In the new issue of Closer Weekly, Hidden Figures director Theodore Melfi opens up about Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and what a powerhouse she has become.

Octavia has recently been nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her powerful performance as Dorothy Vaughan, a pioneering computer expert who worked for NASA in the 60s, in the surprise box-office smash Hidden Figures.

“Octavia never has a false moment,” raves Theodore (St. Vincent). “I’ve never worked with anyone like her.”

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Octavia in Hidden Figures.

Octavia’s triumph seems even more remarkable since she grew up with a learning disability and only started reading thanks to her love of Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown mysteries. Melfi says Octavia’s dyslexia didn’t affect her Hidden Figures performance: “She knew her lines and everyone else’s lines inside and out.”

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She’s become known as one of the hardest working actors in showbiz, with a recurring role on TV’s Mom and several upcoming films, including The Shack, in which she plays God.

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Octavia at the Oscars in 2012.

Where does she find the energy? “She’s single!” laughs Melfi. “But she has tons of friends and a great family in Alabama who keep her feet on the ground.”

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Yet like Hidden Figures’ Dorothy, Octavia is always reaching for the stars. “She’ll never be satisfied,” adds Melfi. “She always has something she wants to work on. She lives her life that way.”

For more on Octavia, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!

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