Alabama native, Auburn University graduate and Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer said she had experienced more racism in Los Angeles than she did growing up in the South.

Spencer, who now lives in California, told comedian Marc Maron on his podcast, “WTF with Marc Maron,” that she was even followed into a store in LA after filming “Pretty Woman.”

“It was glaringly obvious,” she said.

Spencer grew up in Montgomery. She was the sixth of seven children under a single mother. She said her mother worked multiple jobs but still made an effort to teach her history. Nevertheless, Spencer said she didn’t experience racism by the time she was growing up.

“You can’t deny that Southern history is intense,” Spencer said. “It is. What’s beautiful for me is that stuff preceded me. I was a child of the 70s. … As you grow older and the things that you can remember, that wasn’t a part of my history. It’s not anything that I experienced.”

Spencer said that she loves being from the South and that Alabama is “a beautiful place and beautiful people.”

Warning: The following podcast contains explicit language.

After high school, Spencer studied at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) but later graduated from Auburn’s main campus with a major in English and a double minor in journalism and theater.

Her career took off when she played a maid in “The Help” (2011), a movie about a young white journalist and her relationship with two black maids during the civil rights movement in Mississippi. She has appeared in several other popular films and had starring roles in “The Shack” (2017), “Luce” (2019), and “Ma” (2019). She currently plays a lead role in the Apple TV+ drama series “Truth Be Told.”

Spencer has received several prestigious awards, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award and a Golden Globe.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.