Octavia Spencer on the Importance of Tom Hanks' Coronavirus Revelation (Exclusive)
ET's Rachel Smith caught up with the actress during her Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker press tour in New York City on Thursday, where she touched on the celebrity couple announcing their diagnosis the day before.
"I'm sending speedy recovery prayers to both of them," Spencer said, adding, "I think it's important that Tom and Rita spoke out because they're allowing people to see that this disease, this virus, is non discriminating and we should protect ourselves at all costs."
As someone who travels a lot for work, Spencer shared that she would be staying home as much as she can.
"I am literally isolating once we're done with this. I don't need them to tell me to take two weeks. I intend to lock down," she said. "And my thoughts and prayers are with people who are living paycheck to paycheck and the economy is shutting down. My thoughts and prayers are with the people who lost loved ones, and I think we have to be safe out there, we need to educate ourselves and we have to protect ourselves."
Hanks announced on Wednesday that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for coronavirus. Their son, Chet Hanks, later told his Instagram followers that his parents "are fine" and "not worried."
Meanwhile, the Oscar winner couldn't be happier to bring Madam C.J. Walker's story to life. The Netflix series tells the inspiring story of the trailblazing African-American entrepreneur who built a haircare empire that made her America's first female self-made millionaire.
"Madam C.J.'s story is fascinating," Spencer said. "The fact that she actually existed and was able to, at the turn of the century, amass the world that she did. She's the first self-made female millionaire of any ethnicity in this country and she didn't have the right to vote and she really didn't have the right to own property -- and that says a lot about who she was."
While Walker was one empowering and inspirational woman, what empowers Spencer?
"Knowing my value, knowing my worth, knowing that I am trying to contribute for other women to know their value and their worth," she expressed. "Knowing that I create opportunities for people to realize their value and their worth. That empowers me."
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker arrives March 20 on Netflix.
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