Octavia Spencer explains her history with “resting nurse face” in her “SNL” monologue

Octavia Spencer killed her SNL monologue yesterday, and it definitely seemed like she was having a great time. Along with some great jokes about the Oscars, she talked about her own cinematic history — playing nurses. It turns out that Octavia Spencer has played nurses SIXTEEN TIMES.

"I did it so many times, that when I played a maid, they gave me an Oscar," Spencer said.

She chalked it up to what she called “resting nurse face,” and showed us her amazing face-making skills — along with images of a few of her nurse roles. These roles included “Nurse who has had it” in Grounded For Life, “Nurse who has had it up to here” in Red Band Society, and “Nurse that had it so bad that this happened” — a stabbing, in Halloween 2.

Fewer nurse roles, more diverse roles, please!

"So after all that, it was so wonderful to play a NASA mathematician like I do in Hidden Figures," she said.

But she continued, “So many people have been coming up to me and saying, ‘I loved Hidden Fences! And I say, ‘No, I was in Hidden Figures.’ I get it, I get it. There were three black movies at the Oscars this year — and that’s a lot for America. So if you are going to get confused anyway, I thought I might as well make some money off it. That’s why I produced Hidden Fencelight. It’s the story of three black women who send an introspective gay boy to build a fence on the moon.”


Although Spencer’s monologue was funny, it also calls attention to the importance of representation — something Spencer has spoken out about often. In a recent interview, she said she wants to become a producer so she can make sure there are more diverse actors onscreen:

“My dream role is that of a producer, a woman behind the scenes who creates roles for diversity in film. And when I say diversity, I mean I want to see women of all shapes and sizes, people of all shapes and sizes, people with disabilities. It’s about creating a landscape that demonstrates what our society is as a whole.

Thank you, Octavia Spencer! We’re glad you’re speaking out — and making us laugh, too.

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