlier this year, Spencer won a best supporting actress Oscar for her performance in “The Help.” (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer promised Alabama fans Wednesday that she would do everything possible to make sure some of her future movies are made in her home state.
Spencer, who won this year’s best supporting actress Oscar for her performance as the maid “Minnie” in “The Help,” told the crowd in Montgomery that her home would always be in Alabama.
Wearing a purple dress, she rode up to the Statehouse in a pink limousine for the ceremony. She was serenaded by the band from her alma mater, Jefferson Davis High School. She even paused for a moment to lead the band.
The Montgomery native thanked Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, for sponsoring a bill, approved by the state House, to increase the incentives the state offers for movies to be made in Alabama. The bill was approved later Wednesday by the Senate.
Multiple speakers, including Gov. Robert Bentley and leaders of the House and Senate, greeted Spencer at a joint session of the Legislature. Bentley proclaimed Wednesday as “Octavia Spencer Day in Alabama.
“We want to make sure your next Oscar is on a film shot right here in Alabama,” Speaker Mike Hubbard told the actress.
The running joke throughout Spencer’s visit concerned Minnie’s famous pies in the movie, including one she made for her boss that included a nauseating ingredient and led to her being fired.
“Don’t hand me a piece of pie,” Senate president pro tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, told Spencer.
Spencer was guest of honor at a reception at a Montgomery hotel later and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange presented her with a key to the city. Strange invited Spencer to return often to her hometown.
“But please leave your pies at home,” Strange said as a member of the audience chanted “Don’t bring no pies.”