The 44-year-old Spencer talked about her craft and her new film at a Beverly Hills hotel suite.
Q: Did you audition for the Gifted role?
A: If they wanted me to audition, I wouldn’t have made the movie. After two Oscar nominations, and they don’t know if I can do it, they need somebody else.
Q: Did you enjoy working closely with child actor Mckenna Grace?
A: That little kid is rare. Mckenna’s like one of the Fannings, Dakota and Elle. You only see them every now and again because they are special. Mckenna has that charisma, too.
Q: Is there a secret to acting opposite a young person?
A: You have to spend time with a child outside of the on-set environment. Parents drill into kids, ‘Don’t talk to strangers.’ So we spent a lot of time together going to movies and having lunches; all of those types of things.
Q: Was Mckenna equal to the challenge of playing a key part?
A: I was glad that it wasn’t my job to fill a role like that. But Mckenna never seemed like she was bored or wanted to be somewhere else.
Q: Do you like the message in Gifted?
A: We need these kinds of movies that have a little heart and a brain. I love what Gifted says about family and how important education is — especially now.
Q: The film does have some funny moments. Do you agree?
A: When I first read the script, I thought it was hysterically funny. And I liked the message of how unconventional families can still function.
Q: Will you elaborate?
A: Well, I don’t want to tell you what to think, I just want you to think. Whatever lens you use to view this world is going to be different from mine.
Q: Did you enjoy filming Gifted in and around Savannah, Georgia?
A: It was fantastic. It’s a blend of Charleston and New Orleans. It has the romantic mystical side of New Orleans and the charming intellectual side that Charleston has.