Simple acts of kindness pop up every day: Strangers hold open doors for others, or pick up the tab for the person behind them in line at the coffee shop, or buy the bar a round, etc.
Octavia Spencer was thinking bigger than a cup of coffee in Los Angeles on Friday (January 13), though: She kicked off Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Weekend by surprising audiences with a free screening of Hidden Figures, and did so with those in need in mind.
Spencer shared the news of the event in Baldwin Hills on Instagram, and shared a personal connection to the gesture as well: She noted that single parents, like her mother, were her motivation for the screening, and that she wanted to make the movie accessible to those who couldn't necessarily afford tickets.
"If you know a family in need that would like to see our movie but can't afford it have them come," she wrote. "My mom would not have been able to afford to take me and my siblings. So, I'm honoring her and all single parents this #mlkweekend."
Hidden Figures — a historical drama starring Spencer, Janelle Monaé, and Taraji P. Henson, follows three African American women at NASA who were instrumental in the mission to land a man on the moon — is already an awards season favorite. Spencer was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Dorothy Vaughan at the 2017 Golden Globes, and the Hidden Figures original score — which was helmed by Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams, who also produced the film — was nominated as well.