Although she’s worked extensively in television across the course of her career—both pre- and post-Oscar, albeit with a lot fewer roles with names like “Flight Attendant” attached to them in the aftermath of her 2012 win for The Help—Octavia Spencer has rarely taken a starring role on the smaller screen. That changed last month with the debut of her new Apple TV+ show, Truth Be Told—a.k.a. Podcasters Fightin’ Crime—and now Netflix has released its first look at Spencer’s next television project: Self Made, based on the life of pioneering hair care magnate Madam C.J. Walker.
Walker’s is a landmark story of American entrepreneurial success; by the time she died in 1919, she was considered the most successful Black businesswoman in the country’s history, having made nearly a million dollars with her self-built empire of cosmetic and hair care products. She was also a noted philanthropist and political activist, immersing herself in New York’s social and political scene, and advocating tirelessly against racism and hate.
Spencer originally signed on for the role back in 2017, attached to a project based on a biography of Walker written by her great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles. That show landed at Netflix back in 2018, with the service releasing the first images today of Spencer-as-Walker, standing at the center of what looks to be a big musical number, sharing a look with husband Blair Underwood, and keeping her hat game distinctly on point.
Self-Made also stars Tiffany Hadish, Carmen Ejogo, Garrett Morris, Kevin Carroll, and Bill Bellamy. The four-part series debuts on March 20.