Octavia Spencer channels her inner Rockefeller in telling the story of America’s first self-made female millionaire in Self Made.
A new limited series is coming to Netflix about the life of Madam C.J. Walker, and the streaming service just dropped the trailer today. Titled Self Made, the series stars Octavia Spencer, and it’s one you won’t want to miss.
Spencer plays Walker, a poor, domestic servant who decided to go into business for herself by selling hair care products to fellow African Americans. Along the way, she became a self-made millionaire (hence, the title) — becoming one of the first women to build a business empire and break down corporate barriers for both women and African Americans.
The trailer for Self Made kind of gives off what the series will be about to a degree, but that isn’t an issue for period biographies such as this one. The trailer hit all the high parts, has a nice pace and showcases the sheer talent that Spencer brings to this project.
Joining her in Self Made is Blair Underwood as her husband and Tiffany Haddish as her daughter. And I will say, the showrunners did a great job of casting a nice balance around Spencer. The overall arc of the story, however, centers around educating viewers of the life of Madam C.J. Walker as well as the struggles and barriers she had to overcome to create her empire as a black woman in the post-Civil War U.S.
For all the lines Madam C.J. Walker crossed, the details of her story are not widely known, even within black history. So while the producers want to bring to life an obscure, important story in Self Made, there is a question to be asked if the series will gain traction because of its little-known story. Walker’s story, though, is just as compelling as any one businessman or American hero. And judging by the trailer alone, that should be enough to get audiences interested right off the bat.
Self Made promises to be an inspiring (and probably tough to watch at times) series, and Spencer, Underwood, and Haddish will all have to bring their A+ games to bring this story a life it much deserves.
Self Made will premiere on Netflix on March 20.